Reducing Energy Poverty is Crucial to Sustainable Development

The world is currently facing an unprecedented health crisis, and as usual the vulnerable communities are hit the hardest.  Energy poverty (or lack of access to electricity) is worsening the humanitarian crisis amid COVID-19 pandemic, and is preventing the poor from securing social benefits and economic opportunities. Electricity, in modern life, is the foundation and lifeline for communities and economies to run and thrive. There is a growing international acknowledgement of the strong ties between poverty and lack of access to modern energy. For example, in impoverished communities, peoples’ well-being is in grave danger, because of the use of dirty … Continue reading

Waste Management Awareness in Oman: A Pilot Study

The four Rs (reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle) of waste management have not yet entered the everyday discourse of Oman, but does this mean that they are not part of everyday life in Oman? We think the people of Oman can help us to answer this question. To get a first-hand understanding of the degree of waste management awareness in Oman, a pilot study was designed, a questionnaire was prepared, and in a series of interviews with individual Omanis we recorded their responses. Insights into the Survey The questionnaire covered household consumption habits, food waste and other household waste, and awareness of … Continue reading

The Decade of Action: Cities Humanizing SDGs

We are 10 years away from delivering the 2030 sustainable development Agenda. Yet, the pace of progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is slower than sought. In January 2020 and in an attempt to expedite progress, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres inaugurated the ‘Decade of Action’. The Decade is built on three levels of action: global action, local action, and people action. Weeks after, the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the globe and magnified pressure on achieving all SDGs across borders. While human well-being lies at the heart of the sustainable development Agenda, the global extreme poverty rate is projected … Continue reading

Women Entrepreneurship in MENA: An Analysis

Women entrepreneurship is an important unexploited source of economic growth in almost all parts of the world. Unfortunately women in MENA have the lowest rates of Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) at merely 4% of the population. The highest rates, globally, are in sub-Saharan Africa, at 27%. Latin American and Caribbean economies also show high levels (15 percent). In just seven economies (Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico, and Uganda), women had equal or slightly higher levels of entrepreneurship than men. For the rest, women represented a smaller share of the entrepreneur population. Current Situation The recent interest in women entrepreneurship in the Middle … Continue reading

Attitudes towards Waste Management – The Case in Oman

Responses to the Oman waste management questionnaire were interesting, enlightening, and often unexpected. The Omani interviewees gave thoughtful answers and additional insights and opinions that stemmed from their sociocultural backgrounds as well as from their individual experiences. Often, statements and assertions from these respondents were found to be corroborated by evidence from other types of research, such as the study on the composition of refuse found in dumpsites in Muscat, or the feeding habits of camels cited earlier. Food waste On the topic of food waste, respondents generally had a strong belief that such waste was immoral. When asked about … Continue reading

Women and the Environment in Arabia

Women and the environment are closely interlinked, throughout history, different nations glorified women as powerful symbols of nature, and nature has always been given the female characteristics: care, reproduction and life-giving. Nevertheless, women’s involvement in the preservation of the environment has seldom been recognized and documented in the histories of several nations. One of the most significant phenomena in the last decades is recognition of women rights to achieve sustainable development; many international agreements reflected this recognition, including Rio Declaration in 1992, which stresses the point of the centrality of the full women participation to achieve environmental sustainability. The UN … Continue reading

Waste Awareness in Qatar: A Survey

Waste awareness in Qatar has gained traction in recent years, but more efforts are required to make the masses aware about the consequences of reckless waste generation and disposal, and how sustainable living practices and recycling can help in making Qatar a truly sustainable nation. Below is the outcome of an interesting survey on waste awareness which was conducted among Qataris and non-Qataris (expatriates). Plastic is the most common waste generated in a typical household in Qatar. One-third of overall respondents say that of all products, the volume of the plastic waste generated is higher, followed by food waste (19%) … Continue reading