Green SMEs in Middle East: Obstacles and Challenges

Policy interventions for supporting green SMEs in the Middle East are urgently required to overcome major barriers, including knowledge-sharing, raising environmental awareness, enhancing financial support, supporting skill development and skill formation, improving market access and implementing green taxation.

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SMEs and Transition to Low-Carbon Economy

Green SMEs adopt green processes and/or those producing green goods using green production inputs. A judicious exploitation of techno-commercial opportunities and redevelopment of business models, often neglected by established companies, have been the major hallmarks of green SMEs. 

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Policy interventions for supporting green SMEs, especially in developing nations, are urgently required to overcome major barriers, including knowledge-sharing, raising environmental awareness, enhancing financial support, supporting skill development and skill formation, improving market access and implementing green taxation. 

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Questions about COP21 Climate Agreement

The COP21 Paris climate agreement is truly a watershed moment in the world’s fight against climate change. It creates a legally binding framework for progress. Unfortunately, however, the main text of the agreement is long on rhetoric and short on action.

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Tackling climate change will involve a vast, global, transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy, as well as curbing deforestation and emissions from agriculture – with experts warning of the need to reduce emissions to net zero later in the century to stabilize the climate.

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Effects of Environmental Degradation:

The impact of environmental disasters can be devastating on the social, economic, and environmental systems of a country or region as well as the global ecosystem. Environmental disasters do not recognise man-made borders, and threaten the legacy left to future generations of a clean and supportive environment. Because of the interdependency of earth ecosystems international co-operation is paramount to prevent, and when disaster strikes, respond to relieve quickly and effectively the effects of environmental disasters.

PARTHA DAS SHARMA's Weblog on "Keeping World Environment Safer and Greener"

One of the greatest challenges facing humanity is environmental degradation, including deforestation, desertification, pollution, and climate change – an issue of increasing concern for the international community. Environmental degradation increases the vulnerability of the societies it affects and contributes to the scarcity of resources.

Climate change will lead to an increase in the intensity and frequency of weather extremes, such as heat waves, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones. The people hardest hit by climate change and environmental degradation are those living in the most vulnerable areas, including coastal communities, small island nations, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asian delta regions. It is the poorest of the poor, who lack the resources to prepare, adapt and rebuild, that are most affected.

Environmental degradation can lead to a scarcity of resources, such as water and farmable.

Extreme weather events, such as severe flooding, increase the spread of waterborne diseases, such as malaria and diarrhoea.

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Humanizing Architecture – Through the Eyes of Abeer Seikaly

Abeer Seikaly is a young Jordanian architect who has been featured on several global and local media platforms because of her innovation “Weaving a Home” that

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When people are focused on the product, they usually tend to neglect the joy and benefit of the process itself. Focusing on the process boosts self-confidence and self-awareness and yet requires diligence and mindfulness while enjoying experimentation.

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Tackling Water Issues in Refugee Camps

Majority of refugee camps in the world are unable to provide the recommended daily water minimum of 20 liters water per person per day. The biggest reason behind lack of water at refugee camps across the globe is the lack of water infrastructure which makes it very difficult to transport sufficient amounts of water, and provide proper sanitation to all residents of a refugee camp. Poor quality of water in refugee camps has created a “crisis within a crisis” causing outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis. 

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With the refugee situation worsening and no permanent solution to this crisis in sight, the minimum that can be done is to provide an adequate amount and quality of water for these refugees. There must be water quality regulations specific to refugee camps that take into account the different aspects that might affect the quality of water (transport, storage, temperature). 

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Municipal Waste Management in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia produces around 15 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) each year with average daily rate of 1.4 kg per person. The major ingredients of Saudi Arabian garbage are food waste (40-51 %), paper (12-28 %), cardboard (7 %), plastics (5-17 %), glass (3-5 %), wood (2-8 %), textile (2-6 %), metals (2-8 %) etc

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The sustainable integrated solid waste management (SWM) is still at the infancy level. There have been many studies in identifying the waste related environmental issues in KSA. The current SWM activities of KSA require a sustainable and integrated approach with implementation of waste segregation at source, waste recycling, WTE and value-added product (VAP) recovery.

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