Inter Press ServiceMiddle East & North Africa – Inter Press Service http://www.ipsnews.net News and Views from the Global South Wed, 17 Oct 2018 15:43:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.7 For the Survival of the Nile and its Peoplehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/survival-nile-people/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survival-nile-people http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/survival-nile-people/#respond Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:25:11 +0000 Maged Srour http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158229 Running through eleven countries for 6,853 kilometres, the Nile is a lifeline for nearly half a billion people. But the river itself has been a source of tension and even conflict for countries and territories that lie along it and there have been rumours of “possible war for the Nile” for years now. While to […]

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Natural fertility is actually the Nile's biggest legacy for Egyptians. A fisherman fishes for food on the Nile. Credit: Cam McGrath/IPS.

By Maged Srour
ROME, Oct 17 2018 (IPS)

Running through eleven countries for 6,853 kilometres, the Nile is a lifeline for nearly half a billion people. But the river itself has been a source of tension and even conflict for countries and territories that lie along it and there have been rumours of “possible war for the Nile” for years now. While to date there has been no outbreak of irreversible tension, experts say that because of increasing changes in the climate a shared agreement needs to be reached on the redistribution of water soon.

“Right now I do not think there is a concrete and imminent risk of conflict between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, given the internal difficulties and the unstable nearby area [Libya] of the first, the recent secession suffered by the second and the peace agreement achieved by the third with Eritrea,” Maurizio Simoncelli, vice president of the International Research Institute Archivio Disarmo, a think tank based in Rome, told IPS.

“However, it is certain that if a shared agreement is not reached on the redistribution of water in a situation of increasing climatic changes, those areas remain at great risk,” he said.

No one master of the river Nile

All the cities that run along the river exist only because of these waters. For Egypt, this is particularly true: if the Nile wasn’t there, it would be just another part of the Sahara desert.

Egypt has tried to be master of the river for centuries, seeking to ensure exclusive control over its use. Nevertheless, today upstream countries are challenging this dominance, pushing for a greater share of the waters. Egypt and Sudan still regard two treaties from 1929 and 1959 as technically binding, while African upstream nations – after gaining independence – started to challenge these agreements, signed when they were under colonial rule.

The 1959 treaty allocates 75 percent of the river’s waters to Egypt, leaving the remainder to Sudan. Egypt has always justified this hegemonic position on the basis of geographic motivations and economic development, as it is an arid country that could not survive without the Nile’s waters, while upstream countries receive enough rainfall to develop pluvial agriculture without resorting to irrigation.

“From the Egyptian point of view, it is right [to hold this hegemonic position] because it is true, Cairo has no alternative water resources. Without the Nile, Egypt would die,” Matteo Colombo, associate research fellow in the MENA Programme at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) told IPS.

Egypt – according to Colombo – should therefore aim to open regional forums focusing on cooperation in a broad sense.

Cooperation among countries sharing this watercourse is key. For example, Ethiopia could need more water to produce more electricity, which could in turn diminish the amount of flow towards Cairo. Indeed, Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is currently under construction, will be the biggest dam on the African continent and could diminish the amount of water flowing to Egypt.

Water is not the only gift of this river for Egypt. Each year, rainfall in Ethiopia causes the Nile to flood its banks in Egypt. When the Nile flood recedes, the silt – a sediment rich in nutrients and minerals and carried by the river – remains behind, fertilising the soil and creating arable land. Natural fertility is actually the Nile’s biggest legacy for Egyptians.

“The problem for Egypt is that, from a geographical point of view, it does not hold the knife on the side of the handle,” warns Colombo.

“For this reason, Egypt cannot fail to reach an agreement with neighbouring countries. What Cairo could do is to create a sort of ‘regional forum’, a ‘platform’, where the various disputes with neighbouring countries are discussed and perhaps include other topics in the talks,” Colombo added. “If other themes were included, Egypt could have some more voices than Sudan and Ethiopia, while if the discussion remains relegated to the theme of water, the margin of action for Egypt would be limited.”

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), created in 1999 with the aim to “take care of and jointly use the shared Nile Basin water and related resources”, could be an example of regional multilateralism to resolve disputes but it remains relegated to discussions about water management.

Institutionally, the NBI is not a commission. It is “in transition”, awaiting an agreement on Nile water usage, so it has no legal standing beyond its headquarters agreement with Uganda, where the secretariat is settled.

Due to differences that have not yet been resolved, the NBI has focused on technical, relatively apolitical projects. This ends up weakening the organisation since Egypt sees technical and political tracks as inseparable. Therefore, Cairo suspended its participation in most NBI activities, effectively depleting the organisation’s political weight.

Populations living on the Nile and the impact

If regional agreements on the management of the Nile’s waters seem difficult, what is certain is that local populations’ living along the river have always been impacted by environmental changes.

The Nubian population are among these affected people. The Nubians, an ethnic group originating in southern Egypt and northern Sudan, have lived along the Nile for thousands of years. In 1899, during the construction of the Aswan Low Dam, they were forced to move and relocate to the west bank of the Nile in Aswan. During the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s, over 120,000 Nubians were forced to move for a second time.

Their new home proved far from satisfactory: not a single resettlement village was by the river. And to date, the socio-economic and political conditions of the Nubians have not appeared to have improved.

“I think we are passing through one of the worst moments for us Nubians. Every time we tried to claim some rights in the last few years, the government did not want to listen to us and many of our activists were recently arrested,” Mohamed Azmy, president of the General Nubian Union, a movement that actively promotes the right to return of the Nubian community to their ancestral land, told IPS.

Lorri Pottinger of International Rivers told Al Jazeera that Africa’s large dams have not reversed poverty, or dramatically increased electricity rates, or even improved water supply for people living near them.

“What they have done is help create a small industrial economy that tends to be  companies from Europe and elsewhere. And so these benefits are really, really concentrated in a very small elite,” she had said.

The demographic challenge

The reasons why Egypt faces water scarcity are numerous but the exponential increase in population certainly accelerates the critical situation.

The United Nations estimates that unless the current fertility rate of 3.47 changes by 2030, Egypt’s population is expected to grow from the current 97 million to 128 million. This demographic growth has grave implications as it comes at a time of unprecedented challenges in the climate which in turn has worrisome implications for loss of arable land, rising sea levels and depletion of scarce water resources.

Moreover, the demographic increase is having grave consequences on the entire economic system, as there is insufficient infrastructure and not enough jobs for the increasing young population.

Birth control policies could be and should be part of the solution to overcome these challenges. The government has recently launched a campaign named ‘Kefaya etnen’ (‘Two is enough’), through which it is trying to raise the awareness on controlling birth rates and having no more than two children per family. “I think this is a great initiative from the Egyptian government but it definitely needs to permeate the society, and this will not be easy,” said Colombo.

Egypt needs to curb its population and to turn its youth into an asset for its economy, otherwise the waters of the Nile could be insufficient.

Indeed, the importance of the Nile is felt in the blood of all Egyptians. “Walking along the Nile for me is what makes me relaxed and vent when I need it, in the chaos of the city,” Tarek, a resident of Cairo, tells IPS.

And many Egyptians hope that this gift will be with them forever, because it is not just about survival, but about the essence itself of being part of these lands.

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Abu Dhabi Fund for Development earmarks AED11 billion to support education, healthcare sectorshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/abu-dhabi-fund-development-earmarks-aed11-billion-support-education-healthcare-sectors/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=abu-dhabi-fund-development-earmarks-aed11-billion-support-education-healthcare-sectors http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/abu-dhabi-fund-development-earmarks-aed11-billion-support-education-healthcare-sectors/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 11:04:42 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158227 In a bid to elevate the standard of living in developing countries and eradicate global poverty, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, revealed that it has allocated nearly AED11 billion for development projects in the education and healthcare sectors. In a report marking International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which is observed on […]

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In a bid to elevate the standard of living in developing countries and eradicate global poverty, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, revealed that it has allocated nearly AED11 billion for development projects in the education and healthcare sectors.

By WAM
ABU DHABI, Oct 16 2018 (WAM)

In a bid to elevate the standard of living in developing countries and eradicate global poverty, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, revealed that it has allocated nearly AED11 billion for development projects in the education and healthcare sectors.

In a report marking International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which is observed on 17th October every year, ADFD, the leading national entity for development aid, highlighted its mission to help developing countries achieve sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty.

ADFD provides concessionary financial resources in the form of loans that satisfy concessional conditions in accordance with the requirements of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD. The ADFD also manages Abu Dhabi government grants.

In cooperation with international financial institutions, the ADFD has worked to increase spending on key sectors such as health, food security, transport, housing, education, water, agriculture, and energy in order to reach the goals outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, as well as to achieve social and economic growth in developing countries.

Over the last four-and-a-half decades, ADFD has disbursed AED81 billion in concessionary loans and government grants across 88 countries.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said, “The international community is taking great strides to improve the economic and social situation in many developing countries, which suffer from high rates of poverty and unemployment and the deterioration of health services and education. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is an opportunity to further mobilise international efforts and boost cooperation, ensuring the creation of job opportunities and overall socio-economic well-being.”

Al Suwaidi added, “Over the years, the ADFD has intensified its efforts to finance health care as well as education projects, in particular, to reduce poverty rates and increase the standard of living in beneficiary countries.”

In addition to supporting sustainable development in key socio-economic sectors, the ADFD aims to reduce poverty rates by contributing to the healthcare and education sectors.

Among the strategic healthcare projects funded by ADFD is the 200-bed children’s hospital in King Hussein Medical City in Jordan. The fund earmarked AED73 million for the first two phases of the project.

Fitted out with the latest medical equipment to offer specialised care and treatment, the hospital has contributed to the development of the healthcare sector in Jordan by enhancing the quality of health services available to its citizens. The ADFD also supported the expansion of King Hussein Medical City through the allocation of AED735 million for the construction of a new 940-bed hospital, a state-of-the-art facility that can accommodate more than 1,200 patients daily. The ADFD also funded the Al-Bashir Hospital and the King Hussein Cancer Centre in Jordan.

In Pakistan, the ADFD provided AED94 million to build the Emirates Hospital, an integrated specialty medical centre with 1,000 beds. The facility has the capacity to receive 6,000 patients daily. The hospital is also equipped with laboratories and lecture halls to train military personnel and civilians to perform medical duties.

