Tag Archives: Gulf States

Al Jazeera: Gulf conservation and corporate ‘greenwash’

Ford Motors has given away $1.1 million in environmental grants since 2000, and they offer $100,000 each year for projects in the Middle East [GALLO/GETTY]
Environmentalists say that polluting corporations only fund Middle East conservation projects as a “greenwash” policy.

The US conservation movement is regularly derided for its willingness to take “dirty money” from Big Oil. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, those same companies are funding significant conservation projects with no such scrutiny.

Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical and Ford Motors fund conservation projects such as the Emirates Diving Associationwhich protects marine life, IFAW Middle East , which fights the illegal trade in animals – as well as Al Yaal that works to protect Kuwait’s marine ecosystems. And all without strong criticism from either environmentalists or conservationists.

Those involved in these projects state that they do not see any problem taking funding from companies which are believed to cause environmental damage – if they are working together to protect nature. Continue reading

Green Prophet: What Happened To Islam’s Environmentally Friendly Architecture?

What happened to Islam’s environmentally friendly architecture? The answer to that question is, well, in short:  it’s been slowly being replaced by brash, lavish and unsustainable architecture as typified by buildings in the Arab gulf states.  I wrote a short article on the issue for Green Prophet which was also picked up by the Guardian’s Divine Dispatches.

Many Gulf states seem in race to build the ‘most lavish’, ‘the tallest’, ‘the most expensive’ building with ecological credentials and Islamic principles of moderation taking a back seat. Even in Mecca, the centre of the Islamic faith which Muslims face when they pray, criticism were made of the latest architectural addition which came in the shape of the ‘Royal Mecca Clock Tower’. A massive building towering over the Kaaba, it appears to be nothing but a Big Ben rip-off with a massive shopping mall, a 800-room hotel as well as large prayer halls for the pilgrims. A slapdash effort has been made to incorporate Islamic architecture which amounts to nothing more than a crescent on top of a spire and Arabic numerals.

See full article which was published at Green Prophet here.

:: Image via Wolfgang Staudt on Flickr.