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Nouakchott - Making of a City

Nouakchott - Making of a City | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Like other major cities worldwide, Nouakchott is plagued by environmental, social and economical challenges. Sewage disposal network, dating back to 1960’s is no longer sufficient for Nouakchott. Solid waste management is becoming a major headache for city planners. Population is increasing at a tremendous pace which is putting tremendous strain on meager civic resources.

Salman Zafar's insight:

There are huge challenges to be tackled to transform Nouakchott into a modern city. Due to nomadic links, Mauritania’s Arabs have a special link to desert and are counted among the environmentally-conscious people of Western and North Africa. However considerable efforts are required to educate the people living in and around Nouakchott and motivate them to become an active participant in sustainable development of the city.

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Reducing the Impact of Sand and Dust Storms

Reducing the Impact of Sand and Dust Storms | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Sand and dust storms cause significant negative impacts on society, economy and environment at local, regional and global scale.  There are three key factors responsible for the generation of sand and dust storms – strong wind, lack of vegetation and absence of rainfall. 

Salman Zafar's insight:

The effects of sand and dust storms can be reduced by using a number of health & safety measures and environmental control strategies. Localised small-scale dust emission due to human induced activities can be reduced by using temporary mechanical methods such as concrete barrier, mulching, tree buffer etc. 

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Climate Change Initiatives in Qatar

Climate Change Initiatives in Qatar | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Qatar's environmental records have always been in news, of course for the negative ones, but it has always strived to work towards reduction of GHGs emissions. Qatar is already doing plen...
Salman Zafar's insight:

It is heartening to see that Qatar has recognized the importance of renewable energy and sustainability and its fight for reducing its ecological footprint. A cheaper, greener, sustainable and more reliable energy future for Qatar could be within reach.

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Urban Transportation in Saudi Arabia

Urban Transportation in Saudi Arabia | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Transportation sector has played a prominent role in the socio-economic development of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, there are a wide range of current and future issues which should be tackled ...
Salman Zafar's insight:

Saudi Arabia needs to implement short and medium term strategies that will get the urban population to begin transitioning from conventional modes to environmentally-sustainable modes of transport. The needs of future urban populations are what should be considered by traffic and transportation planners, not future projections of the number of cars. 

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Tips for Green Shopping

Tips for Green Shopping | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Being a green consumer we need to conserve resources, save  energy, and prevent waste by buying  products that are energy efficient, are used or reusable, made with  recycled content or are  recyclable and have no  or less packaging. Green shopping involves learning how to buy smartly and keeping environmental considerations in mind. 

Salman Zafar's insight:

Let us inspire ourselves to live a greener more environmentally friendly, healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Become a Green Shopper. Explore, Enjoy and Make A Difference! 

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Towards Zero-Waste Kitchens

Towards Zero-Waste Kitchens | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Given that most of the domestic waste originates in the kitchen, a green home should definitely include a zero-waste kitchen. Zero waste kitchens is not about recycling more of our kitchen waste from plastics containers, metal cans and glass jars. It is about acting on needless waste and stopping it from coming into our homes in first place. 

Salman Zafar's insight:

Cooking can also be enjoyable, quick and yet energy efficient. We need always to remember that zero-waste kitchen is not only a physical kitchen, but it is mainly a mindset and lifestyle. 

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Energy from Coconut Wastes

Energy from Coconut Wastes | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Coconut shell is an agricultural waste and is available in plentiful quantities throughout tropical countries worldwide. In many countries, coconut shell is subjected to open burning which contributes significantly to CO2 and methane emissions.  

Salman Zafar's insight:

The coconut shell has a high calorific value of 20.8MJ/kg and can be used to produce steam, energy-rich gases, bio-oil, biochar etc. It is to be noted that coconut shell and coconut husk are solid fuels and have the peculiarities and problems inherent in this kind of fuel.  

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Climate Change Impacts in GCC

Climate Change Impacts in GCC | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
The GCC countries face multitude of climate change challenges including desertification, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and sea level rise. The region is characterized by high temperature, high ...
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One of the main climate change impacts is sea level rise on coastal areas of all Arabian Gulf states. This includes many of the large and small islands in the Gulf region which are highly vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise.

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Tips for Performing Green Hajj

Tips for Performing Green Hajj | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

The Hajj has an enormous environmental footprint. During Hajj, huge quantities of wastes are generated which needs to be appropriately collected, handled and managed. Other impacts are of water use and wastewater generation and treatment, transporting vehicles causing terrible air pollution damaging the health of the pilgrims, littering causing choking of public infrastructures, plastic bottles, used diapers, food packaging etc. are an eyesore. 

