For environmental engineering professor and activist Abdelhaleem Khader, the best way to instigate change is by setting the example yourself. Applying this principle to his life, he decided to develop his own start-up to trigger the wheel of change and encourage his students to take action against climate change.
SHABAP (an acronym for Sustainable, Healthy and Affordable Building Application in Palestine) is a company that aims to use low-cost sensors and Artificial Intelligence to assess the existing conditions of buildings and suggest green improvements to reduce energy and water consumption and improve indoor air quality in Palestinian homes.
In addition to its expected benefits on people’s helath and quality of life, SHABAP’s eco-solutions also seeks to boost the local economy by creating green jobs and encouraging investments in the sector. “People need to realise that green entrepreneurship really has a multi-faceted potential. It is not only about the environment, it is about all aspects of life,” stresses Abdelhaleem.
He says the challenge of global warming is even more pressing in the Arab world, where the scarcity of resources is one of the biggest threats to human civilization. “We have a responsibility towards our homelands to protect the environment and sustain natural resources for the next generations. This is also what I wanted to convey to my students and fellow Palestinians when I thought of this project. As Palestinians and Arabs, we cannot stand aside: we need to be part of the solution.” Through his participation in the GIMED programme, Abdelhaleem has developed a professional green business model and a complete eco-design for SHABAP, which he hopes to see become a leader in green solutions in Palestine.
ENI CBCMED is the largest Cross-Border Cooperation initiative implemented by the EU under the European Neighbourhood Instrument, bringing together the coastal territories of 14 EU and partner countries. ENI CBC Med seeks to foster fair, equitable and sustainable development on both sides of the EU’s external borders, while addressing common socio-economic and environmental challenges. The Programme does so through the financing of a variety of cooperation projects based on 4 thematic objectives: SMEs and business development; technology transfer and innovation; social inclusion and fight against poverty; and environment and climate change.
Green Impact MED Project – Positive Investments for Positive Impacts (GIMED) is a three year EU-funded project under the ENI CBC MED programme. The project aims at boosting the development of eco-innovative ventures in the target countries of Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Spain and Tunisia, in order to create employment and drive the green and circular economy in the Mediterranean.
GIMED provides training and coaching sessions for eco-innovators, incentives for financiers to invest in the Mediterranean eco-innovation sector as well as institutional capacity strengthening activities.