From Climate Change to Securing Sustainable Employment: Key Issues Facing the Arab Region
UNEP-Led "Environment Outlook for the Arab Region" Launched at League of Arab States Meeting in Cairo
15 March, 2010 -Multiple challenges are facing the Arab region from climate change and food insecurity to decreasing water availability and unemployment according to a new assessment by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Environment Outlook for the Arab Region (EOAR), compiled at the request of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE) says important progress is being made to address sustainability.
Much of the progress has focused on the development of the environmental frameworks including the necessary legislation alongside improved public awareness and involvement of countries in the region in international treaties and agreements.
The focus now is to translate these institutional gains into transformative action across countries and on the ground in order to catalyze a transition to a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "This assessment has been a truly collaborative one outlining the progress but also the realities facing this diverse but also dynamic region where if policies and resources are better focused could be a beacon of sustainable, Green Economic, development for millions of people".
"One factor that is both a persistent but also an emerging challenge is water. The EOAR notes that Arab countries are now among most water-scarce in the world and that there has been a worrying decline in per capita water availability with an average of only 1 000 m3 per inhabitant per year, as of 2008," he added.
"Climate change is likely to aggravate these trends. Thus it is in the interests of nations across the region to constructively engage in the climate change negotiations as countries look to Mexico and the UN climate convention meeting later in the year," said Mr Steiner.