Wednesday, September 11, 2019

For the Environment of Arabia

Interview with Ms Halel Engineer, MD, Environment Arabia

Environment Arabia, the first of its kind registered in the Kingdom is an established and respected environmental and sustainability consultancy based in Bahrain with an established track record of undertaking environmental assessment projects in the Arabian Gulf and MENA region that meet the requirements of national and local government, investors and international partners. Ms. Halel Engineer was more than happy to share her experiences as the managing director of Environment Arabia.

  • What are the guidelines you follow to measure environmental sustainability? How do you attain them?

We refer to local (Bahrain), regional and international environmental laws and legislation, in addition to guidelines from the World Bank which help us determine the impacts of any proposed project or development on the environment and human health.  We sometimes use a range of standards depending on the requirement and parameters to be assessed.  International standards are referred to in the absence of local standards.  Depending on the project itself, we could look at air quality standards, water & sediment quality standards, groundwater quality standards, guidelines for noise, guidelines and standards for soil quality, etc.

  • Biggest challenge so far in introducing the measures of environmental sustainability.

The biggest challenge for us is trying to convince the authorities and developers to develop sustainable concepts.  In Bahrain we face a situation where we are provided with a location of a project, and we have to assess the impact on that particular location.  Ideally and as best practice, we should have options to look at (in terms of location, size of project, type of project, suitability of project to a particular location, etc) to be able to advise the authorities of the best environmental option once it has been assessed.  When we are faced with a project that has been approved to go ahead, the challenge for us in this case is to try and work with the developer in minimizing or mitigating any impacts that may happen as a result.

  • How can we raise the public awareness on this?

There is a great public interest now when compared to my initial days of business.  I can see that the public interest for environmental protection has increased very much.  Awareness needs to start at home and in schools as kids are tomorrow’s generation.  Workshops and awareness campaigns for teaching the young children how to take care of the environment they live in has to be initiated by parents and schools authorities. For example, teaching children how to recycle is a simple and fun way to get them interested and it will be a part of their lives.  Taking students out on field trips and showing them real life environmental problems, and also showcasing what we still need to protect, will get them interested in the subject and increase their awareness.

Of course local educational TV programmes, posters and signs around the country that the general public will be able to see will also help in increasing awareness.

  • How much are we responsible to the environment we live in?

We are all responsible for the environment we live in.  Action starts with one person. We should all be doing our part for the environment.

  • Which all are the major projects done so far by Environment Arabia?

We are mainly involved in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for major projects in Bahrain and these include reclamation & dredging, industrial facilities, Sewage Treatment Plants, Waste to Energy, oil & gas (including oil and gas exploration), etc.  We also do environmental monitoring and auditing of projects during the construction and operation phases; environmental surveys (marine and terrestrial); soil & groundwater contamination investigations, artificial reefs.  We have also worked in all Gulf countries on similar projects.

  • Can we have some information on artificial reefs and its importance?

The Government of Bahrain appointed us to work on the Bahrain Artificial Reef Project for two years between September 2011 and 2013. The aim of this project is to increase the productivity of fish habitats around Bahrain.  As a result of a decline in productive marine habitats over the years, due to reclamation, dredging, overfishing, etc. and the loss of live natural coral reefs, artificial reefs provide a habitat similar to that which has been lost.  If placed correctly in the sea, in the right areas (e.g. suitable substrate) and with the right configuration, they can create a home for fish and marine life.

Previous articleKeraStraight
Next articleThe Touch Of Perfection

MOST READ

Bahrain India Society (BIS) congratulates Bahrain-India Relationship

The Board of Directors of Bahrain India Society (BIS) has congratulated His Majesty Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the King of Bahrain; His Royal Highness...

Malabar Gold & Diamonds Inaugurates It’s 2nd outlet in USA

Malabar Gold & Diamonds, one among the largest jewellery retailers globally with a strong retail network of over 250 outlets has opened its 2nd...

Saar Mall Farmers Market was a Big Success

Inspired by the concept of Budaiya’s Farmer’s Market, the Saar Mall team, brought the concept of farmers' market inside the mall for the first...

Batelco ‘Nasna’ supports Tree of Life through “Back-To-School” Initiative

In line with its continuous efforts to contribute to initiatives that support the community and with the collaboration of the Tree of Life Social...

BDB Group conducts a Health & Wellness Session for It’s Employees

In line with Bahrain Development Bank Group’s (BDB) objective to continuously develop its employee’s performance and efficiency, the bank held an interactive Health &...

Diabetes and Periodontal Health

During the past 10 years, much research has been undertaken on the link between diabetes and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the sixth leading...

Boost Bahrain 2019 Race Season Launches

Boost Bahrain announced the launch of their new race season at a press conference which took place at The Ritz-Carlton . The conference was...

LARGEST UNDERWATER THEME PARK OPENED

Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani officially inaugurated the largest underwater theme park, Dive Bahrain, which was announced by...

Salt N Pepper Restaurant, Bahrain’s Favourite Dining Destination for Two Decades

Salt n Pepper Restaurant is a favourite dining destination for both locals and expats for almost 2 decades. Located in Sanad, opposite to the...

Yoga poses for Stress Relief

Last week we discussed the ancient Yogic techniques to manage stress which are more about working directly on the thoughts and mind. The Yogic physical...

Bahrain participates in the 21st GCC eGovernment Executive Committee Meeting in Riyadh

Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Acting Chief Executive, Shaikh Salman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa headed Bahrain’s delegation to the 21st GCC eGovernment Executive Committee...

HH Shaikh Nasser owned mare Al Raya Triumphs in Chantilly

HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Representative of His Majesty the King for Charity Works and Youth Affairs and President of the Supreme...

Youth and Sports Minister crowns Sudan

Sudan has won the expatriates Futsal championship after beating Yemen 6-7 in penalty shoot-outs. The match was held as part of the fifth edition of the Khalid...

Gulf Air Organizes Kids Day for Staff

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, in collaboration with Gulf Aviation Academy (GAA) and Bahrain Airport Services (BAS), has recently...

Use Sunflower Oil as a Beauty Product

Use sunflower oil to treat your face, body and hair with these DIY beauty tips! ● Fight wrinkles straight up, no chaser: sunflower oil can...