Currently, the Arab world materializes to be amongst the fastest growing countries in terms of population. The perceived population growth brings about expenses related to pollution. The commonly observed pollution include air and water pollution.
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Environmental pollution in the Arab region result from fuel combustion, draughts, use of pesticides, clinical wastes, improper industrial and households’ waste disposal. These activities negatively impacts on the health of Arab world members.
Arab countries face multiple environmental challenges. The scarcity of fresh-clean water has raised many concerns. From Arab future environmental challenge report, Arab countries face desertification, marine pollution and fresh water scarcity which are anticipated to increase due to climate variations. In Arab region, it is estimated that environmental degradation is 5% of the total GDP (Frederiksen 670).
In Arab world, water scarcity proves to be a key dilemma. It is reported that out of the 22 Arab countries, 15 fall under water poverty line. Very few individuals have access to clean water. Besides, the sea level is expected to rise in the next decades by four meters.
This will affect 18,000 kilometers of the total populated Arab coastal region (UN 45). Whilst Arab world apparently does not contribute above 5% to the universal climate change causes, water pollution effects will severely impact on the region. At the end of 21st century, the Arab region surface temperature will rise by 2 to 5.5oC.
Due to improper industrial wastes dumping, excessive application of pesticides and fertilizers, merely 84% of the entire population has access to fresh- clean water. About 21 years ago, the figure was reported to be 80% and the increase might increase the rate of diseases which would lower health and productivity rate. This region also fails to meet the set UNDP clean water target program which is to be realized by 2015. The organic water pollutants emissions are high and are approximated to be 500 metric tons (UNDP 23).
Though Arab countries are the major oil producers and exporters in the world, they are also the leased greenhouse emitters in the world. A huge volume of oil produced by the Arab countries are not utilized within but are rather exported to developed countries.
Carbon dioxide emitted from greenhouse causes a rise in world temperature. UNDP report stipulates that greenhouse gases have increased in the atmosphere due to increased fossil fuel usage (p.27). Arab countries are however below the average contributors albeit there is a remarkable rise in their emissions.
UNDP estimate that by 2003, the amount of emissions in the Arab world rose to 1013 metric tons from 586 metric tons in 1990 (p.21). The rise in carbon emissions was attributed to increase in transportation which contributes 90% of the total emissions. As an economy grows, people use un-roadworthy private cars that lead to increased demand for unleaded fuel.
The efforts to moderate unleaded petrol usage are unsuccessful. Some countries introduced unleaded fuel without additives necessary for efficient operation of old engine. According to From New York Times, these types of vehicles are fuel inefficient and thus produce ground ozone with devastating health effect (p.1).
To manage carbon emission in gulf region, transport system must be dealt with. More efficient vehicle engines must be produced such as modern hybrid vehicles that use cleaner fuel. A sensible urban planning that reduces the use of cars while promoting efficient public means to communicate between work, residential and leisure locations ought to be introduced. There is the need to increase thermal energy efficiency utilization via adopting high technological advancement, hydropower source usage alongside other renewable energy.
Frederiksen, Harald. “Addressing water crisis in developing countries.” Journal of Environmental Engineering. New Haven: Yale UP, 2005. 667-75. Print.
“Fresh start in the Middle East”. Editorial. The New York Times 5 Mar. 2009. Web.
UN. The Millennium Development Goals in the Arab Region 2005. New York: Longman, 2005. Print.
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UNDP. “Strengthening the rule of law in the Arab States: Project on the modernization of public prosecution offices.” Environmental Crimes in the Arab States, New York: Pearson/Longman, 2009. Print.
——. Making Progress on Environmental Sustainability: Lessons and Recommendations from a Review of over 150 MDG Country Experiences. New York: Longman, 2006. Print.