Najib Saab speaks during the 10th annual conference of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) in Beirut, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The state of the environment in Arab countries over the past 10 years has been steadily deteriorating despite minor areas of development, a report presented this week by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development concluded.The Arab Environment in 10 Years conference, which brought together about 400 delegates from 46 countries, called upon Arab governments to realize the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, of which environmental protection is a core value.A survey comprising 200,000 interviewees in the region conducted by AFED showed that Arab countries are increasingly aware of climate change. Ninety-three percent attribute climate change to human activity, while 45 percent were ready to accept government taxes to protect the environment.However, environmental initiatives at the regional level remain fragmented and largely ineffective, the report found.Per capita water quantities in the Arab region have dropped off 20 percent over the past 10 years, the report found, due to pollution and population growth.
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