Salman Zafar's insight:

We need to understand that respective authorities plan, spend and provide facilities to match with the huge number of Haj pilgrims, but the irresponsible attitude of many people jeopardize the environmental resources. 

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Minimizing Food Waste in Ramadan

Minimizing Food Waste in Ramadan | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Over the period of years, the society and people have become more wasteful due to rise in income, living standards, consumerism and affordability. But affording does not mean that wastage should increase as it is contrary to the Islamic principles of sustainability.

Salman Zafar's insight:

We need to change our attitude of not laying the table with more food than people can eat. This is not hospitality and welcoming the guests. We need to develop better food habits and respect for the Mother Nature. The problem of food wastage lies in socio-cultural sensitization and behavioral change.

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Impact of Anthropogenic Emissions on Ecosystems

Impact of Anthropogenic Emissions on Ecosystems | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Anthropogenic climate change is hindering a wide variety of organisms, their genetics and species’ habitats – in short, biodiversity. The accelerated pace of human development and ...
Salman Zafar's insight:

Anthropogenic climate change has started affecting different organisms in different ecosystems. The IPCC’s 2007 calculations estimated that greenhouse gas emissions would need to be reduced by at least 80% by 2050 to avoid the devastating impacts of climate change. Since humans have created this problem, it is our moral responsibility to solve it. 

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Earth Hour - Time for Action

Earth Hour - Time for Action | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Earth Hour is aimed at asking individual, households and businesses to turn off their nonessential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on energy conservation and climate change.

Salman Zafar's insight:
The message is ‘Let us go beyond an hour and do more what we can to reduce the energy consumption and its impact on the environment.’ Plan and participate in the event for a better tomorrow.
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Environment Protection Outlook for the Middle East

Environment Protection Outlook for the Middle East | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Environmental protection has become an increasingly important item on the social and economic policy agenda of Middle East nations. Having studied in Cairo and visited Doha and Dubai several times, I can attest to the environmental degradation occurring in the Middle East. 

Salman Zafar's insight:

It would be beneficial to draw upon the Islamic environmental traditions in marketing to the Arab world, in addition to leveraging the example of other locally-relevant respected religious and social figures. Essentially, the success of any environmental initiative stems largely from it being seen as fashionable and easy to do. 

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Striving for a Waste-Free Economy

Striving for a Waste-Free Economy | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

The folly of endless resources extraction, endlessly unmet human needs and endless waste dumping can end. Linear economics can be replaced by ‘circular economics. A switch towards waste-free growth would preserve and regenerate material value and natural capital instead of losing it, so growth would work to build the physical basis for more growth. 

Salman Zafar's insight:

In a circular economy profits, jobs and growth come not from extracting, moving, shaping, selling and dumping ever more resources, but from the work done and value created by handling resources with sufficient care that ecosystems and total natural resources actually expand, making it possible to meet human needs everywhere.

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Insights into Sand and Dust Storms

Sand and dust storms are regular occurrences around the world and more common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms play an important role in global dust cycle, and can alter the radiative balance. It can damage agricultural crops and retard plant growth and alter the life cycle of the marine benthic organisms

Salman Zafar's insight:

Sand and dust storm can cause negative impacts on three pillars of sustainability; society, economy and environment. As the dust cloud rises, it reduces the horizontal visibility. Low visibility can affect human life in many ways. The fine suspended particles also contain contaminants, bacteria, pollens, which cause negative health impacts such as allergies and respiratory diseases. 

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Understanding Qatar's Ecological Footprint

Understanding Qatar's Ecological Footprint | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Qatar’s environmental impact remains worryingly high. The country’s per capita ecological footprint is now the second highest in the world, as another Gulf state, Kuwait, has overtaken it to become the worst offender of the 152 countries that were measured

Salman Zafar's insight:

Grass-root level environmental education, removal of subsidies on water and energy, sustainable waste management practices, effective laws, awareness programs and mandatory stakeholder participation are some of the measures that may improve the environmental scenario in Qatar.

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Sustainable Development in Islamic Teachings

Sustainable Development in Islamic Teachings | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

The concept of sustainable development in Islam can be defined as “The balanced and simultaneous realization of consumer welfare, economic efficiency, attainment of social justice, and ecological balance in the framework of a evolutionary knowledge-based, socially interactive model defining the Shuratic process”

Salman Zafar's insight:

The protection, conservation, and development of the environment and natural resources is a mandatory religious duty to which every Muslim should be committed. This commitment emanates from the individual's responsibility before God to protect himself and his community. 

