10 thoughts on “Gulf of Aqaba, saved by NATO?

  1. War profiteer buys stake in Israeli solar company

    Friday 28 August 2009

    German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG has announced that it will buy a 40 per cent stake in Israeli solar company Arava Power for £9 million.

    Munich-based Siemens said in a statement that Kibbutz Ketura-Eilat-based Arava Power develops, builds and operates photovoltaic plants in Israel and is considered Israel’s market leader.

    Arava Power is a subsidiary of Global Sun Power Ltd, a partnership between the Kibbutz Ketura and US entrepeneurs.

    Siemens said that the investment would contribute to Israel building the first commercial solar farms in the region between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea.

    The first project will be the construction of a plant with an output of about 5MW at Kibbutz Ketura in the south of the country, while additional photovoltaic plants are being planned for the Negev and Arava deserts.

    Siemens chief executive Peter Loescher said: “This investment is another consequential step in further strengthening our green and sustainable technologies.

    “Thanks to its intensive sunshine and steadily growing demand for energy, Israel is an ideal location for further developing our solar business.”

    Siemens is among many large German firms that have faced compensation claims over complicity in the Holocaust.



  2. Egypt’s Mediterranean coast protected in reserve

    Dina Zayed

    Tue Mar 9, 2010 11:41am EST

    A tourist poses for an underwater picture in the Red Sea tourist resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula August 7, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

    CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt wants visitors to discover its Mediterranean coast at a marine reserve being established near the border with Libya, the government said Tuesday.

    Green Business

    “The goal is to protect endangered species … and encourage ecotourism in the reserve area, putting it on the global ecotourism map,” Environment Minister Maged George said.

    The 383-sq km (150-square-mile) reserve, mostly in the water in the Gulf of el-Salloum, is Egypt’s 28th nature protectorate, but its first on the Mediterranean.

    “Declaring this protectorate is a way to confront a host of environmental problems, such as soil degradation and coastal inundation, climate change and loss of biological diversity,” George said in a statement, adding that the area was rich in natural resources.

    The protectorate contains more than 160 migratory and local bird species, about 30 reptile and amphibian species and 10,000 to 12,000 marine species. Its creation should encourage scientific research on biological diversity in Egypt, he said.

    Tourism accounts for about 11 percent of Gross Domestic Product and is an important source of foreign currency and jobs in Egypt.

    In a move to encourage sound environmental practices, the government has begun a $238 million project to slash carbon emissions in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

    (Editing by Michael Roddy)


  3. http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/environmental-concerns-for-red-sea-dead-sea-project?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Environmental concerns for Red Sea-Dead Sea project

    26 Mar 2012 09:48

    Source: Content partner // SciDev.Net – Farah Atyyat

    In April, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation is due to select a company to commence construction in June of the first phase of the so-called ‘Red Sea – Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project’. The project was approved in 2005 by Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.

    The project will channel water from the Gulf of Aqaba in the northern Red Sea to the Dead Sea 180 kilometres away. Around 1.2 billion cubic metres of water will be removed from the Red Sea each year.

    Much of the water will be desalinated to provide drinking water for Jordan, Israel and areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority, while the rest will replenish the Dead Sea. A hydropower station is also envisaged as part of the project.

    “The problem of water scarcity is the main reason to establish the Red Sea–Dead Sea pipeline,” Musa Al Jamaani, Jordan’s minister of water and irrigation, told SciDev.Net, adding that the first phase of the project is expected to cost US$2 billion.

    He said an extensive review process by the World Bank had concluded that the project was the best available solution to regional water needs.

    “They found that the environmental risks of the project are manageable if the project is well planned and executed,” he said. “The result [from] the final report … was a ‘go’ decision.”

    “In addition to the water, it will provide us with 600 megawatts of electricity per year from hydropower,” he added.

    But environmentalists fear the project will have far-ranging negative effects.

    Yehya Khaled, director general of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan told SciDev.Net that large amounts of Red Sea water could change salinity levels in the Dead Sea, possibly encouraging bacterial and algal growth and mineral build-up that could affect the area’s appearance.

    “These changes could affect the unique health benefits [attributed to the Dead Sea’s mineral composition] of the saltiest sea on the planet, [and diminish] tourists’ interest in its environment,” he said.

    But Eli Elias, a private sector advisor to the World Bank study, said if water inflow was limited to 400 million cubic metres annually, the Dead Sea’s biology would not be affected.

    He admitted this was insufficient to raise the Dead Sea’s water levels, and noted that any moves to increase inflow would need to be carefully monitored.

    Environmental groups also fear the project could increase the likelihood of earthquakes in the region, especially if water flow is increased.

    “Pumping about 700 million cubic metres of seawater per year into the Dead Sea would lead to strong seismic activity in the region,” said Ahmad Al-Kofahi, executive director of the Jordan Environment Society.

    A hmed Al Qatarneh, secretary general of the Ministry of Environment, told SciDev.Net the project would be “implemented in phases, [and any] environmental impacts will be monitored closely to study any unexpected impacts and phenomena which may arise”.


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