Sunday, February 05, 2023 | Rajab 13, 1444 H
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Nature as a friend

The human acceleration of global warming which brings climate change began when mankind took more than could be replaced. Man effectively declared war on nature, something infinitely more powerful than humanity. To survive mankind must first stop further damage and then seek to make repairs.

When nature is treated once more as a friend and ally there will be a hastening of safe and enduring economic growth and possibly allow enough time to learn how man may survive alongside nature. To achieve this the basic needs must be addressed. Air, water, and food are the key elements for survival.

Clean air is vital for all creatures and plants and will be enhanced greatly with emission reductions. But there is also the bill to pay for the build up of carbon in the atmosphere since the start of the industrial age. With emissions in check the focus must be to cleanse the air and the simplest way is through plants. Forests are a natural environment and provide economic, environmental, and social benefits. They are a major source of biodiversity, and have a protective effect on soil, water, air, and the climate. They are also the source of wood, a renewable raw material, and foods.

A good example of harnessing nature is the Nimr Water Treatment Project in southern Oman. It is the largest industrial constructed wetland system in the world and recognized for its contribution to greening degraded desert lands, innovative water solutions and will represent a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Clean water is a challenge but there is enough water for all if managed in line with natural sourcing and recycling. Desalination is improving rapidly, and there are also options for water supplements such as atmospheric water generation and the wholesale increase of recycling and grey water usage. Collaboration and synergy at all levels are key to success and there are lessons to be learnt from nature. Water is needed to nourish all flora and fauna and is provided initially via precipitation. A single cumulonimbus cloud can hold the equivalent energy of ten Hiroshima atomic bombs and half a million tons of water; mass energy and water from a single natural source.

The world can feed itself naturally with better management. At present half the world gets half the food it needs, while the other half wastes half the food it gets. Food production and management must be managed globally and working closer with nature will prove most efficient if managed with intelligence.

But without sustainable energy the future is unmanageable. There is unprecedented momentum around the world to utilise clean energy solutions from hydrogen to wave energy in support of one of UN Sustainable Development Goals which is “Affordable and Clean Energy” and fully endorsed by the Oman 2040 Vision Pillar which seeks “An Environment with Sustainable Components”.

Every natural and renewable energy resource and product must be harnessed collaboratively nationally, regionally and globally. Each drop of power available from air, land and sea must be managed and used to best effect by careful and synergistic planning and in a manner which is effective, economically viable and future proof.

[The author is the Owner and Founder of Mayamn, a project which aims to provide clean water sustainably and is currently engaged in this project for Oman. Email:]

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