In the Seychelles, the ADFD funded an AED16.3 million integrated healthcare project that seeks to provide high-quality healthcare and treatment at an affordable cost.

In Turkmenistan, the fund allocated AED 43 million for the development of a series of integrated health projects that aim to improve the quality of healthcare services offered by the government. The project involves the construction of specialty hospitals to treat complicated diseases in a bid to reduce disabilities and mortality rates among the population.

The ADFD also financed the construction of the AED16 million Sheikh Khalifa Hospital in the Comoros and an AED 562 million cardiac centre in Bahrain to reduce the pressure on specialised heart disease treatment facilities in the country.

In line with the Pakistani government’s development goals, the ADFD has played a crucial and supporting role in improving and advancing the country’s education sector. In 2013, the ADFD managed an AED46 million grant earmarked for training colleges. This project led to the construction of three training colleges for individuals living in remote areas, including Warsak College in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and Wana College and Spinkai Cadet College, both of which are located in South Waziristan.

In 2009, ADFD allocated AED 7 million to fund expansion works at the Sheikh Zayed International Academy, SZIA, in Pakistan. In Afghanistan, the ADFD managed an Abu Dhabi government grant worth an estimated AED27 million to develop the Sheikh Zayed University in Khost Province. This grant helped source and enhance specialised faculties at the university, particularly in the fields of medicine, engineering, law, arts, literature, and education sciences, among other diverse disciplines. The project also includes vocational career support initiatives to prepare all students for employment and equip them with knowledge and capabilities to overcome socio-economic challenges.

In Morocco, the fund managed an Abu Dhabi government grant worth AED239 million. The grant helped purchase equipment for the 916-bed Mohammed VI University Hospital in Marrakesh, a specialist medical complex that spans 8.8 hectares.

 

WAM/Hazem Hussein/Tariq alfaham

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WGES 2018 to outline green economy strategic roadmaphttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wges-2018-outline-green-economy-strategic-roadmap/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wges-2018-outline-green-economy-strategic-roadmap http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wges-2018-outline-green-economy-strategic-roadmap/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:32:11 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158191 The Organising Committee of the 5th World Green Economy Summit, WGES, 2018, held a press conference today to announce its readiness to hold the summit, which aims to support the UAE’s efforts to achieve sustainable development and consolidate Dubai’s position as the global green economy capital. Held under the patronage of the Vice President, Prime […]

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The Organising Committee of the 5th World Green Economy Summit, WGES, 2018, held a press conference today to announce its readiness to hold the summit, which aims to support the UAE’s efforts to achieve sustainable development and consolidate Dubai’s position as the global green economy capital.

By WAM
DUBAI, Oct 15 2018 (WAM)

The Organising Committee of the 5th World Green Economy Summit, WGES, 2018, held a press conference today to announce its readiness to hold the summit, which aims to support the UAE’s efforts to achieve sustainable development and consolidate Dubai’s position as the global green economy capital.

Held under the patronage of the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the summit will take place on 24th and 25th October, 2018, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, under the theme, “Driving Innovation, Leading Change.”

The press conference was attended by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, DSCE, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA and Chairman of WGES, and Ahmad Al Muhairbi, Secretary-General of the DSCE, along with other government and private sector officials.

During the press conference, Al Tayer announced that the summit will be attended by prominent leaders, including Francois Hollande, Former President of France; Dr. Al Zeyoudi; Thoriq Ibrahim, Maldives Minister of Environment and Energy; Nezha El Ouafi, Secretary of State to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development of Morocco, and Christiana Figueres, Former Secretary-General of the UNFCCC, as well as leading global experts, thought leaders and executive officials in the areas of the green economy and sustainable development.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi highlighted the summit’s role in maintaining a sustainable environment to support long-term economic growth, in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed while acknowledging the role of the DSCE in enhancing the country’s competitiveness, through initiatives that have made Dubai a global capital of the green economy, in line with Sheikh Mohammed’s vision.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi said that WGES is a strategic platform for exchanging knowledge and innovation, which will help protect natural resources while strengthening Dubai’s competitiveness in global markets, particularly in the renewable energy sector.

Al Zeyoudi also noted that the summit has promoted collaborations between the public and private sectors and encouraged the participation of millennials and the youth while adding that the launch of the Climate Innovations Exchange, CLIX, is an example of its efforts to connect young entrepreneurs and investors, to help create sustainable climate change solutions.

CLIX aims to support and provide funding for the climate change solutions and technologies of young entrepreneurs, including by investing millions of dollars in the most innovative young green entrepreneurs, Al Zeyoudi further added.

Al Zeyoudi expressed his confidence that the summit’s fifth edition will further promote international partnerships, encourage investment in green projects, and introduce effective policies to foster the growth of the green economy.

WAM/ /Nour Salman

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Fifty nine government, private entities showcase services at Smart Dubai pavilion at GITEX Technologyhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/fifty-nine-government-private-entities-showcase-services-smart-dubai-pavilion-gitex-technology/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fifty-nine-government-private-entities-showcase-services-smart-dubai-pavilion-gitex-technology http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/fifty-nine-government-private-entities-showcase-services-smart-dubai-pavilion-gitex-technology/#respond Sun, 14 Oct 2018 10:48:47 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158177 Smart Dubai’s pavilion at the GITEX Technology Week 2018 – held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from October 14-18 – is set to host 59 Government entities and private companies in Dubai, exhibiting their latest smart services to the public. Dr Aisha Bint Bishr, Smart Dubai Office Director General, said: “Since its inception, Smart […]

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Smart Dubai’s pavilion at the GITEX Technology Week 2018 – held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from October 14-18 – is set to host 59 Government entities and private companies in Dubai, exhibiting their latest smart services to the public.

By WAM
DUBAI, Oct 14 2018 (WAM)

Smart Dubai’s pavilion at the GITEX Technology Week 2018 – held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from October 14-18 – is set to host 59 Government entities and private companies in Dubai, exhibiting their latest smart services to the public.

Dr Aisha Bint Bishr, Smart Dubai Office Director General, said: “Since its inception, Smart Dubai has been on a mission to implement the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a full-fledged smart city and make it one of the happiest in the world. H.H. has also called on all stakeholders across the public and private sectors to work together and strive towards that ambitious objective. We at Smart Dubai have forged numerous partnerships as we progress towards our goals, and are delighted that these partners – be they Government entities, private organisations, or start-ups – are joining us here today to showcase their advanced smart services created for the people and the community.”

“GITEX Technology Week has firmly cemented its status as a leading technology platform, shedding light on ground-breaking developments, and bringing together international smart-city experts and influential decision makers with members of the community,” Dr Aisha added.

The exhibitors this year include Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF), which is showcasing its new and improved website and mobile app, while the Community Development Authority (CDA) is exhibiting its Dubai Volunteer Platform, and the Department of Economic Development (DED) is showcasing two services: the DED Blockchain Business Ledger and the Business in Dubai Application, which allows business users in the emirate to conduct all license-related transactions with DED from their smartphones.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is displaying its Billing and Consumption Services, while the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) is exhibiting the DFM Smart Service App, the Blockchain-powered eVoting service, EIDA, a Chatbot service, and the Digital Signature service. Meanwhile, the Dubai Government Department of Civil Defence is showcasing the Company Safety Certificate service and the AI-enabled Auto CallDesk. The Dubai Government Human Resources Department is introducing a new HR Law, while the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is showcasing the DXH Smart App (the gateway to access expert healthcare professionals, premium hospitals and clinics in Dubai), Hasana (an innovative programme to manage and contain the spread of communicable diseases), and Smart Mazad.

Other exhibiting entities include, the Dubai Judicial Institute is showcasing the DJI Mobile app and Emirates Law Magazine, while the Dubai Land Department is showcasing the Smart Wallet, Trakheesi System, Mollak System, and the Dubai Brokers Application. Dubai Media Incorporated is displaying the Mohamed bin Rashid Holy Quran Printing Centre Online Portal, whereas the Dubai Municipality is exhibiting its Earth+ service, as well as Maskani, Makani, Dubai Hydrographic Survey, and the Smart Inspection Service.

The Dubai Statistics Centre is showcasing a Permits Service, the drone-powered Aerial Statistician, the DSC Smart Application, and the GeoStat service, which integrates Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and statistical information. .

The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority is showcasing a range of smart services covering Smart Economy, such as the Smart City Accelerator (accelerating 40 ventures in 3 years at the cost of AED18 million) and Intelak (a crowdsourcing platform to enhance travel experiences), as well as Smart Environment (Smart Irrigation System, Smart Waste Management System, and a Solar-Powered Smart Masjid), Smart Living, Smart Mobility (EV Charging Stations, Electric and Self-Driving Cars), and Smart People.

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) is presenting its Inspection Management System and the Dubai Sustainability Tourism service, while Dubai Airports joins the exhibition with its Community App, the Real Time DXB service (an integrated solution that improves the visibility and predictability of events and supports efficient decision making) and SPLUNK (which provides a centralised view of airport information, increasing the efficiency of available information and optimising the utilisation of resources).

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is showcasing the Dubai Chamber App and ATA (an international customs document that permits duty-free and tax-free temporary importation of goods for up to one year). Meanwhile, the Dubai Culture & Art Authority is presenting its own Dubai Culture Application, the Creatopia Website, the Dubai Public Libraries app, and the website and application for the Etihad Museum. Leading ICT company Dutech is presenting Maktebi (a “single window” smart solution that brings organisations, employees and business partners together), NAU (previously “Dhowber”, a smart booking marine cargo marketplace targeting the dhow trade that occurs at the Dubai Creek), and DRaaS (Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service for IT systems).

The Government of Dubai’s Legal Affairs Department (LAD) is introducing participants to its Voluntary Legal Services Smart Portal, which makes it easier and more organised for registered advocacy and legal consultancy firms to provide pro-bono legal services to the public, in addition to the New LAD website design with easier access to services. Meanwhile, the Dubai Maritime City Authority is showcasing Smart DMCA, an application providing mobile access to services like Marine Craft License and Marine Craft Driving License, as well as DMVC, an informative, interactive and unifying platform for the maritime sector in Dubai.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) is exhibiting its new AI-driven website, while Dubai Customs is showcasing its Digital Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Platform, and its Risk Engine, which is a profile management and risk assessment engine for various transaction types. The Dubai Department of Finance is presenting the Smart Financial Planning Project and the DOF Processes and Services Automation Project.

