Today is World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought celebrations, and the FAO's Graziano da Silva said: "It is quite impossible to avoid a drought from happening, but we can avoid a drought turning into famine or displacement of people."
A Kuwaiti meteorologist warns said the tiny coastal country on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf will witness a significant rise in temperature and relative humidity in the second half of August. Could be a good time to plan that trip to Iceland. Weatherman Issa Ramadan told Annahar Daily that extreme weather conditions would increase airborne dust and exacerbate air pollution across Kuwait. He […]
Seven designers teamed up on a project to transform an ancient Egyptian pyramid into a green skyscraper that works to reverse desertification. Their Bio-Pyramid concept won an honorable mention in the 2015 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, an award that recognizes outstanding ideas that challenge the way architecture relates to both natural and built environments. Could up-cycling the Great […]
Posterity may end up migrating from place to place to find food like our nomadic ancestors did if we don’t get a hold of desertification and climate change. To make that easier for desert dwellers, Stephane Malka and Yachar Bouhaya propose the Green Machine – a massive city on tank treads that fertilizes the Sahara […]
Desertification has gobbled up huge swaths of the Middle East and North Africa, a fact that Jerusalem-based industrial designer Shlomi Mir knows all too well. So he designed Tumbleweed Desert – a rolling robot capable of spending many solitary years in the desert gathering data aimed at slowing encroaching deserts.
The European Space Agency (ESA) publishes satellite photos of Earth (and photos of space taken from Earth) in an incredible archive that’s updated weekly. Each image is paired with a brief explanation about what you’re looking at. Check out this selection – if the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) could take “selfies”, these would […]
We are absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of a new blog that will devote itself to climate change in the Arab world, a looming disaster that has been eclipsed by the rather more dramatic social and political events dominating the region’s discourse.
During the last six years, the words energy security, water security, and food security could be found a lot in the Arab media. Since most of the Arab media is controlled by the Arab regimes, the appearance of these items shows that the environmental awareness of the Arab regimes has been on the rise.
Water scarcity combined with desertification makes for a scary combination in the Middle East, but The Sahara Forest Project (SFP) is pioneering a promising solution: greenhouses that use saltwater to grow food in the middle of the desert.
In Egypt, people often have to line up for hours to fill their cars and trucks with diesel fuel – particularly during summer months when it comes at a premium. Concerned to ease these shortages, as well as pollution and climate change, Egyptian agricultural engineer Wadad Khaireddine is pushing to grow a desert full of […]
Saudi Arabia and climate change do not mix well as this photo indicates As Earth Day 2013 approaches on April 22, issues of water options in arid countries like Saudi Arabia will be high on the agenda. Countries in the Middle East that face increasing water shortages, especially those situated on the Arabian Peninsula, have to […]
When he first began his career as a young biologist, Allan Savory basically ordered the culling of 40,000 elephants. He and other scientists in Zimbabwe observed that former grasslands set aside as national parks were turning to desert and decided, after considerable research, that elephants were responsible. But it didn’t help to kill them. In […]
R2D2 – Tunisia’s landscape and subterranean dwellings have made it ideal for filming our Star Wars movies! When the Star Wars films began they chose Turkey and its fairy chimneys for the futuristic backdrop of the science fiction films. Later films were shot in Tunisia and some fans have even gone so far as to […]
Yemen isn’t as hot as Saudi, but the temperatures this Ramadan have been high enough to make waiting out the long daylight hours without food and drink very, very hard. But that’s not the worst of the country’s troubles. Such spirutally-motivated hunger and thirst would be bearable if families had some nice dates and juice […]
Adherents of Islam consider suicide to be one of the greatest of all spiritual transgressions, so when an Iraqi farmer recently took his own life because he could no longer maintain his crops amid chronic water shortages, it could not have been an easy decision.
Soaring temperatures and low precipitation could not occur at a worse time for many farmers in the United States, and around the world. Intensifying drought conditions are affecting corn and soybean crops throughout the Midwest, raising grain prices as well as concerns about future food prices. The US Drought Monitor reports that 88 percent of […]
Women in rural Morocco are often responsible for the grueling task of trekking miles to collect fuel for cooking, which requires not only energy but also time that might have been used developing or applying other skills. Lacking access to natural gas, these villagers have had no choice but to burn biomass to produce the […]
Dr. Mohamed Kassas was a leading pioneer of Egypt’s environmental movement and a beloved mentor. Dr. Mohamed Kassas was active until the end, says Mindy Baha El Din, Manager of Nature Conservation Egypt. Just yesterday Christians packed the St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo to bid farewell to their patriarch Pope Shenouda III, and today environmentalists throughout the […]
Egypt is losing an estimated 11,736 hectres of agricultural land every year according to UN sources From food contaminated with human waste in Cairo due to water shortages to concerns that the country could be on the brink of famine, Egypt is facing its fair share of food problems. Now, there are reports that desertification […]
Egypt’s fertile lands fed the Pharoahs, but a new report throws into doubt whether it can feed today’s 85 million strong population. It is no secret to Professor Mohamed Kassas that desertification is one of Egypt’s greatest environmental threats. But the United Nations recently removed all doubt on World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought […]
Sandstorms, like any kind of air pollution, know no borders. Last Wednesday a viscous sandstorm in Iran forced schools and government offices to close. The more extreme than usual storm grounded some flights, and sent a number of people to hospital as well. According to the AFP, the Iranian media is blaming countries west of […]
Professor Mohammed Kassas in his office at Cairo University, photographed by Louise Sarant If Hassan Fathy is the Middle East’s father of sustainable architecture, then Mohamed Kassas is the prophet of desertification. The spry ninety year old Egyptian Professor of Botany told Almasry Alyoum that his love of nature sprouted in a fishing village along the […]
What do you know about Iraq’s environmental issues? Well, if you’re anything like me surprisingly little considering its pivotal place in the Middle East I think this post was born at the moment I realised I knew so little about Iraq and it environmental concerns. I get to write a lot on all sorts of […]
How green is your fodder? Turns out, in the UAE, not so green. A new program aims to change that. In order to combat the dual challenge of desertification and regional water shortages, the United Arab Emirates are experimenting with myriad innovations. The latest encourages local farmers to switch to a different variety of fodder. […]
Environmentalists have called for urgent action to save the last 400 argun palm trees, a rare desert palm tree highly valued by the ancient Egyptians In the remote regions of Sudan and Egypt the argun palm tree- a rare desert tree whose fruit was discovered by archaeologists in Pharaoh tombs- grows under a harsh sun. […]