Theme

Environment and Habitat

Stories related to ecosystems, the environment and climate change.

Editor's choice
News
The carbon footprint created in the first 60 days of the war in Gaza alone surpassed the annual emissions of 20 small countries, according to a recent study

The carbon footprint created in the first 60 days of the war in Gaza alone surpassed the annual emissions of 20 small countries, according to a recent study

Whilst attention is at the moment rightly focused on the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza resulting from the Israeli assault on the territory ongoing since October, the heavy price for the environment is now also becoming obvious. Wars cause lasting damage to the environment in the form of emissions, pollutants, and the destruction of habitats. The war in Gaza has been no exception. Since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on southern Israel, the Gaza Strip has come under intense Israeli bombardment, pulverizing buildings, demolishing sanitation services, lacing the earth with explosive remnants, and leaving the air thick with smoke and powdered concrete. Experts say the conflict has contributed to increased air and water pollution and the degradation of ecosystems, according to a report carried by the leading Gulf English language newspaper, Arab News. According to a study conducted by Queen Mary University of London, Lancaster University, and the Climate and Community Project, the carbon footprint created in the first 60 days of the war in Gaza alone surpassed the annual emissions of 20 small countries. Published by the Social Science Research Network on Jan. 9, the paper, titled “A multitemporal snapshot of greenhouse gas emissions from the Israel-Gaza conflict,” found the impact of the war was comparable to burning at least 150,000 tonnes of coal. Much of this was generated by Israeli fighter jets during bombing raids and by armored vehicles used in the ground invasion. Other contributors were the US military, flying supplies to Israel. Less than 1 percent of the emissions were caused by Hamas rockets.  Responding to the study’s findings, Rana Hajirasouli, founder and CEO of The Surpluss, a Dubai-based global climate tech platform, told Arab News, that “this does not include indirect emissions such as energy-intensive production of military equipment, infrastructure construction, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts.” 
Editor's choice
Editorial
"COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace" lays a solid foundation for future work

"COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace" lays a solid foundation for future work

At the COP28 summit held in Dubai last November, for the first time a day dedicated to peace was marked, during which the "COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace" was launched. The declaration, endorsed by more than a hundred countries and international organisations, highlights a commitment by the international community to act on the vital impact of climate change "in situations of fragility, conflict or severe humanitarian needs". The declaration lays a solid basis for future work on the nexus between climate change, peace and security. There is an increasing need for the international community to develop a shared and enhanced understanding that climate change and environmental degradation lead to spiralling instability and conflicts, and vice versa, as well as to human suffering, resource scarcity including water and food insecurity, internal displacement and forced migration, as was stated in a recent statement by the Council of the European Union. It is now necessary, on the basis of the "COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace" for the international community, working with non-governmental stakeholders, to develop a road-map for future action. Work in this direction must be done ahead of the COP29 meeting in November in Baku.

Filter archive

Publication date
Editor's choice
News
The carbon footprint created in the first 60 days of the war in Gaza alone surpassed the annual emissions of 20 small countries, according to a recent study

The carbon footprint created in the first 60 days of the war in Gaza alone surpassed the annual emissions of 20 small countries, according to a recent study

Whilst attention is at the moment rightly focused on the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza resulting from the Israeli assault on the territory ongoing since October, the heavy price for the environment is now also becoming obvious. Wars cause lasting damage to the environment in the form of emissions, pollutants, and the destruction of habitats. The war in Gaza has been no exception. Since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on southern Israel, the Gaza Strip has come under intense Israeli bombardment, pulverizing buildings, demolishing sanitation services, lacing the earth with explosive remnants, and leaving the air thick with smoke and powdered concrete. Experts say the conflict has contributed to increased air and water pollution and the degradation of ecosystems, according to a report carried by the leading Gulf English language newspaper, Arab News. According to a study conducted by Queen Mary University of London, Lancaster University, and the Climate and Community Project, the carbon footprint created in the first 60 days of the war in Gaza alone surpassed the annual emissions of 20 small countries. Published by the Social Science Research Network on Jan. 9, the paper, titled “A multitemporal snapshot of greenhouse gas emissions from the Israel-Gaza conflict,” found the impact of the war was comparable to burning at least 150,000 tonnes of coal. Much of this was generated by Israeli fighter jets during bombing raids and by armored vehicles used in the ground invasion. Other contributors were the US military, flying supplies to Israel. Less than 1 percent of the emissions were caused by Hamas rockets.  Responding to the study’s findings, Rana Hajirasouli, founder and CEO of The Surpluss, a Dubai-based global climate tech platform, told Arab News, that “this does not include indirect emissions such as energy-intensive production of military equipment, infrastructure construction, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts.” 
Editor's choice
Editorial
"COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace" lays a solid foundation for future work

"COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace" lays a solid foundation for future work

At the COP28 summit held in Dubai last November, for the first time a day dedicated to peace was marked, during which the "COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace" was launched. The declaration, endorsed by more than a hundred countries and international organisations, highlights a commitment by the international community to act on the vital impact of climate change "in situations of fragility, conflict or severe humanitarian needs". The declaration lays a solid basis for future work on the nexus between climate change, peace and security. There is an increasing need for the international community to develop a shared and enhanced understanding that climate change and environmental degradation lead to spiralling instability and conflicts, and vice versa, as well as to human suffering, resource scarcity including water and food insecurity, internal displacement and forced migration, as was stated in a recent statement by the Council of the European Union. It is now necessary, on the basis of the "COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace" for the international community, working with non-governmental stakeholders, to develop a road-map for future action. Work in this direction must be done ahead of the COP29 meeting in November in Baku.
Editor's choice
News
EU: "There can be no peace without universal access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation for all"

EU: "There can be no peace without universal access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation for all"

"There can be no peace without universal access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation for all." This was stated by the European Union in a statement on the occasion of World Water Day on 21 March. The statement issued by EU High Representative, Josep Borrell and the EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, adds that "the health and prosperity of people and the planet rely on the stability of the global water cycle." Climate change, biodiversity loss, unsustainable management and pollution have an impact on water resources across the globe. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 1 of out 4 people in the world still lack access to safely managed drinking water. Almost half of the global population lack access to safely managed sanitation. As water scarcity intensifies, increased competition for dwindling freshwater resources threatens stability among and within nations through conflicts, displacement, or migration. And water is also far too often used as a weapon of war. There can be no peace without universal access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation for all. This year's global theme for World Water Day focuses on leveraging “water for peace”. Water resource management and transboundary water cooperation are powerful tools for conflict prevention and peacekeeping. The European Union is working to improve access to water and/or a sanitation facility to 70 million individuals by 2030. It is also working to protect, conserve and restore water-related ecosystems. Building on the outcome of the 2023 UN Water Conference, the EU encourages joint efforts towards effective multilateral governance. Water, including the water-security nexus, needs to be a priority topic across multilateral processes. Water resilience is essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to fight climate change.
Editor's choice
Young voices
The Cambodian spirit remains high despite the danger of landmines

The Cambodian spirit remains high despite the danger of landmines

Walking through the temples of Angkor Wat, the sound of musical instruments was making its way through the jungle, complementing the birds. Once I got closer to the musical instruments, I realised that that the singers were victims of landmines, trying to bring awareness to this danger through music. They were not looking for pity or money, simply to share flyers on the history of landmines in Cambodia and its terrible effects that continue to affect civilians. This encounter sparked my interest as Cambodia is rarely mentioned in news or research papers.
Editor's choice
News
Shovi landslide death toll reaches 20, Blinken offers condolences on behalf of U.S.

Shovi landslide death toll reaches 20, Blinken offers condolences on behalf of U.S.

At least 20 people are confirmed to have been killed by a landslide in Shovi, northern Georgia, on Thursday last week (3 August). The Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili, gave the latest update on Wednesday morning (9 August). According to the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, around a dozen people remain unaccounted for.
Editor's choice
News
At least 11 killed in landslide in northern Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan offer assistance

At least 11 killed in landslide in northern Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan offer assistance

At least 11 people have been killed in a landslide in Shovi, northern Georgia, on Thursday afternoon (3 August). Immediately after the disaster struck around 70 people were moved to a safe area, and according to a statement from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, two border police helicopters and around 400 rescuers had been deployed in the first night of the rescue operation.
Editor's choice
News
600 square kilometres of southern Ukraine flooded after dam collapse

600 square kilometres of southern Ukraine flooded after dam collapse

600 square kilometres in Ukraine's southern Kherson region have been flooded after the Nova Kakhovka dam collapsed in the early hours of Tuesday (6 June). This was announced by the region's governor, Oleksandr Produkin. Speaking on Telegram, Produkin also said 32% of the flooded area is on the Ukrainian controlled right bank and 68% on the Russian occupied left bank. The average water level in flooded areas is currently 5.61m, with the town of Oleshky being particularly badly affected. In total, 30 communities have been affected, according to Ukrainian officials. As of Thursday morning (8 June), 2,000 people have been evacuated from affected areas while some who are stranded on the roofs of their homes in Russian-controlled areas have received drinking water by drone, the governor said. There have also been reports of Russian forces shelling affected areas and even shooting at Ukrainians trying to rescue people affected by the floods. While thousands have been made homeless, Ukrainian officials have said that hundreds of thousands now have no access to clean water, and irrigation systems served by the Dnieper river have been swept away, seriously damaging fertile land that could take years to recover.