The Smart Dubai Pavilion at GITEX Technology Week 2018 also hosts the Dubai Sports Council, presenting its Dubai Cycling Mobile Application, and spend management solutions provider Tejari FZ LLC, which is exhibiting its Tejari App for facilitating eSupply. Meanwhile, Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation Trakhees is showcasing the Trakhees Opportunity Phase II – an initiative to provide a responsive statistical dashboard for customers to make effective and sensible business decisions – as well as an AI-powered Chat Bot, an Accreditation Business Wallet Card (an E-card to replace the hard card), and Trakhees Smart Inspection, which allows inspectors to do their job using a tablet device, providing notifications to revisit a facility if needed and reducing paperwork and chances of human error.

The exhibitors also include start-ups AID Tech, Watopedia, Pulses, Fliptin Technologies, Doscswallet, and Ensosoft. Smart Dubai’s pavilion at GITEX Technology Week 2018 is sponsored by DarkMatter (Diamond sponsor); Emirates Auction (Platinum); IBM, Dell EMC, and du (Gold); and Network International, Huawei, and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) – Dubai (Silver).

WAM/Tariq alfaham

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WETEX 2018 documents UAE’s drive towards green energy reliancehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wetex-2018-documents-uaes-drive-towards-green-energy-reliance/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wetex-2018-documents-uaes-drive-towards-green-energy-reliance http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wetex-2018-documents-uaes-drive-towards-green-energy-reliance/#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2018 09:04:58 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158123 The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, is keen to promote all forms of green energy as a clean alternative to conventional energy derived from environmentally friendly fossil fuels, in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and with DEWA’s vision to be a sustainable, innovative, world-class utility. […]

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DEWA is organising the 20th Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition, WETEX 2018, from 23rd to 25th October, 2018, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre - The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, is keen to promote all forms of green energy as a clean alternative to conventional energy derived from environmentally friendly fossil fuels, in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and with DEWA’s vision to be a sustainable, innovative, world-class utility.

By WAM
DUBAI, Oct 11 2018 (WAM)

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, is keen to promote all forms of green energy as a clean alternative to conventional energy derived from environmentally friendly fossil fuels, in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and with DEWA’s vision to be a sustainable, innovative, world-class utility.

DEWA believes that renewables such as solar, wind and water power are keys to achieving sustainable economic, social and environmental development, as they help to avoid several negative consequences resulting from irrational human behaviour.

In this context, DEWA is organising the 20th Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition, WETEX 2018, from 23rd to 25th October, 2018, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

It will also focus on its beneficial impact on maintaining health, improving living standards and reducing poverty, securing new jobs, and on protecting the environment through the conservation of natural resources, as well as on reducing the causes of climate change, the number and severity of natural disasters resulting from global warming, and the toxic effect of acid rain and the accumulation of harmful waste. Environmental citizenship will also protect endangered species, fish, and water from pollution, contributing to food security, and increasing the productivity of agricultural crops as a result of the elimination of chemical and gas contaminants.

WETEX 2018 is in line with the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership to accommodate global trends that are shifting towards green energy, reinforcing the transformation towards a green economy. According to the annual report of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, for 2018, the increase in the proportion of direct and indirect jobs in the renewable energy sector worldwide is 5.3 percent in 2017 compared to 1.1 percent in 2016. In addition, the number of employees in the field of renewable energy, including in the hydropower sector, reached 10.3 million for the first time in 2017, compared with 9.8 million in the previous year.

With the 22.3 percent global solar capacity increase to 94 gigawatts, GW, in 2017 compared to 73 GW in 2016, the solar photovoltaic, PV, sector accounted for the strongest expansion in renewable energy jobs in 2017, with a total of about 3.4 million jobs, a nine percent increase compared to 2016, followed by biofuel at about two million jobs, wind energy at around 1.1 million jobs, and the solar heating/cooling sector at more than 800,000 jobs. The report predicts that the number of jobs in the renewable energy sector will increase from 10.3 million in 2017 to 23.6 million by 2030 and to 28.8 million by 2050, while the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix is expected to double.

“In line with our pivotal role of advancing sustainability and sustainable development in Dubai and the UAE, and in accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, we are working towards strengthening national efforts in the field of green energy. This is accomplished by organising WETEX 2018 on an estimated area over 78,000 square metres at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with the participation of about 2,100 exhibitors from 53 countries, under the theme “At the forefront of sustainability”. Green energy solutions and techniques will attract the attention of exhibitors and visitors during the exhibition, thus confirming Dubai’s leading role in highlighting the importance of green energy around the world,”said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

”WETEX 2018, the largest edition since its inception 20 years ago, will be held under the umbrella of the Green Week, in conjunction with the third Dubai Solar Show, and the fifth World Green Economy Summit (WGES). It will feature leading international experts and speakers in the green economy, smart, innovation, and sustainable development fields,” Al Tayer added.

Al Tayer stressed that the third Dubai Solar Show, the region’s largest solar energy exhibition, held in conjunction with WETEX 2018, covers over an area of 14,000 square metres and follows the success of the previous edition. The Solar Show confirms the UAE’s leadership on the reliance of clean energy, green economy, and green energy, as well as on the adoption of sustainability concepts in the environmental, social, and economic aspects across the region.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Tariq alfaham

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Experts highlight urgent need to plan for net zero cities at 7th Annual EmiratesGBC Congresshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/experts-highlight-urgent-need-plan-net-zero-cities-7th-annual-emiratesgbc-congress/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=experts-highlight-urgent-need-plan-net-zero-cities-7th-annual-emiratesgbc-congress http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/experts-highlight-urgent-need-plan-net-zero-cities-7th-annual-emiratesgbc-congress/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 11:18:16 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158113 Regional and international experts on sustainable built environments came together at the 7th Annual Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) Congress to discuss best practices and immediate strategies to transition to net zero cities within the coming decade to curb the damaging effects of carbon emissions. Organised by EmiratesGBC, an independent forum aimed at conserving the […]

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By WAM
DUBAI, Oct 10 2018 (WAM)

Regional and international experts on sustainable built environments came together at the 7th Annual Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) Congress to discuss best practices and immediate strategies to transition to net zero cities within the coming decade to curb the damaging effects of carbon emissions.

Organised by EmiratesGBC, an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, the Congress was held under the theme ‘Targeting Zero: A Vision for Future Cities’. The Congress hosted several regional and international experts who agreed that the world is currently at a point of no return, and that all stakeholders, including the public, have to take bold, immediate steps to avoid the disastrous effects of climate change.

"The Congress this year is by far the most important one to date as we face the unprecedented challenge of securing a prosperous future for upcoming generations. We have a small window of opportunity over the next 12 years, to make a significant change and confidently look to our children and future generations and tell them that we did our best and overcame this challenge"
Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC

The Congress commenced with welcome addresses by Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, Ahmed Muhairbi, Secretary-General, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; and Hussain Hassan Khansaheb, Director of Partnerships & Special Projects, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

The opening session concluded with a video message by Terri Wills, CEO, World Green Building Council, urging industry stakeholders to formally endorse and sign the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, which is a significant step aimed at generating the next wave of high momentum to cut down global greenhouse gas emissions.

During his welcome note Al Abbar, referenced the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which states that “the planet could pass the 1.5 deg C threshold as early as 2030, which would result in severe consequences to the plant,” if there are no concrete efforts made to tackle the current state of carbon emissions worldwide.

Al Abbar said, “The Congress this year is by far the most important one to date as we face the unprecedented challenge of securing a prosperous future for upcoming generations. We have a small window of opportunity over the next 12 years, to make a significant change and confidently look to our children and future generations and tell them that we did our best and overcame this challenge. Change is achievable if we start today. We have come a long way in the past 10 years to get to the level of awareness and commitment we have today on sustainability. I believe that with the ingenuity of human spirit, the great minds we have in our industry and the leadership of the government sector that we can rise to the challenge and deliver on our global net zero emissions targets.”

The 2018 Congress’ discussions focused on three sub-themes that were closely related to honouring and promoting the values associated with the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the UAE marks the Year of Zayed this year to commemorate his 100th birth anniversary. These are: Inspired Cities reflecting the Wisdom of Sheikh Zayed; Collaborative Cities focusing on the value of Respect; and Holistic Cities mirroring the value of Sustainability which caters to the needs of future generations.

The speakers at the Congress presented and discussed strategies for promoting sustainable built environments for the cities of the future within the objectives of the Paris COP21 Climate Agreement. Through compelling presentations and case studies the Congress further highlighted the urgency to influence sustainable practices in the UAE’s built environment and to help identify key industry challenges and solutions as well as catalyse innovation in green building practices to create new models that support the country’s efforts to be more sustainable in accordance with Vision 2021.

According to the IPCC report, governments around the world must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to stem climate change. The Congress mirrored this message and concluded with a general agreement that actionable measures must be taken that go beyond the conversation to influence fundamental change. There was also a consensus that in addition to governments and the private sector, the public must play a more significant role for this change to take effect.

Following the Congress, EmiratesGBC aims to further develop the conversation and encourage the increased participation of the industry through its recently established Net Zero Centre of Excellence. The Centre is a think tank and accelerator, which provides an important platform for the government, academia and the private sector to learn and share knowledge on how to advance net zero carbon buildings and push toward net zero carbon cities within the next decade.

The Congress was held for the second consecutive year under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment, mandated to promote advancements toward a green economy in the UAE. The event also received support from industry stakeholders with Majid Al Futtaim as Venue Sponsor. The Supporting Associations were: Clean Energy Business Council, Emirates Environmental Group, Emirates Nature-WWF, Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA), Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Energy Institute.

The 7th Annual EmiratesGBC Congress was a carbon-neutral event. All the emissions from power consumption, heat energy and refrigeration, among others, will be offset towards DEWA’s Clean Development Mechanism Project: Chiller Station L in partnership with FARNEK.

