Category Archives: Blog Posts

Managing drought in the MENA region: how prepared are we?


Source: Huffington Post

On Monday the 20th of October, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs hosted a panel discussion titled “Drought Policy, Governance, and Management Systems in the MENA Region.” The panel consisted of three speakers: Continue reading

Janna dam: the value of an EIA after the fact

Beirut & Mount Lebanon Water Establishment

Source: Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water Establishment

The Janna Dam is currently being constructed on Ibrahim River in the Adonis Valley. The dam is part of a water strategy being implemented by the Ministry of Energy and Water. The Ministry is proposing about 55 water infrastructure projects throughout Lebanon to be constructed by 2020. These projects are expected to increase the water storage capacity of Lebanon substantially. Continue reading

Palestinian water woes are a result of occupation, not climate change

gaza blog

Source: Electronic intifada

As the Middle East suffers from drought caused by weather patterns and climate change, a population in the region has been enduring water shortages for years. The culprit in this case is human. Since the beginning of the occupation of Palestine, Israel has controlled and limited the Palestinian access to water. Israel controls the water resources and uses over 80% of water pumped from the mountain aquifer which is located in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Palestinians have an annual quota of water set by Israel and they are not allowed to dig any new water wells. The figure below shows the difference water consumption between Palestinians and Israelis. While Palestinian consumption is well below the 100 liters per capita per day recommended amount set by the World Health Organizations, Israel’s declared consumption per capita is almost double that. Continue reading

A closer look at Blue Gold


Project Blue Gold’s 5-Year Plan is a step towards awakening national conscience and achieving economic preeminence and equilibrium for Lebanon. If Blue Gold succeeds, Lebanon will emerge as a model for economic growth, social conviviality and inspiration for all Arab youth seeking viable solutions for their future.”

An advertisement campaign was recently launched to get the citizens of Lebanon to vote for a water reform plan proposed by the private sector. It is called the Blue Gold Project. TV commercials such as this:  and online ads urged the Lebanese to vote for this project. Blue Gold aims to obtain a million votes to support its 5-year plan that includes the establishment of a National Water Council for Lebanon “free from any political influence”. In the local media, the project was either praised as a way to improve the water situation in the country, or accused of trying to privatize the water sector and commoditize water for personal profit. Continue reading

CDM vs. NAMAs and how Arab Countries can Benefit

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) was first introduced at the 13th Conference of the Parties in Bali, Indonesia in 2007.  It was agreed to initiate them 2 years later during climate negotiations in Copenhagen under paragraph 5 of the Copenhagen accord.  NAMAs are a set of policies and actions set by a government that will contribute to greenhouse gas reduction.  There are two types of NAMAs, unilateral NAMAs and supported NAMAs.  The former are action plans that are implemented using domestic finances and resources, and the later are action plans that implemented with the help of foreign aid.  Continue reading

CDM in the MENA Region

What is CDM?

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the three market-based mechanisms that were established during the Kyoto protocol in 1997 to help participant countries meet their emission targets. The main concept behind the CDM was to encourage developed countries to fund emission reduction projects in developing countries, also serving to achieve sustainable development. The projects would then generate Certified Emission Reduction (CER) units which may be used in emission trading. The CER units can be used by developed countries to contribute to their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol. One CER unit is equivalent to the reduction of one metric ton of CO2 emissions. Continue reading