This research paper is designed to get you to begin to examine environmental iss

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This research paper is designed to get you to begin to examine environmental issues impacting the Middle East. The idea is that through this project and each student’s efforts, we as a whole class will develop a deep understanding of a variety of environmental challenges in the region. With each student focussing on a different area, the combined effort will also provide a survey across the region.
The impacts of human activities, whether these involve consumption and over-use of resources, pollution and degradation of the delicate balance of ecosystems, do not have boundaries. The actions and negligences of local, regional and trans-regional actors have increasingly severe impacts in trans-regional, regional and especially in local contexts as well as on human and non-humans.
Some of these environmental factors effect water, forests, the air and ecosystem biodiversities. Population growths, hyper-industrialisation, agricultural practices and exponential growth of local and international trade have enormous impacts. The levels of efficiencies and capacities of re-use or resource recovery have concomitant results in the levels of depletion or degradation of the environment. Some projects, while locally or temporally beneficial may have longer-term and wider negative impacts.
For example, the “greening of the desert” in Syria, Jordan and Israel has brought agricultural production where none was present and tremendous benefits to some. However, the growing of bananas in Jordan or dates and vegetable Israel have so drastically reduced the flows of the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers that those who relied on these waters have little available to them. The Dead Sea into which these rivers flowed, is estimated to loose a meter of depth every year, with potentials of “chemical sand storms” and other climactic and health effects of diminishing water bodies. Many such examples can be found across the region.
FOR YOUR PAPER
Search Google judiciously! There are number of useful resources on the module page—use these as launch points. Also search JSTOR and other databases. USEFUL SEARCH TERMS: biodiversity; environmental degradation; hotspots; endangered species; water scarcity; agricultural practices; pollution; etc etc
Begin by identifying a local project or issue—you can look at efforts that have been done to prevent damage to the ecosystem, improve the environment OR those that cause degradation of the environment or ecosystems. [eg. drip irrigation in farming vs inundation methods used in ???; desalination of water for drinking and agriculture in ???; impacts of the Jabal Ali free trade zone; etc]
Limit and discuss the scope of your examination. [eg. impact of the draining of the marshes in Southern Iraq after the First Gulf War and the recovery of the environment where the Marsh Arabs live; the bleaching of coral reefs in the Persian Gulf as a result of desalination in the UAE; decline of the Cedars of Lebanon 500K down to 3K hectares; etc]
Identify the local, regional, inter-regional actors and beneficiaries and/or those negatively impacted by the project or issue.
Discuss in detail the causes and direct and direct impacts of the project or problem.
Discuss what are the broader long-term challenges.
Who is directly involved in mitigating the problems or advancing the project? Who is in-directly involved? Who is hindering progress? Why? Who stands to benefit?
In many cases, there is no single entity or individual who intentionally sets out to degrade the environment. Resistance to change in practices or to improve any situation is always entrenched in status quo or economic or other gain for power-brokers. Identify these and the local, regional and inter-regional debates around the issue you are examining.
In your conclusions, identify an ideal solution or destination for the issue you are examining. How would this be attained and what would be the consequences?
Requirements
I have set up a discussion page where you will write a paragraph describing your chosen topic. Read and comment on topics chosen by colleagues—comment on at least two[one comment on the post immediately before yours and then one other]. Comments should be about 100 words max.
Collaborate, share research and discuss your project with class colleagues (via the discussion page if possible). Remember we are learning together.
HOWEVER, your paper write-up must be your own individual effort.
Remember, you are not expected to become the world-expert through this effort—this is an initial exploration you can revisit for further work if you are so inclined. The final paper is to be between 10-12 pages double spaced.
“Works cited” IS NOT ALLOWED. You will indicate where precisely (down to the page) you drew your ideas from by providing proper citation. (Chicago Style). Give the page number for each reference so your reader can follow your steps if they so wish.
Submit your work as pdf file. Your last name should be in the file name: eg: Name-final_MME2038.pdf
Be mindful of logistics and internet problems—submit your work early. NO EXTENSIONS WILL BE GRANTED!

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