WAM/Rasha Abubaker/Esraa Ismail

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Dubai Cares kicks off three-year ‘School Enterprise Challenge’ programme in Nicaraguahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/dubai-cares-kicks-off-three-year-school-enterprise-challenge-programme-nicaragua/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dubai-cares-kicks-off-three-year-school-enterprise-challenge-programme-nicaragua http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/dubai-cares-kicks-off-three-year-school-enterprise-challenge-programme-nicaragua/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 11:59:54 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158096 Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, kicked off a three-year programme in Nicaragua, in partnership with Teach a Man to Fish, a non-profit organisation supporting schools across Africa, Asia and Latin America to establish student-led enterprises that are both educational and profit-making. The AED 1,936,386 (USD 534,473) School Enterprise Challenge […]

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Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, kicked off a three-year programme in Nicaragua, in partnership with Teach a Man to Fish, a non-profit organisation supporting schools across Africa, Asia and Latin America to establish student-led enterprises that are both educational and profit-making.

By WAM
DUBAI, Oct 9 2018 (WAM)

Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, kicked off a three-year programme in Nicaragua, in partnership with Teach a Man to Fish, a non-profit organisation supporting schools across Africa, Asia and Latin America to establish student-led enterprises that are both educational and profit-making.

The AED 1,936,386 (USD 534,473) School Enterprise Challenge programme which targets the Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACC), the most disadvantaged region in Nicaragua, is set to help 6,300 students across 165 schools gain skills, knowledge, and mindset for decent employment.

In addition, the programme provides schools’ teaching and administration staff with the necessary skills and tools for planning and managing a school business. The programme is also supporting the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education (MINED) and a number of NGOs to help gender-balanced school teams in planning and setting up profitable school enterprises. Moreover, the programme aims to develop an efficient Management Information System (MIS) to support participating NGOs in their management of schools participating in the School Enterprise Challenge.

Since its establishment, Teach A Man To Fish has assisted over 300,000 young people gain business, entrepreneurship, and other life skill through participating in planning and managing school businesses. In 2011, the organisation launched the School Enterprise Challenge to enable any school to replicate their school business model through step-by-step guidance and support. This programme works by developing profit-making businesses in schools which are run by students with the help of mentors. Over the course of a few years and with the scale-up of these businesses, the programmes will become self-sufficient and generate profits for schools ensuring their financial stability and encouraging economic growth in the surrounding communities.

“Nicaragua has a large youth population and although the nation has made important progress in increasing access to primary and secondary education, the completion rates remain alarmingly low, as many parents in the country prefer their children to work and contribute to the household income. Through the School Enterprise Challenge programme, Dubai Cares highlights the urgent need for experiential and vocational training in entrepreneurship and business among Nicaraguan youth, as well as the importance of focusing on gender equality in employment. By empowering young boys, girls, and teachers with the skills required for meaningful employment, the School Enterprise Challenge programme addresses three of the Sustainable Development Goals including No Poverty, Quality Education, and Decent Work and Economic Growth, hence reiterating our commitment to impactful and sustainable solutions in education. The children and youth participating in this programme will gain invaluable life skills that will enable them to better support themselves and their families,” said Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares.

Nik Kafka, CEO and Founder of Teach A Man To Fish, said, “Teach A Man To Fish is enormously proud to be partnering with Dubai Cares to transform education for over 6,000 young people in 165 schools in Nicaragua. Our partnership in School Enterprise Challenge Nicaragua is driven by the aim to prepare young people better for success in school, in work and in life”.

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Americas and ranks 124 out of 188 countries in the United Nation Development programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index. More than 45% of Nicaragua’s 6.2 million people live in multi-dimensional poverty, while just over 20% of the population exist below the national poverty line despite working. The majority of poor Nicaraguans lives in rural areas and are employed in agriculture, the country’s main industry. Youth unemployment has been estimated at 12% in the Central American nation, with young people working in precarious low-wage positions in informal sectors. According to the UNDP, about 40% of the adolescents and young adults are either unemployed or working in informal sectors, with female youth accounting for a higher proportion of the unemployed youth population (69%).

WAM/Rasha Abubaker

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WGEO, GGGI launch joint initiative for the funding of smart green citieshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wgeo-gggi-launch-joint-initiative-funding-smart-green-cities/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wgeo-gggi-launch-joint-initiative-funding-smart-green-cities http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wgeo-gggi-launch-joint-initiative-funding-smart-green-cities/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 10:27:22 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158067 The World Green Economy Organization, WGEO, and the Global Green Growth Institute, GGGI, signed a partnership agreement today in Dubai to fast-track green investments into bankable smart city projects. The joint initiative makes it possible for smart green cities and sustainable infrastructure projects to gain access to grants and investments through the WGEO Trust Fund. […]

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The World Green Economy Organization, WGEO, and the Global Green Growth Institute, GGGI, signed a partnership agreement today in Dubai to fast-track green investments into bankable smart city projects.

By WAM
DUBAI, Oct 8 2018 (WAM)

The World Green Economy Organization, WGEO, and the Global Green Growth Institute, GGGI, signed a partnership agreement today in Dubai to fast-track green investments into bankable smart city projects.

The joint initiative makes it possible for smart green cities and sustainable infrastructure projects to gain access to grants and investments through the WGEO Trust Fund. Sixty bankable smart green city projects worth a total of US$1.1 billion are being delivered by GGGI to this initiative over the next three years. Each project benefits from the explicit support of host government, and as such present a competitive advantage to interested investors.

Committed to supporting a transition to a green economy, the joint project between WGEO and GGGI will serve as a platform to identify, develop and fund long-term, high-impact bankable projects. Recognising that people are at the centre of sustainable development, the partnership between WGEO and GGGI aims to contribute to securing a world that is equitable and inclusive. Sustainable economic development means that the green economy must include the reduction of inequalities and bring multiple social, economic and environmental benefits to all citizens.

“Smart green cities and sustainable infrastructure projects create unprecedented opportunities for long-term prosperity, leading to more vibrant and attractive markets, healthy economies, poverty reduction, and sustainable development,” says Saeed Mohamed Al Tayer, Chairman, World Green Economy Organization.

“The World Green Economy Organization is uniquely placed to provide systematic and holistic catalytic support to the promotion of the green economy, meaning that it will handle all aspects of the promotion of the green economy. Access to green finance through the WGEO Trust Fund is one among a number of practical value propositions offered by the organisation,” he added.

Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of GGGI said, “I see a tremendous opportunity in our collaboration from jointly setting up the process of managing the Project Preparation phase and developing green city bankable projects. I am confident that our projects will attract the GGGI Member countries as well as WGEO investors to want to invest.”

GGGI is championing green growth and climate resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement commitments. It is a trusted advisor to governments in more than 30 countries transitioning to green economic growth. GGGI results support six outcomes critical to achieving SDGs and NDCs, greenhouse gas emission reduction; creation of green jobs; increased access to sustainable services; improved air quality; adequate access to ecosystem services, and enhanced climate adaptation.

WGEO emerged in response to the call by the international community, as reflected in the outcome document of the Rio+20 conference, entitled “The Future We Want”, where governments, the private sector, and all other stakeholders are called to support countries interested in the transition to a green economy.

WGEO seeks to promote the mainstreaming of the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, by linking financing, technology, capacity building and all other elements of the enabling environment for the green economy.

WGEO facilitates the implementation of various green investment projects, including renewable energy, a specialised green industrial zone development, waste management, waste to energy, e-mobility, green transportation and smart water solutions.

 

WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hassan Bashir

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UAE adopts comprehensive approach in supporting refugees: UAE Permanent Representative in Genevahttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/uae-adopts-comprehensive-approach-supporting-refugees-uae-permanent-representative-geneva/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uae-adopts-comprehensive-approach-supporting-refugees-uae-permanent-representative-geneva http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/uae-adopts-comprehensive-approach-supporting-refugees-uae-permanent-representative-geneva/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 13:00:22 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158035 The UAE pursues a comprehensive approach in supporting world refugees with special emphasis on women and other members of vulnerable groups, said Obaid Salim Al Zaabi, the UAE Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva. The ambassador made the statements while addressing the 69th Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, convening […]

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The UAE pursues a comprehensive approach in supporting world refugees with special emphasis on women and other members of vulnerable groups, said Obaid Salim Al Zaabi, the UAE Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.

By WAM
GENEVA, Oct 6 2018 (WAM)

The UAE pursues a comprehensive approach in supporting world refugees with special emphasis on women and other members of vulnerable groups, said Obaid Salim Al Zaabi, the UAE Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.

The ambassador made the statements while addressing the 69th Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, convening in Geneva, where he presented an overview of the UAE policy in providing aid to refugees across the world.

He reaffirmed the UAE support for the UN in its efforts to bridge the gap between human development requirements and available resources for refugees, noting that the country regards the work of the Commission as a stepping stone for establishing a long-term development effort for improving refugees’ lives.

The ambassador reiterated the importance the UAE attaches for laying down a firm framework for world countries collaborating in sharing duties and responsibilities toward the refugees’ crisis around the world, reaffirming that the UAE, while receiving a large number of foreigners from different parts of the world, realises the added value provided by those coming in to seek job and security away from their countries.

“The UAE has received more than 130,000 Syrian refugees since the onset of the conflict in Syria and last year the country received more than 15,000 Syrians as part of the New York Declaration,” he said, noting that the UAE has renewed for one year the residence permits of those coming from crisis-ridden countries in case of their inability to return home.

The UAE also provided direct support to UNHCR, including assistance to Syrian refugees and others in Jordan, Iraq, Greece, Rohingya in Bangladesh, refugees of South Sudan in Uganda, not to mention the Palestinians who are supported by the UNRWA.

Using renewing energy resources is one of the best means to address energy shortage-related problems across refugee camps, he remarked.

In his speech, Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, commended the UAE policy in linking humanitarian work to development in crisis-stricken countries and its comprehensive approach in addressing refugees’ problems, with special emphasis on women.

He extended thanks to the UAE for its humanitarian support for all refugees, specially the Syrians and its pledge to receive 15,000 refugees as well its assistance for UNRWA.

WAM/Hatem Mohamed/Tariq alfaham

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Investing in Arab and Asian Youth For a Sustainable Futurehttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/investing-arab-asian-youth-sustainable-future/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=investing-arab-asian-youth-sustainable-future http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/investing-arab-asian-youth-sustainable-future/#respond Fri, 05 Oct 2018 11:08:16 +0000 Aniqa Haider http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158002 As the youth population has increased to unprecedented levels in Arab and Asian regions, governments need to do more to invest in them. “We are proposing concrete ideas on the effective use of the natural environment in the Arab region to contribute food security and youth employment,” said Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) board […]

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Governments, particularly those in Arab and Asian regions need to leverage youth population for sustainable development instead of making them an element of social instability. Credit: Victoria Hazou/IPS.

