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Turkey Helps Syria Revive "Thoth" – The Northern Bald Ibis

God “Thoth” or the northern bald bis negotiates its way back from extinction in the Middle East [image via isawnyu] Syria is toiling to improve its environmental record. An internet service provider there is educating the public, and they have created a Master Plan for Renewable Energy. However, conservationists are unable to resuscitate the critically endangered […]

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Masdar And The Dicey Science Of Carbon Credits

Are oil and gas companies seeking carbon credits simply opportunists looking to make a profit? [image via oedipusphinx] It  makes some sense that Masdar City, a carbon neutral city being built in Abu Dhabi, should receive carbon credits. But rewarding large oil companies such as Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC even though they continue to emit carbon […]

Givot's Premature Oil Production Near Rosh Ha'Ayin, Israel

Givot Olam Oil Exploration LP push to production without reservoir report or stable production rates. In the face of serious climate change, Israel’s Petroleum Law (1952) encourages haste where oil is concerned. We’ve seen it at Adullam, where IEI plans to rake up the earth for oil shale, and now we’re getting another taste of it […]

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Register Early For the "Smart Grids" Middle East Conference

Smart Grids are redefining the electricity future. Worldwide experts in the field will gather to share their know-how with the Middle East in Dubai this December. [image via GDS digital] When temperatures soar, so does electricity consumption. At the peak of a scorcher day, everyone at home or in their offices hikes up their air-conditioning […]

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Energy Giant BP Signs Gas Deal With Egyptian Government

Is the Mediterranean Sea fated to end up like the Gulf of Mexico? Like a giant herd of marauding elephants pounding through the forest, BP destroys everything in its wake. Despite the international outcry against one of the world’s worst human-induced environmental disasters, the Deepwater Horizon spill that leaked 92 million barrels of oil into […]

Geotectura's Residential Building Set to Sail

Is Geotectura’s Sun Sail just another clever design, or is it redefining Israel’s building policy? Bold and innovative, the Israel-based firm Geotectura produces otherworldly designs with a social conscience that even Bill McKibben might endorse. Their CT-cubes and hovering high-rises rival any science fiction graphic, while the X2S shelter, designed to provide physical and medical refuge […]

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Dust Swept Into Arabian Gulf Delivers Key Nutrients

Although dust could fill up the Gulf in the next 20-40 years, according to scientists, at the moment it feeds the food chain. [image via treehugger] Whether from nearby construction zones puffing up plumes of dust and contaminating homes, or a sweeping sand storm, dust permeates every crevice of Middle Eastern life. But recent research suggests that […]

PetroGulf Misr Denies Responsibility For Red Sea Oil Spill

The Egyptian Government has failed to provide concrete answers regarding the Red Sea oil spill that occurred last month. One month after oil leaked on to Hurghada’s beaches along the Red Sea, popular among tourists for reef diving, the Government-run oil company Petroleum Misr denies responsibility for the spill despite footage that incriminates them. Oil […]

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Nature Iraq's Conservation in A Combat Zone

These soldiers escort conservationists protecting the lapwing bird in active Al Qaeda territory. The Middle East’s conservation warriors are diving to restore coral and boating to protect sharks in the Red Sea. But in the western Iraqi desert, where Al Qaeada operatives are active in a region called the “triangle of death”, Omar Fadhel and […]

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Protection Legislation Endangers Red Sea Sharks

Shark Fin Soup:  a delicacy or a crime? Yemeni fisherman take advantage of Egypt’s protection laws and kill sharks for fins in Red Sea for Japanese soup.[image via jmurawski] With fragile ecosystems overrun by tourism, waste piling high on Cairo’s streets, and an oil spill initially covered up by authorities, the recent dispatch about Yemeni […]

More Whale Fossils in The Egyptian Desert

Wait, what?  Whales in the desert? Fossils of earliest suborder of now extinct whale sheds new light on evolution. Even though human population expansion and over-exploitation of natural resources has accelerated the rate at which climatic change wreaks havoc, nature has always been in flux. Few things drive this concept home more concretely than a […]

