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Syria Launches Its First ‘Water-Scarcity Park’

A new park in drought-hit Syria showcases water-saving techniques Following five years of drought which has driven nearly half a million people away from drought-hit areas and put the country at risk of increasing desertification, Syria has inaugurated a water scarcity park to highlight the need to conserve dwindling water supplies.

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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 […]

Syria’s Master Plan for Renewable Energy

Wind farms, like this one in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, may soon be common in Syria. About 90 percent of Syria’s electric power comes from thermal power plants fueled by heavy fuel oil and natural gas; and the country is now looking into using forms of renewable energy to provide its increasing need for energy. […]

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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Syria on Track to Becoming Irreversible Desert

Poor management and water intensive crops to blame for what could be an irreversible desert in Syria. “If desertification is not controlled, it threatens the land and our heritage,” Abdulla Tahir Bin Yehia, head of FAO in Syria, said. “The situation is terrible in Syria and has been worsened by the past years of low […]

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Masdar City: A Diversion from the Crucible of Climate Change

Built on the profits of oil, should Masdar hold the mantle of energy leadership for the world? Yosef asks. According to the Masdar City website, the undertaking is intended to be Abu Dhabi’s “multi-faceted response to the challenges facing a sustainable future.” The city, intended to house 50,000 residents in a kind of technosphere designed […]

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Drip Irrigation Gives Hope to Drought Plagued Farmers in Syria

Microfinance loans help Syrian farmers meet their water needs to grow crops like this tasty spread at a market in Damascus. While severe drought in eastern and northeastern Syria is seriously affecting lives and livelihoods, farmers may draw some hope and comfort from an irrigation success story in the central district of Salamieh. An experimental […]

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Environmental Impact of a Syrian Drought

Syria faces a severe drought. A shift in weather patterns, or just a dry season? A severe water shortage in Syria is forcing farmers to look for alternative means of livelihood but the drought’s impact doesn’t end with the crops. Around a quarter of a million Syrian farmers have been forced to abandon their land […]

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In Praise of the Middle East Squat Toilet in Sinai

The eastern squat toilet is the world’s perfect eco-toilet. Come and look inside. Some people think they’re primitive, but I love them. The hole-in-the-floor Middle East squat toilets can be found in Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt –– and likely in other Middle East countries I’ve yet to visit. They’re used in China too. Not […]

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Vegan Pesto Recipe Makes Use of Basil Bonanza

Basil grows like a weed. That’s my conclusion after planting a sprig of it 4 months ago. It’s late summer, early fall now here in Jaffa, Israel, and the basil (or basilicum as locals call it) is ripe for the picking. But how many leaves of basil can you garnish your salad with? Or eat […]

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Father of "Green Revolution" Leaves Behind Big Questions

Plant pathologist Norman Borlaug, 95, died this Saturday, raising questions about the legacy of industrial food in the Third World. In 1970, Borlaug received a Nobel Peace Prize for averting famine through bringing fertilizers, pesticides and new plant strains to countries like India, Mexico and Pakistan. But environmentalists argue that his plant engineering only delayed […]

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Iraq Begs Dry Neighbors For Water

With the regional drought carrying on for its third year, Iraq is in a water bind as its rivers dry up. Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reports that Baghdad has urged Istanbul and Damascus to release water so that residents of southern Iraq don’t flee of thirst. The problem is that they are suffering from water […]