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Arab region to be hit hard by water scarcity, climate change: UN

Last Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 20:18

United Nations: In the coming years, Arab
region is faced with the danger of water scarcity and could be
hit hardest by the potential of direct and indirect impacts
linked with climate change, a UN Environment Programme report
has found.

"One factor that is both, a persistent but also an
emerging challenge, is water," Achim Steiner, head of UNEP
said.
The report `The Environment Outlook for the Arab
Region (EOAR)`, launched by the League of Arab States in
Cairo, says that Arab countries were now among most water-
scarce in the world.

There had been a decline in per capita water
availability with an average of only 1,000 cubic metre per
inhabitant per year, as of 2008.
"Climate change is likely to aggravate these trends.
Thus, it is in the interests of nations across the region to
constructively engage in the climate change negotiations as
countries look to Mexico and the UN climate convention meeting
later in the year," Steiner said.

The impact of climate change includes loss of coastal
zones, more severe droughts and desertification, increased
groundwater salinity, and a surge in epidemics and infectious
diseases.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 20:18
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