By Aniqa Haider
MANAMA, Oct 5 2018 (IPS)

As the youth population has increased to unprecedented levels in Arab and Asian regions, governments need to do more to invest in them.

“We are proposing concrete ideas on the effective use of the natural environment in the Arab region to contribute food security and youth employment,” said Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) board of directors’ head and Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) vice chair Teruhiko Mashiko.

According to Youth Policy, a global think thank focusing on youth, more than 28 percent of the population – some 108 million people – in the Middle East are youth, between the ages of 15 and 29.

“This is the largest number of young people to transition to adulthood in the region’s history,” the organisation states. In Asia the number is almost 10 times greater with over one billion youth.

Mashiko was speaking during a key regional parliamentary forum called “Asian and Arab Parliamentarians Meeting on Population and Development – Investing in Youth: Towards Regional Development and Achievement of the SDGs” held in Manama, Bahrian this week.

Growing population, food security, unemployment and investing in youth for sustainable future were the main topics discussed during the meeting.

It was hosted by Bahrain under the patronage of Shura Council chair Ali Saleh Ali, and organised by the APDA and the Forum of Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAPPD) and brought together Asian and Arab parliamentarians along with experts and government officials.

Mashiko said governments needed to leverage youth population for sustainable development instead of making them an element of social instability.

“While these ideas may not seem to be directly linked to the issues of population, expanded youth employment and education programmes in the workplace can promote their acceptance of population programmes, [and have] various other implications for bringing about improvements in the existing situation.”

He further said that many regional parliamentarians forums on population and development are unable to sufficiently fulfil their roles. He said 40 years after activities on population and development started, it was becoming difficult to share the underlying principles of these activities.

“We are communicating with the people and governments about the concept of development from an international viewpoint,” he said.

Jordan member of parliament (MP) Marwan Al-Hmoud told IPS that he has a strong belief and faith in the importance of the role played by the youth.

“We need to focus on educating youth and emphasise on reinforcing values necessary to combat attacks against the Arab region,” he explained.

The annual Arab Youth Survey shows that defeating terrorism, well-paying jobs and education reform were among the top properties of Arab youth. “Overall defeating terrorism is cited as
a top priority more frequently than any other issue, with a third (34 percent) of young Arabs selecting it as a top priority to steer the region in the right direction.”

Al-Hmoud added: “Our youth are taking a step back from the Arab reality and [are] influenced by globalisation and foreign cultures, resulting in a lot of our youth to [having] no identity.”

Indian MP Nadimul Haque told IPS that the youth are the energy of the nation.

“Finding solutions in the field of population and development which impacts all areas concerned with humans is important,” he added.

“It needs to be uniform and sustained otherwise the whole idea of SDGs will fall flat,” he said. He was referring to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a collection of global goals to end poverty, mitigate climate change and protect the planet and to ensure equity and peace, among others.

According to the U.N. the world’s population as currently 7.6 billion as of 2017 and is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100 with “the upward trend in population size expected to continue, even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline.”

Haque said this might lead to a multitude of problems, such as lack of access to resources, knowledge and health services.

“It can lead to resource depletion, inequality, unsustainable cities and communities, irresponsible consumption and production, climate change, conflicts, [and can] gradually lead to an erosion of the quality of life on land.”

Haque highlighted success stories from his home city of Kolkata.

“We have successfully installed rooftop solar power in individual dwellings/buildings,” he explained. “For waste management, we have set up compactor units and we are proud that India is self-reliant in producing its own food grains.”

A list of recommendations to achieve the SDGs was issued, which identified combating health issues, especially communicable diseases and expanding primary health care as an important step.

Recommendations included, among others:

  • universal access to reproduce health services;
  • further improvement in primary education;
  • comprehensive sex education;
  • eradicating gender-based violence;
  • and increasing employment opportunities for youth.

Bahraini MP Juma Al Kaabi said that his country’s legislative authority supported young people and mobilised their energies and strengths.

Al Kaabi further added that the government has made many sporting, cultural, humanitarian and scientific initiatives aimed at raising and developing Bahraini youth who are self-aware and capable of belonging to their homeland and participating in real and effective development and growth.

Al Kaabi said the Tamkeen Foundation has been established by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to support young jobseekers through a variety of training programmes that would equip them in being skilled for the job market and to also help financial guidance and support.

“The King Hamad Award was launched to empower the world’s youth, which is the first of its kind at the global level to create the conditions for young people to participate in the development of creative and professional ideas that have reached the United Nations goals for sustainable development,” he told the IPS

While MP Amira Aser from Sudan told IPS: “Agriculture was one of the key sources of livelihood in the state and youth involvement would further boost agriculture activities.”

In some regions of Sudan, farming is largely characterised by rain-fed production, low fertiliser use, poor quality seeds, inadequate water management and low soil fertility.

The region has experienced some of the lowest per hectare crop yields in the world.

Japanese Ambassador to Bahrain, Hideki Iko, summed it up: “Investing in youth for their education, employment and welfare are important as they are an investment for a better future for all countries.”

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UAE extends AED3 billion economic aid package to support Jordanian economyhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/uae-extends-aed3-billion-economic-aid-package-support-jordanian-economy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uae-extends-aed3-billion-economic-aid-package-support-jordanian-economy http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/uae-extends-aed3-billion-economic-aid-package-support-jordanian-economy/#respond Thu, 04 Oct 2018 11:43:49 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=158009 The UAE today signed an agreement with the Jordanian government to extend an economic aid package worth AED3 billion (US$833 million) to stimulate and support economic growth in Jordan. The allocation will be managed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD. The AED3 billion economic aid package from the UAE falls within the framework of […]

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The UAE today signed an agreement with the Jordanian government to extend an economic aid package worth AED3 billion (US$833 million) to stimulate and support economic growth in Jordan. The allocation will be managed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD.

By WAM
ABU DHABI, Oct 4 2018 (WAM)

The UAE today signed an agreement with the Jordanian government to extend an economic aid package worth AED3 billion (US$833 million) to stimulate and support economic growth in Jordan. The allocation will be managed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD.

The AED3 billion economic aid package from the UAE falls within the framework of the Makkah Summit held in June 2018, where the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait agreed to support Jordan with a cash injection of US$2.5 billion to ensure that its economic development efforts are on track.

The bilateral agreement was signed by Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs, and Dr. Mary Kamel Kawar, Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, in the presence of Dr. Omar Razzaz, Prime Minister of Jordan, Matar Saif Sulaiman Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Jordan, Adel Al Hosani, Director of Operations Department at ADFD, as well as senior officials from both countries.

The economic assistance package provided by the UAE is to be distributed as follows: A deposit of US$333.3 million in the Central Bank of Jordan to support the bank’s fiscal and monetary policy and achieve economic stability in the country; US$250 million to support the Jordanian government budget, dispensed over five years (yearly increments of US$50 million); A US$50 million development loan to finance development projects in Jordan, and US$200 million in guarantees to the World Bank to benefit the Jordanian government.

Al Tayer said that the economic assistance package provided by the Government of the UAE to the Government of Jordan is based on the strong historic bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries and in line with the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Al Tayer reiterated that via the economic aid package, the UAE will seek to stimulate the economic and financial landscape in Jordan and contribute to supporting the country’s development plans. More specifically, it will facilitate the Jordanian government in implementing its priority infrastructure projects in key sectors.

For her part, Dr. Mary Kamel Kawar expressed her appreciation for the UAE’s sustained support and efforts in enabling Jordan to overcome its development challenges. She commended the fraternal relations that exist between the two countries and applauded the continued interest of the UAE President in providing her government with all forms of economic and developmental assistance in line with Jordan’s development priorities.

She also praised ADFD’s vital role in supporting the Jordanian government’s socio-economic development efforts since 1974 through the provision of concessionary loans and management of government grants on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said, “The UAE’s economic and development assistance package to Jordan through the Fund aims to bolster the overall development of Jordan. The financial allocation will aid the establishment of new development projects, boost infrastructure and eventually achieving sustainable development.”

Al Suwaidi added, “Honouring the time-tested ties of friendship between our countries, ADFD has to date enabled the financing of several major development projects in Jordan. In doing so, the Fund has helped Jordan achieve several key development milestones and ensured a positive impact on the lives of thousands of Jordanians.”

The ADFD in 2012 managed the UAE government grant allocation of AED4.6 billion (US$1.25 billion) to the Gulf Development Fund, a five-year grant programme from the GCC member countries to finance development projects in line with the Jordanian government’s strategic goals.

Through government grants and concessionary loans, ADFD has financed 31 development projects amounting to AED5.6 billion in Jordan to date. These projects spanned several lifeline sectors, such as mining, water and irrigation, transport, housing, agriculture, energy, education and healthcare

WAM/MOHD AAMIR/Hassan Bashir

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OFID stresses importance of energy, partnership in pursuit of SDGshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/ofid-stresses-importance-energy-partnership-pursuit-sdgs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ofid-stresses-importance-energy-partnership-pursuit-sdgs http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/ofid-stresses-importance-energy-partnership-pursuit-sdgs/#respond Wed, 03 Oct 2018 09:53:31 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157977 A high level delegation from the OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, on Tuesday, attended the 11th Arab Energy Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, under the theme ‘Energy and Arab Cooperation’. Suleiman J Al-Herbish, OFID Director-General, attended the conference on an invitation of Abbas Al-Naqi, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, OAPEC, who […]

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A high level delegation from the OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, on Tuesday, attended the 11th Arab Energy Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, under the theme ‘Energy and Arab Cooperation’.

By WAM
VIENNA, Oct 3 2018 (WAM)

A high level delegation from the OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, on Tuesday, attended the 11th Arab Energy Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, under the theme ‘Energy and Arab Cooperation’.

Suleiman J Al-Herbish, OFID Director-General, attended the conference on an invitation of Abbas Al-Naqi, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, OAPEC, who was a panellist on the session ‘Energy security as a global partnership’.

OFID’s delegation also included Faris Hasan, Director of Strategic Planning and Economic Services; Dr. Namat Alsoof, Consultant; and Iman Alshammari, Senior Officer.