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Pros of Building Ventilation

Pros of Building Ventilation | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

The advantages of natural ventilation are many and can have a tremendous positive impact on its occupants, building and the environment. A proper design, operation and maintenance of the ventilation system is essential in providing indoor air that is free of harmful concentrations of pollutants. Improvements in indoor ventilation may substantially increase an individual’s health, moral and productivity.

Salman Zafar's insight:

Ventilation is important as it reduces unhealthy air pollutants, such as formaldehyde and radon. It reduces excessive moisture and humidity levels, which can lead to mold growth and can cause structural damage. Ventilation reduces naturally occurring odors in the house from pets, cooking, smoking, and other everyday living activities.

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Wars and Environment

Wars and Environment | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
War is waged differently today and has widespread environmental impacts that last for a long period time. Modern chemical, biological and nuclear warfare has the potential to wreak unprecedented environmental havoc
Salman Zafar's insight:

When warfare causes the mass movement of people, the resulting impacts on the environment can be catastrophic. Widespread deforestation, unchecked hunting, soil erosion and contamination of land and water by human waste occur when thousands of humans are forced to settle in a new area. 

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Animal Welfare in Islam

Animal Welfare in Islam | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Survival and sustainability of animals are key principles in Islam. We are not their creator, only their caretakers, and have no right to engage in practices that will bring about their extinction. All living creatures have an equal right to Earth. Islam views animals as highly valued creations of God. They are living beings with rights and responsibilities similar to those of humans. 

Salman Zafar's insight:

Animals play critical roles in the development of human society and Islam teaches that they are created specifically in our service. We are obligated to care for and protect all living creatures as a sign of gratitude for the blessings God provides us through them. 

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Climate Change in the Levant

Climate Change in the Levant | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Many countries in the Levant are afflicted by water scarcity, weak institutional and governmental resource management, high food import dependency and fragile economies –  all coupled with increasing populations and demand....

Salman Zafar's insight:

Water scarcity is one of the issues expected to increase with climate change. This will adversely affect livelihoods and sectors like agriculture, which is the largest water user in the country. The Levant region is projected to be one of the most severely impacted region in the world as per most general circulation models due to the expectation of severe water scarcity which will in turn impact its socio-economic development 

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Guide to an Eco-Friendly Ramadan

Guide to an Eco-Friendly Ramadan | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

The month of Ramadan is a golden opportunity to consider making a shift towards a ‘green lifestyle’ that is environmental friendly, non-polluting, non-wasteful and aim toward saving of natural resources. The green lifestyle means improving the quality of life and achieving sustainable development.

Salman Zafar's insight:

Any mismanagement of our precious resources will be having irreversible impacts on our ecology. Let us make concerted effort to encourage and embrace “green”  and ecofriendly practices, especially during Ramadan.

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Impact of Climate Change on Public Health

Impact of Climate Change on Public Health | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
Anthropogenic climatic change is adversely affecting our health which is becoming more severe with each passing year. As per conservative estimates, climate change causes more than 150,000 addition...
Salman Zafar's insight:

The changing climate is affecting the basic requirements for maintaining health — including clean air. Changing wind patterns contributes to transfer of dust, pollen, bacteria, mold, allergens cause's respiratory infections and airborne diseases. Intense heat is expected to increase this burden due to the continued rising in temperature. 

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Green Buildings in Qatar

Green Buildings in Qatar | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it
There has been rapid progress in green building sector in Qatar with the emergence of many world-class sustainable constructions in recent years. With the fifth-highest number of LEED-register...
Salman Zafar's insight:

Structures such as the Qatar National Convention Center will be a benchmark for all future green structure in Qatar. With an increase in population along with an ailing environment, it is absolutely necessary that we begin to take an approach that is suitable to the demands of our time. It is heartening to see that Qatar has recognised the importance of green architecture and lucrative benefits associated with it. 

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A Glance at Sick Building Syndrome

A Glance at Sick Building Syndrome | Fostering Sustainable Development | Scoop.it

Sickness of buildings results from a group of factors associated with effects of high concentrations of toxic pollutants present inside the building. In many cases, occupant's behaviors such as closing windows while using ACs in summer or central heating system in winter leads to an unhealthy indoor atmosphere due to poor ventilation,.

Salman Zafar's insight:

To ensure elimination of SBS-related problems, several measures must be taken including improving the indoor air quality, as building sickness will diminish once the pollutant source is removed or modified.  Another key measure is repairing or replacement of ventilation system to meet ventilation standards in the local building codes. 

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