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Implications: West Asia

West Asia is characterized by relatively high population growth rates, heavy economic dependence on oil production, fairly severe water stress and pockets of conflict or unrest. Developments in all these respects, along with the promotion of technological advances in areas such as desalination and biotechnology, vary markedly between the four scenarios. As in other regions, these shifts are largely driven by trends and events in the areas of governance and culture, and in relations between nations within and outside the region. Possible outcomes in terms of environmental impacts are considered in more detail below for land, freshwater, biodiversity, urban areas and coastal and marine resources. The repercussions of an extended drought in the region are explored in the box.