Al-Herbish said that energy is the engine of economic growth and social progress and noted that the priority given by OFID to eradicating energy poverty in developing countries was inspired by OFID member countries themselves. That priority, he said, stems from the Riyadh Declaration – issued at the conclusion of the 3rd OPEC Summit in November 2007 – which established the eradication of energy poverty as an objective. “Our Ministerial Council has approved the allocation of a renewed US$1 billion to this end,” Al-Herbish added.

Since 2007, OFID has advocated tirelessly for energy poverty to be given the priority it deserves in the post-2015 Development Agenda. These efforts – alongside those of OFID’s friends in the international development arena – have culminated in access to energy for all being recognised as Sustainable Development Goal 7, SDG 7, a stand-alone goal in the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Al-Herbish noted that supporting development operations in the energy sector lies at the heart of OFID’s strategic plan to 2025. He stressed, however, that energy poverty remains a challenge that can only be overcome through strategic partnerships, highlighting that OFID has built strong and diverse partnership networks to expand geographic coverage and operational activities.

Al-Herbish reaffirmed OFID’s commitment to supporting sustainable development plans in Arab countries, particularly energy projects, and outlined various operation supported by OFID in the region, which include US$1.6 billion to finance 14 traditional and 15 renewable energy projects in a number of Arab countries.

Chaired by Aziz Rabah, Minister of Energy, Minerals and Sustainable Development of Morocco, the 11th Arab Energy Conference, which concludes tomorrow, brings together experts from the energy industry, led by ministers of Arab countries, as well as directors of Arab and other organisations.

 

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Rasha Abubaker

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Central Region dams retain over 100,000 cubic metres of rainwaterhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/central-region-dams-retain-100000-cubic-metres-rainwater/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=central-region-dams-retain-100000-cubic-metres-rainwater http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/central-region-dams-retain-100000-cubic-metres-rainwater/#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 11:05:56 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157936 Rains fell on 29th September, have boosted the amount of water stored by reservoirs of dams in the counrry’s Central Region to 106,500 cubic metres, according to figures released by the Ministry of Energy and Industry. The water collected in the lake of Wadi Buraq dam was considered the largest amount from the rains and […]

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Rains fell on 29th September, have boosted the amount of water stored by reservoirs of dams in the counrry's Central Region to 106,500 cubic metres, according to figures released by the Ministry of Energy and Industry.

By WAM
ABU DHABI, Oct 2 2018 (WAM)

Rains fell on 29th September, have boosted the amount of water stored by reservoirs of dams in the counrry’s Central Region to 106,500 cubic metres, according to figures released by the Ministry of Energy and Industry.

The water collected in the lake of Wadi Buraq dam was considered the largest amount from the rains and accounted for 90,000 cubic metres. The dam has a store capacity of 500,000 cubic metres. Water levels in the dam rose to 1.6 metre, the ministry noted.

The ministry urged the public to take extra caution and observe safety measures for their own safety.

Water collected in the reservoirs of dams and barriers, as well as runoff water from valleys, have increased groundwater reserves.

According to the ministry, until 2017, the total number of dams and embankments in the country has reached 145, with an estimated design capacity of 131 million cubic metres.

The ministry manages 101 dams and embankments that contribute to the enhancement, improvement and development of water resources, replenish the underground water tables and the prevention of flood hazards.

 

WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hatem Mohamed

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WETEX, Dubai Solar Show attract world’s largest companieshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wetex-dubai-solar-show-attract-worlds-largest-companies/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wetex-dubai-solar-show-attract-worlds-largest-companies http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/10/wetex-dubai-solar-show-attract-worlds-largest-companies/#respond Mon, 01 Oct 2018 07:51:47 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157920 The issue of potable water scarcity around the world has led several companies operating in this sector to invest in research using new technologies for water production and storage, limiting water wastage and rationalising consumption. Global research and developmental efforts have led to a qualitative shift in water desalination, reducing costs, wastewater treatment, and introducing […]

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The issue of potable water scarcity around the world has led several companies operating in this sector to invest in research using new technologies for water production and storage, limiting water wastage and rationalising consumption. Global research and developmental efforts have led to a qualitative shift in water desalination, reducing costs, wastewater treatment, and introducing alternative clean energy sources to desalinate water, such as solar power and other innovative technologies. The innovative solutions and advanced technologies relating to water issues are a priority of the 20th Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition, WETEX 2018.

By WAM
DUBAI, Oct 1 2018 (WAM)

The issue of potable water scarcity around the world has led several companies operating in this sector to invest in research using new technologies for water production and storage, limiting water wastage and rationalising consumption. Global research and developmental efforts have led to a qualitative shift in water desalination, reducing costs, wastewater treatment, and introducing alternative clean energy sources to desalinate water, such as solar power and other innovative technologies.

The innovative solutions and advanced technologies relating to water issues are a priority of the 20th Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition, WETEX 2018.

Organised by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and President of DEWA, the event will be held from 23rd to 25th October, 2018 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre under the theme ‘At the forefront of sustainability’, highlighting the latest developments and technologies in the fields of water, energy, and environment.

The region’s largest-of-its-kind exhibition coincides with the third Dubai Solar Show which highlights the latest innovations in the solar energy sector, especially in relation to desalination and water treatment using solar power. The exhibition will also focus on the region’s largest projects in this sector by providing participants with a unique platform to build partnerships with governmental and private sectors with the aim to develop innovative solutions.

This year, WETEX 2018 will bring together the world’s most proficient professionals in the water technology sector, showcasing water treatment and desalination plants, pipes, coolers, heaters, water purifiers, pumps and valves, state-of-the-art irrigation systems, agriculture and horticulture equipment, and dewatering equipment. The event will also focus on rationalisation of water consumption by highlighting products for leak detection and treatment products, lining tanks, and other materials used in the water sector.

WAM/سالمة الشامسي/MOHD AAMIR/Nour Salman

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Ministry of Climate Change and Environment assesses adaptation to climate change in UAEhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/ministry-climate-change-environment-assesses-adaptation-climate-change-uae/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ministry-climate-change-environment-assesses-adaptation-climate-change-uae http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/ministry-climate-change-environment-assesses-adaptation-climate-change-uae/#respond Sun, 30 Sep 2018 08:47:13 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157898 The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has conducted an overall assessment of climate adaptation in the health context in the UAE. Through surveys and a stakeholders’ workshop, MOCCAE outlined the direct and indirect climate-related health risks and the existing and possible actionable solutions for public health adaptation. Officials from the Ministry of Health […]

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The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has conducted an overall assessment of climate adaptation in the health context in the UAE. Through surveys and a stakeholders’ workshop, MOCCAE outlined the direct and indirect climate-related health risks and the existing and possible actionable solutions for public health adaptation.

By WAM
DUBAI, Sep 30 2018 (WAM)

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has conducted an overall assessment of climate adaptation in the health context in the UAE. Through surveys and a stakeholders’ workshop, MOCCAE outlined the direct and indirect climate-related health risks and the existing and possible actionable solutions for public health adaptation.

Officials from the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority, as well as representatives from the private sector and academia attended the workshop and contributed their insights on the topic.

Fahed Al Hammadi, Acting Assistant Undersecretary of the Green Development and Climate Change Sector at MOCCAE, said, “We are already feeling the impacts of climate change in all aspects of our lives. Given the current projections, such impacts will continue to grow in intensity and frequency, and adaptation is the only viable response strategy.

“This assessment of climate-related health risks is the first brick in the wall to identify the current impacts of climate change on various sectors and come up with ways to adapt to these impacts. Such assessments will help us understand the bigger picture and act accordingly.”

For his part, Dr Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Centers and Health Clinics, MOHAP, said, “We are pleased to join forces with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to confirm that the National Climate Adaptation Program is delivered as planned. It is crucial to take concrete action to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts and build national capacities that can effectively tackle these impacts. In order to ensure a comprehensive overview, we need to capitalize on the research and experiments carried out by other nations as well as the data generated across the UAE.

“In this context, MOHAP has long worked on raising public awareness of the climate-related health risks and enhancing the health system across the country to ensure the UAE is well-poised to adapt to climate change. The recent assessment reveals the burden of climate-related diseases, which should be monitored and addressed. These include diseases associated with carbon pollution, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, climate-related infectious diseases, malnutrition, and heat stress, which leads to reduced labor productivity and spiraling health costs.”

Health experts concluded that the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on human health in the UAE are primarily seen in the form of heat stress. This results in reduced labor productivity, particularly for outdoor laborers, and mortality or morbidity due to heat stroke.

They also noted that the multiple initiatives that have been carried out as part of environmental health and occupational safety policies are relevant – either directly or indirectly – to climate adaptation in the health sector. They highlighted the Ministerial Order No. 401 of 2015 that determines the afternoon working hours of laborers employed outdoors to reduce heat exhaustion and heat stress.

Another finding is that despite the existence of adaptation-related initiatives for climate risks, there is still a lot of room for more climate-focused adaptation policies and programs. Health experts proposed multiple actions to help address high and medium risks. Proposed actions include enhancing early warning systems and developing heat alert plans, especially for outdoor laborers during extreme heat events, and developing the capacity of clinics and health stations to recognize and respond to labor concerns on reduced productivity due to climate-related factors.

Furthermore, they recommended that more research needs to be undertaken on the effects of climate change on labor productivity, in addition to strengthening enforcement of existing initiatives such as the Safety in Heat and midday break programs. They also suggested enhancing monitoring and evaluation to objectively assess results, and mainstream climate change adaptation through reorienting existing programs on environmental health and occupational safety to better highlight their adaptation components.

To reduce climate change impacts and pave the way for green economic diversification, the UAE has adopted various policies at the federal and emirate levels to facilitate the transition from a hydrocarbon-dependent economy to a sustainable knowledge-based economy in line with the UAE Vision 2021.

The assessment findings correlate to those of the Leaders’ Roundtable: Climate Change and Public Health held on the sidelines of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73). The roundtable touched on the non-communicable disease (NCD) dimension of the climate-health nexus, given that many greenhouse gas emission sources are key drivers of NCDs.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment cohosted a roundtable, alongside Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Nikolai Astrup, Norwegian Minister of International Development, and Gina McCarthy, Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE).

