Papers Discuss Environment Issues

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM (SUDANOW) – The Chairman of the UNESCO office in Khartoum has stated in a paper he presented at the First Environmental Conference on Khartoum State’s Green Belt Implementation that the UNESCO priorities in the region include improvement of the integrated water resources management (IWRM) in Sudan and improvement of the nature protection.

The conference, March 12-15, has discussed many papers within six themes; desertification, environment, water resources and irrigation, experiences from other countries, organizations activities and cooperation in Sudan and establishment and management of Khartoum green belt.
The UNESCO activities focus on capacity-building, integration of Sudanese professionals in the UNESCO networks concerned with cross-border problems and establishment of a chair in the Islamic University of Omdurman for capacity-building and IWRM studies, he said.
The Sudanese Environment Conservation Society (SECS), an NGO founded in 1975, participated in the environment conference with a paper on SECS role in preservation of the environment presented by Majdah Hassan Khair al-Seed, the SSCE projects coordinator.
The coordinator said her organization is concerned with conservation of the environmental health and achievement of sustainable development using the model of volunteer work and popular participation.
She said the SECS looks forward to having a safe and healthy environment with a sustainable development and a lasting peace in Sudan.
The SECS contributes to rehabilitation of the environment, proper management of the natural resources and elimination of violations and practices that harm the environment, Majdah said.
She added that the SECS is composed of more than 10,000 members operating in 118 branches all over Sudan, with eight branches in Khartoum State.

The Canadian official
The Canadian official

An important project the Society is engaged in is the peace and environment program by raising environmental awareness among the people, Majdah said.
She indicated that her Society has carried out a number of projects and awareness campaigns and has trained 210 persons on conservation of the environment.
The SECS also carried out projects in West Kordofan in contribution to peace-building operations and to making available potable water by rehabilitation of the existing water basins and establishing new ones, the coordinator said.
In the context of reviewing papers on experiences of the international organizations, the conference heard a paper by Dr. Ahmed Jabir Subahy, of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), containing basic information on the Fund that was established in 1974.
He indicated that the objectives of the Fund include empowering the rural inhabitants, raising their per capita incomes, improving the food security and nutrition conditions for them.
IFAD encourages and assists the farmers in applying proper farming methods that help them adapt to climatic changes, Subahy said.
He added that IFAD carries out wide-ranging environmental activities that concentrate on management of the natural resources, establishment of systems of proper governance by participation of the stakeholders.
IFAD projects in Sudan include West Sudan Resources Management Program (WSRMP) in west Sudan, the Seeds Development Program (SDP), the Butanah Integrated Rural Development Project (BIRDP) and Rural Access Project (RAP) in addition to supporting the farmers of the traditional rain-fed agriculture in Sennar State, carbon control and assistance in livestock marketing, IFAD official said.
He added in his paper that IFAD is active in management of pastures, water accumulation technologies, fixing sand dunes, forests and conducting studies on management of the natural resources and issues relevant to the lands.

The Dean of the Faculty of Forestry Faculty of Sovolen of Slovak Republic, Professor Villiam Pichler, has appreciated the considerable efforts exerted by Khartoum State in the field of environment .

He said that time has come to resort to the vital and renewable energy resources indicating that the issue of environment is given international support by the organizations, especially the United Nations .

Prof. Pichler
Prof. Pichler

The consultant of environment and biological diversity in Canada and specialist in waste recycling, Mr. Romely George, commended efforts by the Sudanese government for improvement of the environment and he underlined the need for joining ranks for finding solutions to the problems of environment and called upon the international community to help the Sudan in this respect.
Sumaya Ali Rihaiman, of the Sanitary Corporation in Khartoum State, highlighted some projects which the State planned to implement in the near future involving collection and recycling of waste water for irrigation purposes including Jatrova fields and the proposed greenbelt, calling for allocating adequate areas for establishment of stations for collection and treatment of the sewage water. The left over solid material will be used as organic fertilizers and for production of biogas, the paper said.
Rihaiman recalled that such an experiment was applied in the 1960s for the first greenbelt south of Khartoum which was unfortunately abolished in favor of the housing plans.

The regional coordinator for the UN Disasters and Conflicts Program, Africa Office in Nairobi, Sido Hamany also commended the Sudan's environment efforts.
He said the papers presented at the conference discussed the challenges facing environment such as the drought, desertification and resources management, etc.
The Disasters and Conflicts program praise the Sudanese scientists and researchers for the methods they have improvised in dealing with the problems of environment and the relevant projects they have propose.
He called for cooperation between the African countries with respect to the environment, citing the proposed African green fence and Khartoum State's greenbelt.
The representative of Brazil to the environment conference, Dr. Rivaldo Rezand, stressed in his paper that the Sudan possesses chances of attracting international financiers because it is one of the countries which are affected by the climate change.
He indicated the need for creating a safe and stable environment for investment and for establishing partnerships between the public and private sectors and preparing plans for attracting financial influx.

The Brazilian representative
The Brazilian representative

The Brazilian representative has called for much concern with agriculture and forestry.
He mentioned that he had served with a number of countries in west and east Africa and also in Sudan where they implemented a number of projects such as the integrated Butana project east Sudan, carbon control and cooking ovens in Darfur.
The conference discussed a paper on the effect of trees on urban areas presented by Dr. Tawheeda Abdul Rahman Yusuf, a lecturer in al-Zaaeim al-Azhari University.
She said she carried out a study in six regions around the national capital to determine the effects of trees on the cities, particularly in connection with oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations, the relative humidity, the temperature and wind speed in Khartoum State.
Another paper presented at the conference by Salah Yusuf Mohamed of the Forests Department dealt with the method of how to calculate the biomass and carbon on certain species of trees designed to be planted in the greenbelt.

A paper on the " biological means for combating desertification by use of shelterbelts, presented by Dr. Nuha Ahmed Mutwali of the Agricultural Research Centre in Soba, has recommended growing Laoat, Sayal and Marakh trees in the form of saplings for combating desertification in Sudan.
The paper has reviewed the experiments for combating desertification and sand encroachment which was carried out at Al-Jawaseer area in Merowe Locality, the Northern State.
The paper referred to the ways adopted for reducing the movement of sands and combating desertification by use of green belts.
The conferees also discussed a paper on " desertification in Sudan" which was presented by Dr. Abdul-Nasir Hanno of the university of Khartoum, Faculty of Forestry".
The paper focused on the causes of desertification in Sudan which included climate change, over-grazing, removal of green cover and the population growth.
Dr. Hanno stated that Khartoum is affected by desertification more than other states, estimating the area affected by desertification in the country to be around 75 million hectares.



A paper on financing of environment projects presented by Dr Mahjoub Hassan, an environment expert, has stressed the need for prompt ratification of the Draft Law on the National Fund for Environment Protection.

The paper urged the government of the Sudan to ratify all agreements and conventions related to environment protection so that the country could benefit from the resources made available upon joining such conventions and agreements.

The paper has detailed the benefits and merits such a fund would provide in support of the environment protection and in securing funds for erection of green belts around the urban areas.

Another paper on management of hazardous and Electronic Waste presented by Dr Abdul Rahaman Al Amin has explained what hazardous waste mean, including medical waste, electronic waste and other solid and liquid waste which results in destruction of the environment.

The paper called for tightening control over electronic waste entering the Sudan to stave off their hazards and threat to health and public safety.

The paper stressed that it was imperative to name a body for controlling the liquid batteries. It pinpointed to the size of the electronic waste in circulation, referring in particular to the mobile phones, and to the television sets which are found in abundance in Khartoum. The paper also warned against the medical waste.



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