THE FUTURE OF ARAB ENVIRONMENT
THE FUTURE OF ARAB ENVIRONMENTTHE FUTURE OF ARAB ENVIRONMENTTHE FUTURE OF ARAB ENVIRONMENT
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STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE ARAB WORLD
A State of the environment (SOE) report attempts to answer five key questions:

1. What is happening in the environment (i.e., how are environmental conditions and trends changing)?

2. Why is it happening (i.e., how are human activities and other stresses linked to the issue in question)?

3. Why is it significant (i.e., what are its ecological and socioeconomic effects)?

4. What is being done about it (i.e., how is society responding to the issues through government and voluntary initiatives)?

5. Is this sustainable (i.e., are human actions depleting environmental capital and causing deterioration of ecosystem health)?

The two main purposes of the SOE report are to foster the use of science in policy- and decision-making and to report to the Arabs on the condition of their environment. The SOE report provides an easily understood overview of environmental issues for the non-scientist, examines the key trends of the issues, discusses links with other issues, and describes the efforts of governments and others to address these issues and make progress towards environmental sustainability.

The Approach to Preparing the SOE Report:

The approach to preparing the SOE report is to build on existing knowledge of environmental issues. It stresses partnerships, takes advantage of ongoing monitoring and research, and uses advanced technology for communicating information. It promotes the incorporation of SOE report criteria into the design of policy-driven, science-based assessments. This approach will ensure access to information on the state of their environment and that the needs of decision-makers are met. What are the minimum criteria for the SOE report?

1. Content criteria

The SOE report should: § state and define a broad public policy question (a public concern); § provide an overview of the most current scientific understanding of the issue in question; § examine the key trends within the issue and, where applicable, cross-links with other issues, and the significance of those trends; § describe the efforts of governments and others in addressing the issue of concern; § include the scientific responses to the policy question, as part of its analysis and in its executive summary or highlights section; § include the indicators that track key trends in the issue being addressed, making use of relevant existing national environmental indicators; and § include an analysis of environment-related changes since the last assessment, if applicable.

2. Presentation criteria

The SOE report should:

- be written in a manner that non-specialists can understand; § include a concise executive summary or highlights section; § document the sources of information .

Proposed Contents of the SOE Report

1. Introduction
 
Geographical setting – population- patterns of economic development- human development.

2. Air quality

Urban air quality (Sources of air pollution- status and trends of air pollutants- consequences of air pollution- regulatory measures and their effectiveness)

3. Water Resources and Water Quality

Water resources – water use- quality of water resources – Drinking water and sanitation- trends- water quality ewgulations and their effectiveness.

4. Marine Environment

Sources of pollution of coastal areas- quality of marine environment- trends- marine regulatory programmes- regional and subregional agreements and their effectiveness.

5. Land

Land use- soil degradation and desertification – trends- regulations and their effectiveness

6. Forests

Forest cover and forest resources- quality of forest areas – deforestation- regulatory measures and their effectiveness.

7. Solid Wastes

Solid waste generation – Solid waste management approaches- trans-boundary movement of waste- regulatory measures and their effectiveness.

8. Wildlife

Wildlife populations- Conditions and trends- Conservation measures – Protected areas- Regulatory measures and their effectiveness.

9. Response to International and Regional Agreements

Brief assessment of the response of different countries to different international and regional agreements (main ones)

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Public Domain Mark
This work (Arab Forum for Environment and Development, by AFED), identified by Arab Forum for Environment and Development - AFED, is free of known copyright restrictions.