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What Tagged Hawksbill Turtles From Qatar Tell Us

When you’re stuck in the middle of a crowded, noisy city like Cairo, where waste piles up on the side of the street, and you can’t manage to peel back what you hope is a mirage of decrepit buildings to reveal the  earth below, let the hawksbill turtle inspire you. Undisturbed by light pollution from […]

Sharing Eco-Friendly Construction Techniques is So’Eco

Social housing can be eco-friendly too, in Syria, Lebanon, and Tunisia [image courtesy of seir+seir] Syria says no to plastic bags, Lebanon is pushing for more sustainable transportation, and Tunisia makes good shakshuka. But what do these three countries have in common? They are all participating in the So’Eco program under the auspices of the […]

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From Cairo to Alexandria – tourists trample the White Desert

Prior to the installation of an asphalt highway connecting the once peaceful region of Bahariya to Cairo, the oasis was mostly hidden from the greater world. Then archaeologists re-discovered the Valley of the Golden Mummies and tourism in Egypt soared, generating valuable income for the local community. However, the influx also comes with a considerable environmental cost.

Israeli Citizen Group "Save Adullam" To Fight Oil Shale Plans

Israel’s Energy Initiatives’ (IEI) oil shale ambitions threaten the environment, and livelihood of Judean hills residents. [image courtesy of Moshe Moreno] By now, with the world’s worst oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico causing irreparable damage, and with numerous cleaner alternatives to choose from, a wiser civilization might leave destructive, polluting energy in the […]

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Dubai Properties Faces $7.3 Million Lawsuit

Who to believe? That Dubai properties hasn’t paid or that Hopkins Architects reneged on their agreement? There are different species of architectural firms operating in the feeding frenzy that is Dubai. Some, such as Foster&Partners, are contributing to the country’s environmental malaise, while others, such as Studied Impact, are trying a bit harder to reduce […]

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GE Ecomagination Centre in Masdar City

Abu Dhabi’s oil wealth funds energy infrastructure transformation with General Electric at the helm. In 2005, a light bulb went off for GE, which pledged to spend $1.5 billion on alternative technology by 2010.  Their Ecomagination department eclipsed that goal in 2009 and has recently committed a further $10billion to the cause. Masdar City in […]

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Studied Impact's Power Plant Fit For Living

Sun, wind and solar updraft, could this skyscraper be the world’s first dual power plant and residential building? It’s not easy to shine in Dubai, where architecture and design have captured all the world’s firsts:  the tallest skyscraper, the largest collection of artificial islands – so large they are said to be seen from space. […]

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Mercer’s Oman Eco-City Ranking Suspect

Can a city relying on oil revenue and desalination really be labeled “eco”? (Image by dislona via flickr) At first, we felt a surge of pride to learn that Muscat, Oman, is the only Middle Eastern city on Mercer’s top 50 eco-city ranking. It ranks 48, just behind Glasgow, but ahead of Frankfurt. We were […]

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Sheikha Mai Saves Bahrain's Architectural Heritage

After her grandfather’s house was demolished, Sheikha Mai committed to preserving Bahrain’s venerable places Image by dunsky via flickr Though most of our architectural news depicts ongoing developments (like in Bahrain), the BBC series giving prominence to “heritage heroes” preserving more venerable developments, marinated in history, has steered our green news reel in a different […]

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BBC Series Celebrates UNESCO "Heritage Heroes"

Finally environmental and cultural preservers, not destroyers, receive recognition [image by Brood_wich via flickr] UNESCO has ordained 890 world heritage sites around the world, one-third of which belong in the Middle East.  While admiring Seville, Spain during a trip roughly two years ago, HRH Sultan Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, from the country that is […]

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Tafline Laylin: From Tour Guide To Green Prophet

Loving wild places gives us the impetus to protect them Before I started writing about green building and eco-tourism in Israel and the Middle East, I was a tour guide in North America.  For three years I taught foreigners about camping, ecology, geography, and history in National Parks throughout the lower 48, Alaska, and Canada.  […]