Environmental Sustainability and Human Development: Perspectives from the Arab Region - ESCWA

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Environmental Sustainability and Human Development:  Perspectives from the Arab Region

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL6.GCP/2021/TP.4


Publication Type: Information material

Cluster: Governance and Conflict Prevention

Focus Area: Natural resource sustainability, Climate change

Initiatives: Rethinking human development

Keywords: Environment, Human development

Environmental Sustainability and Human Development: Perspectives from the Arab Region

July 2021

Environmental sustainability is an essential part of human development. The environment forms an integral part of our daily lives and its sustainability should be emphasized as using too little and humans cannot meet their needs and using too much leads to negative environmental effects. Frequent assessments are essential to evaluate whether countries are moving toward or away from environmental sustainability. 

The aim of this paper is to provide an inclusive Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) focusing upon environmental facets most relevant to the region within a global context.  After conducting consultations with environmental experts from the Arab region the ESI was established made up of the following 6 pillars:  water and sanitation, energy sustainability and climate change, disaster risk reduction, waste management and material footprint, biodiversity and marine life and land sustainability.

Countries’ performance in each of the pillars vary widely.  Among Arab States, Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco signal a high ESI.  In general, Arab States tend to exhibit lower environmental sustainability than other countries stemming principally from water scarcity and biodiversity threats.

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