Curtains down on Ajman International Conference

  • Abu Dhabi, Ajman municipalities agree on sustainability project
  • Cooling buildings consumes 80% of UAE electricity
  • Key environment, development, energy, sustainability studies, issues featured

The Ajman 5th International Environment Conference, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman, came to a close on Wednesday.

The global summit, featuring a line-up of valuable scientific papers on a variety of environmental and development issues, saw the participation of some 205 researchers, experts and specialists from 49 countries, including 70 international lecturers.

The two-day conference, inaugurated by HH Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman and Chairman of the Emirate’s Executive Council, was organised by the Ajman Municipality and Planning Department.

Valuable Scientific Papers

A big number of valuable scientific papers and specialised researches on the environment, sustainability, development and diverse energy were showcased in the conference held at the Sheikh Zayed Centre for Conferences and Exhibitions, Ajman University, on March 06-07.

In his paper on the ‘Energy Performance Resilience of UAE Buildings to Climate Change’, Kirk Shanks, British University, Dubai, revealed that cooling government and residential buildings consumes 80% of UAE electricity.

“This indicates the overall year-round high temperature,” he said. “Solar energy can be used as an alternative safe energy effective from 2020 to 2050, though.”

Studies confirm that cooling rates shall witness a significant development from 22.2% in 2020 to 40% by 2080, he stated. “This urges investment in solar energy returns to address the impact of climate change over the years to come.”

Limited penalties

In his paper, Chukwuemeka Chuks-Ezike, Robert Gordon University, UK, spotlighted the ‘Deficient Legislations Sanctioning Oil Spill and Gas Flaring in Nigeria; A Need for a Review of the Petroleum Industries Bill towards Better Environmental Regulation in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Sector.’

“The oil spill is sort of a ‘cemetery in various environmental fields, as was the case in Nigeria where so many environmental resources were destroyed due to an oil leakage.”

This ‘warning bell’ has, as per experts, changed the features of the topography and agricultural lands there, and negatively impacted fishing operations and the revenues of natural resources, he added.

“Legislators need to review the laws and legislations that regulate the petroleum industries, to curb pollution, and high costs of those industries; mainly environment destruction.”

Greenhouse Gas Emission

In his paper, Hameed Sulaiman, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, talked about the ‘Municipal Solid Waste Composition and Greenhouse Gas Emission Potential from a Landfill – A Case Study from Al Multaqa area, Muscat, Oman.

The researcher found out that the proportion of “methane” gas emitting from solid wastes amounted to 2.25 Gg. “This is being reused as a source of alternative energy in order to reduce the risk of those wastes.”

Smart Climate

In his paper: ‘How to Build a Smart Climate City Conserving and Using Biodiversity’, Gabriela Teodorescu, Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania, said his study is aimed to build “smart green cities” with less carbon emissions.

“The Sustainable environment is the key to control all terrains and resources of our environment,” he said. “However, this should be based on socio-economic and governmental axes that fit into the rules in place.”

Reducing the impact the desertification and digital technology is of great essence, he underlined. “Digital technology should be used in a way up to ongoing challenges, though.”

Insulation Cement

In his paper on the ‘Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Perlite and Rubber Insulation Cement Mortar: Experimentally and Analytically’, Ahmed Salem Al-Tamimi, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia, concluded that this cement is a good thermal bridge.

“While it is possible for external heat to be transferred inward, it is not sufficiently heat-resistant, so it has been developed to be more heat-efficient by adding 5% perlite granules, 10% rubber and 15% sand to it.”

This gives good results in terms of hardness, durability, thermal conductivity, density and absorption, he disclosed. “This insulation cement proved to be safer and more appropriate to circumstances.”

Environmental Best Practices

In his paper on the ‘Environmental Best Practices, It Begins with Us: Business, Local Governments and International Community Should Work Together’, Jung Wan Lee, Boston University, USA, examines the impact of environmental policies, regulations and legislation in place.

“Local governments have to manage environmental policies in a way that serves the global system,” he said, noting that experts have developed a set of solutions to exploit climate change globally for the interest of global economy and energy.

Green Spaces & Urban Climate

In his paper on the ‘Impact of Green Spaces on the Urban Micro-climate through Landsat 8 and TIRS data, in Varanasi, India’, Ashwani Kumar Agnihotri, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi, India, noted that the slow global change – scorching temperature, has increased the demand for means of controlling and reducing temperature.

This paper sheds light on an experimental model of the city of Varanasi that featured the impact of cultivating vegetables in local climatic conditions, and studying temperature using through Landsat 8 and TIRS data.

“Large-scale vegetative farming has experimentally led to a gradual reduction in temperature and the development of the local environment and climate towards a healthier life.”

Sustainable Transport

In his paper, Kakha Karchkhadze, Ilia State University, Georgia, talked about the ‘Sustainable City Transport Development and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Emissions through Introduction of Biodiesel Fuel’.

“Studies have affirmed that the development of “nanotubes” for biodiesel has led to widespread use of engines and machinery,” he said. “It has significantly reduced the emission of harmful greenhouse gases and maintained a safe environment.”

Cooperation Agreement

The Ajman Municipality and Planning Department and the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities in Abu Dhabi have inked an agreement of cooperation for implementing the ‘Estidama’ or ‘Sustainability’ project re green building requirements in Ajman.

The project, a specialized program of buildings and urban communities in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, features the development of guidelines for designing new residential and commercial buildings.

It consists of 10 elements, including energy, water, pollution, building materials, land use, and so forth. It is implemented in several stages spanning government projects and new private sector projects, leave alone the implementation of these standards on existing buildings.

Workshops

The conference, meanwhile, featured a number of specialized workshops. In one of these, Issah M. Alhamad, Mechanical Engineering Department, UAE University, set ‘A Comparison between a Stand-Alone and Grid-Connected Roof Mounted PV Solar System under Abu Dhabi Net Metering Scheme Using HOMER, presenting a feasibility study on the same.

He stressed that renewable energy systems, which are still under development, are hampered by many obstacles. “The high link between solar energy and power plants has improved the environmental energy leading to a positive impact on the state economy by reducing electricity bills and rates.”

In another workshop, David Gallacher, Zayed University, UAE, highlighted the ‘High-Definition NDVI Sampling of Arabian Protected Areas to Assess Rangeland Condition’.

“It is so difficult to convince policymakers in the region of our cause, while the solution lies in showcasing the long term consequences to them.”

In another workshop, Panteleimon Sklias, American University in the Emirates, UAE, talked about ‘The Political Economy of National and Energy Security: The Cases of the UAE and China.’

Affirming the impact of abundant natural resources on national security, he said that the UAE is concerned with the preservation of national interests in particular.

“Available data show that reliance on “petroleum” has to change, while the diversification of natural resources has become an important issue since 2007,” he said. “The state, though an energy producer, has to diversify its gross domestic product.”

In his workshop, Khaled Galal Ahmed, UAE University, lectured on the ‘Constructability of an Estidama and Building Codes Compliant SIP System in Adaptive Public Housing in UAE’.

The lecturer discussed the mechanisms needed to overcome stalemate in design, achieve social sustainability, and build appropriate and soundproofed buildings.

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