At the roundtable discussions, Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “It’s evident that our health and the infrastructure underpinning the health industry will be at increasing risk as climate change intensifies. That is why, the health sector is one of the first sectors we are addressing under the National Climate Adaptation Program launched in September 2017, along with energy, infrastructure and environment sectors. We are systematically assessing risks and identifying mitigation options.”

 

WAM/Hatem Mohamed

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Muslim Allies In the Fight Against Extremismhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/muslim-allies-fight-extremism/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=muslim-allies-fight-extremism http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/muslim-allies-fight-extremism/#respond Fri, 28 Sep 2018 14:26:33 +0000 Abe Radkin http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157856 Abe Radkin is International Coordinator of the Global Hope Coalition.

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Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb took credit for bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Algiers in December 2007, an act that claimed the lives of 17 U.N. personnel. Credit: UN Photo / Evan Schneider

By Abe Radkin
NEW YORK, Sep 28 2018 (IPS)

With the rise of violent extremism worldwide has come the stereotyping of an entire religion. In many countries and across many borders, Muslims have been vilified for events they are just as outraged at.

Yet instead of working together to foster a common understanding and mutual respect, we have seen otherwise liberal countries shut their borders and suppress culture. At a time of extreme intolerance, it is increasingly important that we recognize the importance of working together toward shared global interests of peace and prosperity.

As an increasing number of Muslim-majority nations take a stand against extremism practiced in the name of their faith, people around the world are working across borders to promote cross-cultural understanding and tolerance.

At a time when so much of what we hear is about the ill in the world, we have a duty to celebrate the critical work that happens every day to ensure the “battle of ideas” in the global fight against extremism is not lost to those who preach violence rather than peace.

This is the work of the Global Hope Coalition, which shines a light on both the governments and the everyday heroes standing up to violence and intolerance in their countries and around the world—and those who are joining with them in the fight. At this year’s annual dinner they recognize those who have taken a stand against extremists invoking religion for the purposes of perpetrating terror.

Take for example Niger, a majority Muslim country, which is increasingly at the center of a vast struggle for power in Africa’s Sahel region. After the retreat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Niger has seen a massive uptick in extremist threats as the Sahel region has become an active theater for ISIS and jihadi terrorists.

Niger’s government under the leadership of President Mahamadou Issoufou has been an outspoken critic of violent extremism in the name of Islam and has advocated a tolerant and peaceful vision of the religion. The country has worked hard to build regional alliances against terrorist groups in the Sahel region.

At a time of great challenge, when many would retrench, Niger has worked to strengthen the rule of law and the country’s constitutional institutions, while respecting the separation of powers. Perhaps most heartening was the more than $23 billion from donor countries pledged to Niger at a two-day “Niger Renaissance Conference” in Paris in December 2017.

Niger is not alone.

Muslim-majority countries are standing up to extremists and proving the actions of a select few do not define an entire religion. But the global community’s response has been inadequate. Largely fueled by stereotypes created and driven by ISIS and al-Qaeda, Muslims have been demonized, attacked, and shut out of a number of otherwise tolerant nations.

Many global efforts to lift up anti-extremism efforts have been nebulously structured at best and ineffectual at worst. And crucially, some wealthier western countries have failed to be shining beacons of tolerance and prosperity whose principles they were founded upon and have instead hid behind thinly veiled xenophobia. All that while continuing to expect fealty from Muslim allies.

This cowardice is not the answer – in any part of the world. Instead of turning a blind eye to good faith efforts to stand up to common enemies, the global community must rally around them like they did for Niger in 2017.

That’s why governments and heads of state are only one piece of the equation. Equally important, but far less public, are the thousands upon thousands of individuals in towns and cities throughout the world working every day to stand up to extremism, fight intolerance, and work towards peace in their communities.

Just as the international community must rally around natural allies in this fight, so too must it uplift and encourage the everyday heroes and on-the-ground change makers – like, for instance, this year’s Global Hope Heroes Sherin Khankan and Omer Al-Turabi. Khankan, a female imam and daughter of a Syrian refugee, has led the creation of a women-led mosque in Copenhagen to promote a tolerant, peaceful Islam true to its original precepts.

Al-Turabi is a prominent Sudanese author and academic who has become a leading voice among younger generations in the Arab world seeking peace and a liberal future for their countries.

Both Khankan and Al-Turabi have faced tremendous obstacles to their efforts – yet both have been unwavering in their efforts to win the battle for hearts and minds. There are countless more like them, and that is why Global Hope’s work is so important. By providing resources and valuable organization and networking opportunities to heroes just like these, progress can – and will – take shape.

The UN General Assembly gives us an annual opportunity to reflect on what can be accomplished by thoughtful and meaningful multilateral action. This year, under existential threats to our way of life and a global order built on cooperation, the takeaway couldn’t be clearer: We must choose peace, and we must stand with those who fight for it.

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Abe Radkin is International Coordinator of the Global Hope Coalition.

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Water Scarcity and Poor Water Management Makes Life Difficult for Egyptianshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/water-scarcity-poor-water-management-makes-life-difficult-egyptians/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=water-scarcity-poor-water-management-makes-life-difficult-egyptians http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/water-scarcity-poor-water-management-makes-life-difficult-egyptians/#respond Thu, 27 Sep 2018 15:24:44 +0000 Maged Srour http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157820 Local residents in Cairo are becoming concerned and discontent as water scarcity is reaching a critical point in the capital and the rest of the country. Although not all areas of the country are affected in the same way, many Cairo residents say they don’t have water for large portions of the day. And some […]

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Houseboats line the Nile bank in Cairo. Some 85 million Egyptians depend on the Nile for water. According to the United Nations, Egypt is currently below the U.N.’s threshold of water poverty. Credit: Cam McGrath/IPS.

By Maged Srour
ROME, Sep 27 2018 (IPS)

Local residents in Cairo are becoming concerned and discontent as water scarcity is reaching a critical point in the capital and the rest of the country.

Although not all areas of the country are affected in the same way, many Cairo residents say they don’t have water for large portions of the day. And some areas are affected more than most.

“Where my grandmother lives, in a central area and near a hospital, water is almost never missing, but where I live with my family in a more peripheral area, water is missing several times during the week if not during the day,” one local resident from Cairo, who did not want to be named, tells IPS.

According to the United Nations, Egypt is facing an annual water deficit of around seven billion cubic metres and the country could run out of water by 2025, when it is estimated that 1.8 billion people worldwide will live in absolute water scarcity.

The U.N. World Water Development report for 2018, warns that Egypt is currently below the U.N.’s threshold of water poverty, it is currently facing water scarcity (1,000 m3 per capita) and dramatically heading towards absolute water scarcity (500 m3 per capita).

“The water goes away all the time, we don’t know how to handle this issue. The other day I even opened the tap and the water that came out was stinking of sewer,” the Cairo resident adds.

As highlighted in the ‘Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research’, problems affecting the Nile River’s flow are many and range from inefficient irrigation to water pollution. In addition, the uncontrolled dumping of anthropogenic waste from different drains located along the Nile River’s banks has significantly increased water contamination to a critical level, warns the research. 

The pollution of the river—considered the longest river in the world—is an issue that has been underestimated over the past few decades. “Most of the industries in Egypt have made little effort to meet Egyptian environmental laws for Nile protection, where, the Nile supplies about 65 percent of the industrial water needs and receives more than 57 percent of its effluents,” the study says. 

As so many people rely on the Nile for drinking, agricultural and municipal use, the water quality is of concern. 

The reality is that the Nile is being polluted by municipal and industrial waste, with many recorded incidents of leakage of wastewater and the release of chemical waste into the river. 

But Dr. Helmy Abouleish, president of SEKEM, an organisation that invests in biodynamic agriculture, says there is increasing awareness in the country about its water challenges.

“I can see the awareness towards the water insecurity challenge is now spreading in society more than before,” Abouleish tells IPS. “We all should be quite aware of the fact that whatever we are doing today, our children will pay for it in the future. None of the current resources will be available forever,” he adds.

SEKEM has converted 70 hectares of desert into a green and cultivated oasis north east of Cairo, which is now inhabited by a local community.  

These futuristic innovations is what Egypt needs more of, considering that water availability is progressively worsening in the country.

“In Egypt rainfall is limited to the coastal strip running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea and occurs mainly in the winter season,” Tommaso Abrate, a scientific officer in the Climate and Water Department at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), tells IPS. 

“The amounts are low (80 to 280 mm per year), erratic and variable in space and time hence rainfall cannot be considered a reliable source of water.”  

“Climate models indicate that Egypt, especially the coastal region, will experience significant warming and consequent substantial drought by the end of the century, while rainfall is expected to show just a small decrease in annual means,” Abrate says. 

He warns that other factors like abstraction (removal of water from a source) and pollution, have major effects on water quality. 

Another concern is the fact that the country uses 85 percent of its water resources for agricultural activities—with 90 percent of this being used for conventional agriculture. 

But agricultural wastewater, which carries the residual of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, is drained back into the Nile River.

It is a vicious cycle that is worsening the quality and the sustainability of Egypt’s farmlands.

However, this year the Egyptian government and partners announced the allocation of about USD4 billion in investment to address the water shortage.

“Major efforts are being invested in the desalination of water from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean (for example the mega scale project in Ain Sokhna, which will purify 164,000 cubic litres per day). A regional centre unit will be established to follow water movement using the latest remote sensing techniques to combat this problem,” Abouleish adds.

SEKEM says that it is working to develop a “sustainable and self-sustaining water management system in all of Egypt.” 

“We foster several research projects that are developed by the students and the research team at Heliopolis University to realise this mission. For instance, researching water desalination models from salt water, recovery systems for water from the air as well as waste water recycling systems is now considered in our core focus,” says Abouleish. 

The U.N. agrees that in the next few years Egypt will face a water crisis of considerable size, which will require a more effective management of the available, scarce resources. This should involve a modernisation of the irrigation systems to avoid the current waste. 

If water scarcity is not addressed by those accountable, there is a risk that in the coming decades, a country of nearly 80 million people could run out of water. It could result in a humanitarian crisis that would probably destabilise the entire Mediterranean region with unpredictable consequences.  

