Ramallah – Dunya Al Watan
Today, Sunday, the Palestinian Green Building Council organized the Green Steps Conference and Exhibition “Steps to Sustainability”, under the auspices of the President of the Environmental Quality Authority, Dr. Nasreen Al-Tamimi, at the Millennium Hotel in Ramallah.
The activities of the first day of the conference, which will last two days in a row, started with the presence and participation of a wide range of official institutions and bodies, in addition to institutions and companies interested in the green building sector and those operating. in it.
In this context, the President of the Palestinian Council for Green Buildings, Dr. Afif Akel Hassan The Palestinian Council for Green Building is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, established in 2011 with the aim of promoting a culture of green building, capacity building and contributing to the provision of suitable conditions and environment for a such construction, in cooperation with institutions, ministries, the private sector and all those who are interested in this field.We are also members of the World Green Building Council and the Green Councils for the Middle East and North Africa.
He added that the Conference on Green Buildings and Exhibition is one of the activities of the project “Strengthening Palestinian Sustainability through Green Buildings”, which is funded by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and implemented by the Council since 2020, where the Council implemented a series of other basic activities within the “Sumoud” project, among which the most important are capacity building in the field of green buildings in Palestine by holding 11 training courses and 3 educational seminars; More than 300 trainees participated, some of whom received international certificates.
stressed Dr. Hassan indicated that the council signed memoranda of understanding with 15 municipalities to build incentive systems for green buildings, and completed an economic feasibility study for green buildings, while one of the existing buildings is currently being rehabilitated, taking into account the standards of greenery during restoration.
He explained that the conference aims to contribute to the growth of science and knowledge about green buildings through working papers, lectures and applied studies on green buildings, presenting global and local systems for the evaluation and classification of green buildings and focuses in highlighting local and regional success stories. , as well as encouraging business and market crystallization of green buildings, including materials, systems, services and engineering works.
said Dr. Hassan expressed his hope that the conference would provide a platform for discussing the requirements of green buildings and presented the challenges in Palestine to come up with proposals to address them later, showing that best local experiences have been gathered from educational and vocational institutions, workers. in the government and private sector, financiers and donors.
He expressed his gratitude to the partners who contributed to this event, the Environmental Quality Authority, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development for supporting the project “Strengthening Resistance through the Promotion of Green Building”, the World Bank Group represented by the Corporation International Finance Corporation (IFC), Bank of Palestine Group, Qudra, and Belgian Cooperation Foundation ENABEL German Cooperation, through the GIZ Foundation, and the Palestine Investment Fund.
On the other hand, the head of the Environmental Quality Authority, Dr. Nisreen Al-Tamimi The slogan of this conference, “Steps towards Sustainability”, comes to translate the great efforts made on the way to creating a sustainable society capable of meeting the challenges that the world at large and Palestine is experiencing. especially.
She added that Palestine is in dire need of sustainability in light of the lack of environmental and natural resources in it, with the Israeli occupation controlling most of the capabilities of this great people.
She noted that the slogan of this conference is in line with the vision of the environmental sector, which is adopted in the cross-cutting environmental strategy, which states “a clean and sustainable environment protected”, and relates to its five objectives. . where the first goal was to control pollution levels and the fifth came to ensure that levels of awareness and awareness on environmental issues are generalized and strengthened, which is also one of the objectives of this conference.
She added that sustainable development and its seventeen goals, which were adopted and endorsed by the countries of the world in 2015, represent a comprehensive vision regarding the well-being of man and the planet, prosperity, peace and partnership, which are the goals of independent, integrated and indivisible. .
She noted that sustainable green construction is not only about buildings, but also about a comprehensive vision of the future that takes us from the green building to the space of green and sustainable cities through smart urban planning, innovative design of buildings and environmental integration. technology friendly.
Al-Tamimi pointed out that environmental investment, or green investment, is a form of socially responsible investment, where investments are made in companies that support or offer environmentally friendly products and practices, and these companies encourage new technologies that support the transition from relying on carbon to more sustainable alternatives.
She said that the Environmental Quality Authority, in joint cooperation with relevant institutions, aims to establish applicable policies and rules in the field of green construction and sustainable cities.
She explained that the Environmental Quality Authority seeks to modernize the legislative system for the environmental sector, in a way that enables it to accommodate global trends and environmental issues that are in line with the Palestinian national need, the most important of which was the issue of greenery. green and sustainable construction and procurement, except for issues of climate change and sustainable development.
For his part, the representative of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Dr. Samir Jarad, the Fund considers this a model project and we hope that this experience will be generalized in all Arab regions and countries, in terms of preserving the environment and reducing energy consumption.
Jarad added that the issue of living in arid areas, where temperatures are high, requires finding the right solutions for a comfortable life, and this project confirms the need to work together to achieve the results that will be achieved.
He stressed that the desired success can not be achieved without the support of official bodies and funding institutions, emphasizing that the Arab Fund considers this project one of the pioneering projects that deserves continuity and continued support, for our conviction in these sustainable projects. , and also affirm our commitment to funding the second phase of the project.
For her part, the Director of Communications and Networks at the World Green Building Council, Dominica Czerwinska said that many countries around the world are struggling with climate change, but few companies show their serious work on this issue and we hope that by by the end of the century the situation will improve significantly, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
She added that removing barriers to “carbonization” is important and essential in preserving the environment, especially as we are not doing enough to reduce global warming and according to experts, carbon emissions are still possible despite the scale of the challenge, stressed that 61% of high emissions should not be stopped and removed and this can be achieved.
Czerwinska pointed out that this year the World Council celebrates its 20th anniversary, showing that one of the goals of the network is to explore how to expand the field of green solutions, especially as we need to enable the prosperity of a sustainable economy that maintains environment and the good. infrastructure, and we also need to double energy efficiency in order to build a more resilient world.
On the sidelines of the conference, an accompanying exhibition was held that provides an environment for the presentation of practical and commercial aspects related to green construction in relation to building materials, equipment, services, engineering works and the use of information technology, as examples of alive. of promoting the green building market and its requirements, and the exhibition provided ample space for pioneering initiatives in this field.
The first day of the conference included; A series of important sessions, which began with an introductory session on green and sustainable cities, presented by sustainability expert and consultant, engineer Karim El-Gendy, who spoke about his initiative launched by Carbon. which works to promote sustainability in cities. of the Middle East and North Africa.
The first session was titled Success Story and a series of successful experiences were presented in various contexts. The session was moderated by Dr. Afif Akl – Chairman of the Green Building Council and Assistant Professor at the College of Engineering and Technology at Birzeit University, with the participation of: Director of the Solar Energy Program – Resource Company, Engineer Muhammad Awartani, Executive Director of Qudra Energy Solutions, Eng . Abdul Rahman Hijawi, and General Manager of the Hebron Reconstruction Committee, Imad Hamdan through (Zoom), Rawaq Youssef Foundation architect and restorer Ahmed Dar Taha and CEO of Electra Control Systems, Eng. Sari Saadeh.
The second session entitled: “Laws and Legislations” presented the laws and legislation necessary for the promotion and implementation of green construction. The session was moderated by Legal Adviser at the Environmental Quality Authority, Murad Al-Madani, with the participation of: Director of Department of Research and Studies at the Energy and Natural Resources Authority, Engineer Nidal Abu Al-Rub and the Captain of Engineers, Nadia Habash, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Dr. Salim Abu Dhaher, Head of Concrete Department at Standards and Metrology Organization, Eng. Rania Ahmed Omar, and the Executive Director of the Electricity Sector Regulatory Council, Inxhi.