The paper 'Implications of High Levels of Pollution in Abu Dhabi" is a perfect example of an environmental studies case study. Gulf countries are faced with several environmental issues that include water scarcity, land degradation, biodiversity, coastal environment degradation, and air pollution. This region is also a large contributor to global emissions of carbon dioxide in per capita terms. Abu Dhabi is by far the biggest oil producer in the United Arab Emirates, controlling more than 85 percent of the UAE’ s total oil output capacity and over 90 percent of its crude reserves.
Because of this reason primarily, there are various petroleum-processing industries, which have set up bases in and around Abu Dhabi. The major sources of industrial air pollution in the region are oil refineries and petrochemical, cement, and metal industries. Natural conditions like sandstorms add to the problem of air pollution in the region. In reports published by the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) on its website, the growth of the heavy industry, especially in the petrochemical sector, hazards of oil spills and pollution from desalination plants have affected regional marine biodiversity.
Spawning grounds for marine species, siltation, and coastal erosion which cause turbid waters and the loss of mangroves is the present circumstance. Land pollution is as severe as marine pollution generally caused by increased urbanization and petrochemical companies. The presence of cement industries adds to the threat of the Emirate. The Green Gulf Report, which is a joint research effort by the GRC and TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) states that major sources of air pollution in the region are from oil refineries and petrochemicals, cement, and metal industries. Abu Dhabi has also recorded high levels of Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Oxide, which is a result of heavy traffic in the UAE. Implications of High Levels of Pollution in Abu Dhabi High levels of harmful gases in the atmosphere have known to cause not only health effects on the citizens but also economic losses for the country’ s economy.
An increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has led to an increase in heat stress on the citizens. The increase in pollution levels also results in lung diseases as well as other ailments.
Pollution in the water causes an increase in diseases like malaria and other water-borne diseases. Economic losses like a decrease in crop yields due to an increased level of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone affect the country’ s productivity. Contaminated water causes damage to the crops. Thus, climate change and unhealthy levels of harmful gases in the atmosphere are not only harmful to the citizen’ s health but also affect the country’ s economy to an extent. Various standards available to help reduce pollution There are various Environmental standards like the ISO 14000, which intend to protect the environment while removing trade barriers.
Aside from the ISO, various Governments established standards to protect the environment e. g. The European Union has established Directives geared toward air pollution. These directives aim at specifying standards for various harmful greenhouse gases like Nitrogen Dioxide, Limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants, etc. to be followed by all countries and industries operating in the European Union. Standards like the British Standards Institution (BSI) have prescribed certain methods of measurement of Air Pollution, which need to be followed by the industries.
A closer look at the ISO standards ISO is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from more than 100 countries. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947 with its first standard published in 1951. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardization activities to promote the exchange of goods and services. The ISO 14000 is a series of voluntary standards designed to promote environmental protection while spurring international trade and commerce by establishing a common worldwide approach to environmental management systems.
The standards represent a new approach to environmental management systems to manage and track their environmental performance. It is a movement away from the “ command and control” regime to the encouragement of strategic environmental management. In short, the ISO 14000 is an Environmental Management System (EMS) Guidance Document and the ISO 14001 specifies the Environmental Management System. A company demonstrates it’ s commitment to the environment by adopting the ISO 14000 standard to show that it is an environmentally responsible company.
Air Quality and Atmospheric Pollution in the Arab Region. – http://www.ead.ae
Olson Scott S. – Introduction to International Environmental Standards.
THE GREEN GULF PROJECT -http://www.grc.ae/data/contents/uploads/greengulf_book_2458.pdf