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French Version

Eco-mapping provides eco-environmental promise to industry

A NEW economic tool for small and medium industry was the focus of the technical regional meeting of the Developing Environmental Leadership Towards Action (DELTA) network this past weekend.

A NEW economic tool for small and medium industry was the focus of the technical regional meeting of the Developing Environmental Leadership Towards Action (DELTA) network this past weekend. The Friends of Environment Society (FOES) hosted the meeting in their Amman headquarters. DELTA members from Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan were all in attendance.

The DELTA members hope to introduce the region to Eco-mapping. This new tool seeks to find an economical solution to small and medium sized industry's environmental problems.

"Eco-mapping is a new way to encourage industry to take action based on economic efficiency principles. It involves training employees how to prepare maps of the environmental problems in their factories, teaching them to limit toxic waste, and how to conserve energy," said Raouf Dabbas, president of FOES. "Our mission begins once we gather the data they've prepared." Karim Zein, president of the Sustainable Business associate (SBA), told The Star, "Our aim is to minimize environmental impact and improve business productivity by trying to avoid environmental problems." Zein said Eco-mapping is a new project implemented in Europe only six years ago. "We want to apply it here. We saw a 50 percent overall savings from attendance to environmental problems in Europe. It is easily implemented in small and medium factories. But the first step is to get international certificates." SBA in coordination with Jordan's DELTA organized field training courses for one year before they began eco-mapping.

"Eco-mapping is very important to this region. We need simple tools that can be applied without requiring large financial resources or expertise. It must be simple and cheap," said Dr Goksel N Demirer of the Turkish Department of environmental engineering. He believes the main problem facing the region is a lack of funding resources.

Heniz Werner Enge of Environmental Performance Evaluation was the primary lecturer for the three sessions. "I'm trying to give some training courses to prepare different members to use data networks and raise awareness about developing European markets. I want them to know what the Europeans expect from Middle East markets so they will be able to improve their position and trade equitably with one another." Enge want to improve the environmental behavior of Jordanian companies by bringing them easy tools to mange environmental problems. Syrian engineer Yahia Awaidah, director of Environment Management Directorate, told The Star, "We are focusing on environment management via Eco-mapping in our factories. We selected some factories and trained their employees. We gave them advice on ways to fix the problem as a first step. Then we explain the environment law, and allow them to come into compliance after we have spread awareness of the violation and how it should be fixed.

After we have made them aware, provided them with solutions, and given them time to make the repair, we begin the inspection Dabbas explained FOES is a part of the Jordanian Network for Environment-Friendly Industrial (JNEFI). They have a clear mission: Raising environmental awareness amongst small and medium sized Jordanian industry "We want to encourage these industries to implement environmental management systems which reduce environmental risks and promote sustainable development." But he said they always maintain awareness of the cost. "Our slogan is low cost, no cost. We understand local factories' financial situation." The DELTA program began in 1995 through direction from the SBA, an international non-governmental organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland. SBA's mission is to engage industry in environmental actions that provide sustainable development.

Ghassan Joha
The Star

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