Sanaa University Professors Call for Environmental Considerations in the Next Plan [Archives:1998/19/Business & Economy]

May 11 1998

The First Workshop on Environmental Programming and the Next Five-Year Plan was held on 4 May in the Faculty of Engineering at Sanaa University. More than 10 papers were presented at the workshop, which was organized by the Environmental Protection Council.
Sanaa University’s College of Engineering hosted a 1-day workshop on “Environmental Programming and the Next Five-Year Plan” on May 4th. More than 10 papers were presented at the workshop which was jointly sponsored with the Environmental Protection Council (EPC) and the Dutch Project. Yemen Times offers summaries of the contribution of three speakers.
1. Dr. Fouad Abdullah called for ‘a startegy of development that will establish an appropriate balance between population growth, natural habitat protection, and socio-economic development. “The ultimate objective is to improve living standards,” he said.
“Management of environmental issues in the plan must be based on principles addressing a proper balance in the eco-system, leading to sustainable development, integration of environmental factors at all planning stages, conservation of natural heritage, environmental impact assessment, capacity building, and institutional development,” the paper states.
2. Dr. Jamal Al-Louzy’s paper praised the Dutch Project which provides assistance and support to the Environmental Protection Council (EPC) to fulfill its mandate. The paper pointed to the following priority areas for the EPC:
a- Strengthening the regulatory framework for environmental management;
b- Formalizing the institutional network of environmental management;
c- Developing environmental management capacities; and
d- Providing equipment and improving the financial status of the EPC.
These objective could be realized through the establishment of technical working groups. Members of these working groups should include EPC staff, line-ministries, local and expatriate consultants provided by the [Dutch] project and other essential technical persons and experts.
3. Dr. Anwar Noman focused on environmental problems. He identified the following areas:
a- Water Depletion, Pollution and Supply Problems:
– over-extraction of ground water
– lack of water allocation and conservation systems
– water pollution
– inadequate water supply
b- Land Degradation Problems:
– soil erosion
– deforestation
– agricultural/rangeland degradation
– loss of farmland due to urban encroachment
c- Habitat Degradation Problems:
– degradation of natural habitats (forests, wet lands, coastal habitats)
– loss of bio-diversity (extinction of endemic, rare and endangered species)
– lack of management of eco-tourism
d- Waste Management Problems:
– waste water management
– solid waste management
– hazardous waste management
– pesticide management
The specialists urged the authorities to make environmental consideration an important part of the next five-year plan (2000-2005). They insisted that sustainable development is only feasible if the environment is part of the process.
Bassam Saqqaf, Y emen Times.