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US$34.5 million confirmed in grants under UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fundhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/us34-5-million-confirmed-grants-uae-caribbean-renewable-energy-fund/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=us34-5-million-confirmed-grants-uae-caribbean-renewable-energy-fund http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/us34-5-million-confirmed-grants-uae-caribbean-renewable-energy-fund/#respond Thu, 27 Sep 2018 11:44:03 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157838 Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, today confirmed that the UAE is proceeding with grants totalling US$34.5 million (AED126.7 million) to fund renewable energy projects in the Caribbean that are built to withstand Category-5 hurricanes and located for enhanced resilience. This amount builds on $15 million of projects announced […]

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Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, today confirmed that the UAE is proceeding with grants totalling US$34.5 million (AED126.7 million) to fund renewable energy projects in the Caribbean that are built to withstand Category-5 hurricanes and located for enhanced resilience. This amount builds on $15 million of projects announced last year as part of the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy under Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation

By WAM
NEW YORK, Sep 27 2018 (WAM)

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, today confirmed that the UAE is proceeding with grants totalling US$34.5 million (AED126.7 million) to fund renewable energy projects in the Caribbean that are built to withstand Category-5 hurricanes and located for enhanced resilience. This amount builds on $15 million of projects announced last year as part of the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy under Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation.

The announcement was made at the second annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum, held on the sidelines of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA, where Minister Al Zeyoudi was invited to speak in the climate segment with President Bill Clinton and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank.

Addressing the forum, Minister Al Zeyoudi said, “The UAE is honoured to have partnered with over 30 island countries since 2013 to implement renewable energy projects that reduce energy costs and create jobs. Today’s announcement on our partnership in the Caribbean builds on this legacy, simultaneously expanding our cooperation into climate resilience.”

“Hurricanes Irma and Maria were a wake-up call for us,” Minister Al Zeyoudi added. “We realised that the kind of projects we pursue had to change. As a result, we have implemented a resilience standard for all of our Caribbean projects that reflects the reality of climate vulnerability in the region. Inspired by this precedent, we are now preparing for global roll-out of a resilience standard across over $5 billion of annual aid from the UAE.”

The Minister described plans for 7 new projects in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia. He also announced that the UAE had increased its allocation by 50% to the rebuilding of the Barbuda power system, devastated by Hurricane Irma, in order to relocate and strengthen its main plant, where a solar and battery solution will be installed.

The Minister additionally announced that the UAE will allocate $12 million for the next cycle of the fund, to be launched in January 2019 at the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

In tandem with the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, Minister Al Zeyoudi also participated in the One Planet Summit organized by President Emmanuel Macron of France. The UAE is a core member of a sovereign wealth fund working group on carbon accounting, announced under the summit.

UAE foreign aid for renewable energy has reached nearly $1 billion since 2013. In addition to the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, the UAE notably has launched the US$50 million UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund, which has implemented projects in 11 Pacific island countries, and runs a $350 million soft loan facility with IRENA.

WAM/Hazem Hussein/Hatem Mohamed

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Experts to discuss Net Zero Cities at 7th EmiratesGBC Congresshttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/experts-discuss-net-zero-cities-7th-emiratesgbc-congress/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=experts-discuss-net-zero-cities-7th-emiratesgbc-congress http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/experts-discuss-net-zero-cities-7th-emiratesgbc-congress/#respond Wed, 26 Sep 2018 08:43:05 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157803 Regional and international experts on sustainable built environments will come together at the 7th Annual Emirates Green Building Council, EmiratesGBC, Congress to discuss best practices and strategies to go beyond net zero carbon buildings, and explore the significance of net zero cities in ensuring the viability and liveability of our cities in the future. Organised […]

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Regional and international experts on sustainable built environments will come together at the 7th Annual Emirates Green Building Council, EmiratesGBC, Congress to discuss best practices and strategies to go beyond net zero carbon buildings, and explore the significance of net zero cities in ensuring the viability and liveability of our cities in the future.

By WAM
DUBAI, Sep 26 2018 (WAM)

Regional and international experts on sustainable built environments will come together at the 7th Annual Emirates Green Building Council, EmiratesGBC, Congress to discuss best practices and strategies to go beyond net zero carbon buildings, and explore the significance of net zero cities in ensuring the viability and liveability of our cities in the future.

Organised by EmiratesGBC, an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, the Congress will be held under the theme “Targeting Zero: A Vision for Future Cities”, on 9th October, 2018 at the Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre hotel.

The congress will commence with welcome addresses by Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC; Eng. Aisha Al Abdooli, Director of Green Development, Ministry of Climate Change & Environment; and Ahmed Muhairbi, Secretary-General, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy. It will be moderated by Holley Chant, Executive Director of Corporate Sustainability, KEO International Consultants.

Saeed Al Abbar said, “The congress this year will drive the conversation forward and take a deep dive into the net zero building movement and explore how we can apply and rapidly expand the approach to our cities in the UAE, the region and around the world. The fast pace of urbanisation today is a fundamental challenge, and we are bringing both regional and international experts to the UAE to participate in this dialogue as the emphasis on sustainable buildings and cities becomes more crucial than ever. From the government to the public and private sectors, the UAE has shown its commitment and now we must boldly deliver on it as the global net zero emissions timeline approaches.”

The Annual EmiratesGBC Congress brings together international experts in diverse aspects of energy management and sustainable development to discuss strategies for promoting sustainable built environments for the cities of the future in line with UAE Vision 2021 and the objectives of the Paris COP21 Climate Agreement. The event aims to influence sustainable practices in the UAE’s built environment and to help identify key industry challenges and solutions as well as catalyse innovation in green building practices to create new models that support the country’s efforts to be more sustainable.

The discussions will focus on three sub-themes that are closely related to honouring and promoting the values associated with the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the nation, as the UAE marks the Year of Zayed this year to commemorate his 100th birth anniversary. These are “Inspired Cities reflecting the Wisdom of Sheikh Zayed”, “Collaborative Cities focusing on the value of Respect” and “Holistic Cities mirroring the value of Sustainability” which cater to the needs of future generations.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Nour Salman

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UAE sets nine goals as major priorities of its participation in UNGA 73http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/uae-sets-nine-goals-major-priorities-participation-unga-73/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uae-sets-nine-goals-major-priorities-participation-unga-73 http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/09/uae-sets-nine-goals-major-priorities-participation-unga-73/#respond Tue, 25 Sep 2018 09:40:06 +0000 WAM http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=157775 The United Arab Emirates has set nine priorities to it will seek to highlight during its participation in the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 73), an event held amidst a high-profile presence of world heads of state, government leaders, and foreign ministers of UN member states. The nine priorities are designed to […]

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By WAM
NEW YORK, Sep 25 2018 (WAM)

The United Arab Emirates has set nine priorities to it will seek to highlight during its participation in the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 73), an event held amidst a high-profile presence of world heads of state, government leaders, and foreign ministers of UN member states.

The nine priorities are designed to ensure the country’s participation as a modern and developed state that boasts a privileged stature in the Middle East region and seeks to promote values of tolerance, inclusion, and sustainable development.

The nine priorities are designed to ensure the country's participation as a modern and developed state that boasts a privileged stature in the Middle East region and seeks to promote values of tolerance, inclusion, and sustainable development.

The country spares no efforts to establish peace and security in the Middle East in collaboration with other nations in the region that share its same moderate views and tolerant approach with the ultimate goal of standing up to the threats posed by terror groups and their sponsors. Empowering governments and state institutions to adopt modern policies based on pluralism, cultural diversity and respect for others’ religious beliefs feature high on the list of priorities adopted by the country.

The UAE regards UNGA 73 meetings as a significant platform to address key issues with close relevance to international cooperation and peace and sustainable and humanitarian development, where it will collaborate with international partners to achieve the following nine objectives: -First: Supporting and restoring regional peace in the Middle East through its partnership with the United Nations. In this respect, tolerance represents a fundamental value that the country deems as an important factor to ensure stability in the region, with the country’s leadership setting a model to be copied for building up peaceful societies capable of confronting subversive ideologies. The UAE seeks to share this fundamental value with the countries of the region and the entire world.

Second: Confronting terrorism and extremism. The UAE believes that regional stability would not be possible without uprooting terrorism and extremism, which the country regards as one of the most critical threats to international security. The UAE will continue to work with UN member states and various UN organisations to exchange best practices to counter terrorism and establish new partnerships in this regard.

Third: Promoting peace and diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, as the country exhibits full readiness to support all constructive efforts to reach peaceful settlement to all armed conflicts in the region, including those flaring in Libya, Palestine, Syria and Yemen, by adopting measures based on peaceful dialogue and confidence-building.

Fourth: Alleviating humanitarian suffering by providing developmental and humanitarian aid as the UAE believes that settlement of disputes is inseparably associated with ensuring sustainable development. Within this context., the OECD named the UAE as the world’s largest Official Development Aid donor relative to national income.

Fifth: Gender-Equality and women’s empowerment. The UAE continues to underline the importance of gender equality and promote women’s empowerment as an integral part of its policies- an approach which manifests itself in the country’s partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, known as UN Women. In this respect The UAE will continue to support the UN Secretary-Genera’ strategy on gender equality.

Sixth: Supporting youth’s integration into society, as the UAE strongly believes that addressing challenges is not possible without adopting a future-oriented approach based on delivering genuine partnerships with youth.

Seventh: Reforming the UN to empower it to fulfill its obligations, as the UAE believes that the world organisation is entrusted with a major role in confronting cross-border challenges, including the current unprecedented waves of displacement, chronic conflicts, urgent humanitarian needs during crises and the escalating role of non-state parties. The UAE will remain committed to supporting the UN; however it will in the same time endeavour to sustain reform efforts made to enhance the world organisation’s ability to address the current geopolitical status quo.

Eighth: Leading efforts to harness technologies with the ultimate goal of addressing major global challenges. This includes fostering cooperation in areas of digital space, future of corporate governance and dedicating science and innovation to realise SDGs.

Ninth: Addressing climate change and mitigating its impact. The UAE is diligently working to propel international efforts aimed at confronting climate change threats by supporting renewable energy investments and cultivating robust partnerships with other international parties concerned.

Finally, the UAE reaffirms its full support for the UN Secretary General in person and for the UN as an organisation to overcome current global challenges on the basis of preventing armed disputes, promoting political mediation efforts to current crises, and enforcing and respecting international law, specially with regards to complying to Security Council resolutions. In this respect, the UAE affirms that collective compliance to UN Charter and multilateral diplomacy is the basis of our joint destiny and stability.

Hatem Mohamed

WAM/Hassan Bashir

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