Cost assessment of environmental degradation in the Middle East and North Africa region – selected issues

Cost assessment of environmental degradation in the Middle East and North Africa region – selected issues

This paper estimates the cost of inadequate potable water, sanitation and hygiene, outdoor air pollution, and cropland degradation in 16 countries of the Arab League. The paper pointes that the 16 countries under study represent great developmental and environmental diversity relevant to the understanding of the cost of environmental degradation in the region.

The document illustrates that most of the 16 countries have a limited and vulnerable renewable natural resource base. The author shows that annual cost of health effects from water, sanitation and hygiene, health effects from outdoor air pollution, and crop yield losses from crop land degradation is estimated at US $27 billion in the 16 countries in 2008, equivalent to 3.4% of their combined GDP.

However, the paper indicates that estimated annual cost of environmental degradation as a percent of GDP declines with higher GDP per capita across the 16 countries. In addition, it finds that outdoor air pollution is causing the highest cost in 6 of the 16 countries, and land degradation the highest cost in 4 countries.

In the final analysis, the document concludes that costs of environmental degradation are high in many of Arab countries, and there is a need to address the causes of these costs, as well as a need to improve data quality.

 

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