eco-systems and the circular economy

Environmental and Economic eco-systems of Date Palm Oasis.

A concept devised by Dr Sandra Piesik.

The Oasis Project

The Oasis Project is aimed at the revitalisation of date palm tree production, a contribution to food security and to improvements of irrigation techniques with regards to water scarcity. It also leads to technological innovations and poverty reduction by increased employment opportunities.

The ecological eco-systems. The “Oasis Effect”.

The cultivation of date palm in combination with vegetables offers protection of the more delicate crops. The very high rate of transpiration from date palm leaves together with its shading effects results in the cooling of the environment in the date oasis and in the rising of air relative humidity. This effect called “oasis effect” allows for production of heat and water sensitive vegetable and fruit species. The latest drip irrigation techniques can limit ground water use and aid water scarcity.

The economic eco-systems. The “Oasis Community Hub”.

In addition to unique micro-climate, date palm trees provide annual waste in the form of dry palm fronds. These palm leaf fronds have been historically used for building construction in the Middle East and North Africa for around 7,000 years. Sadly with forces of globalisation, traditional technologies died out and in many countries dry palm leaves are being landfilled. It is still a precious renewable resource.

Our recent research & development studies demonstrated that date palm leaf can be successfully re-integrated back to building construction and we could add to the ecological function of the oasis ancillary facilities needed by local communities, such as greenhouses for vegetables, community centres, small clinics or other public buildings that a community may need.

Both concepts of ecological and economic eco-systems of the oasis would create new employment.

The Circular Economy

Concept of The Circular Economy has been present in the Arabian Peninsula for millennia. Agricultural waste in the form of dry palm leaves has been used by people for the construction of cities, villages and houses. Unlike in biomimicry, The Circular Economy concept created by indigenous communities is based on human intelligence and innovations dating back 7,000 years. Dr Sandra Piesik provided an innovative concept of The Circular Economy in the context of date palm industry.

Case study project:

Sabla: The Palm-Leaf Shelters located in the United Arab Emirates. Collaboration with TCA Al Ain Historic Environment Department Presented on the 3rd Scientific Conference of the UNCCD in Cancun, Mexico in March 2015.

Women and Children Centre in the West Bank, Palestine. Collaboration with The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem Society (ARIJ)


  • Dr Sandra Piesik of 3 ideas Ltd – Architect and founder of the project and the Research & Development Group Eco-systems
  • BuroHappold Engineering Ltd – Multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy
  • The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem Society (ARIJ) - NGO