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Secretary General - AFED
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Selected Editorials
Arab Public Opinion and the Environment
Najib Saab
October 2017

A public opinion survey carried out by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) in 22 Arab countries revealed that a vast majority, exceeding 60 percent, believes that the environment has deteriorated in their countries over the last ten years. An even bigger majority of 95 percent thinks that their country is not doing enough to tackle environmental challenges.
If I were Neymar
Najib Saab
September 2017

While some countries cut budgets allocated for scientific research and the environment because they consider them a luxury at a time of austerity, they still find enough money to spend on things that they consider more important.
Development and environment: Who is responsible?
Najib Saab
July-August 2017

The League of Arab States (LAS) did well when it recently established a special unit for Sustainable Development. Until that time, sustainable development was within the responsibilities of the Environment Unit, which also manages the secretariat of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE).
Amman cars cleaner, by the power of law
Najib Saab
June 2017

Awareness and ethics are essential to environmental protection, but they are not enough in the absence of policies, laws and regulations that provide incentives and impose sanctions. Some environmental groups werent too happy when we wrote that what protects the environment are string laws not garbage collectors. That was a comment on the campaigns undertaken by some NGOs to clean beaches and roads, only for the garbage to return the next day. We concluded that actually it is more effective to impose a penalty and apply it to anyone who dumps dirt on a street, forest, or beach.
Environment Field for All, Not Pretenders
Najib Saab
May-June 2015

The worst thing that may afflict the environment is when it becomes a subject for personal conflicts and a scene for scrambling for prestige. If scrambling for achievements is understandable and acceptable, scrambling for titles and posts is a dangerous game where the core of the issue is lost under superficial polemics.
The sun is here to stay
Najib Saab
March-April 2015

In his inaugural speech at the last World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Sultan Al-Jaber, UAE Minister of State and chairman of Masdar, said: "Renewable energy is a critical component for building a sustainable future and has today changed from an expensive alternative to a competitive technology of choice
Changing Eating Habits Helps Food Security
Najib Saab
November-December 2014

Arabs import half of what they need in terms of basic foodstuffs. Agricultural production in the Arab countries faces tremendous challenges - mainly drought, limited arable land, scarce water resources and accelerated population growth, all amid the adverse impact of climate change.
Silent Death
Najib Saab
September 2013

As hundreds of tons of radioactive water were leaking from the wrecked Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant hit by the tsunami in 2011, thousands of people were being killed by chemical weapons on the outskirts of Damascus.
The nuclear power option in Arab countries
Najib Saab
May 2013

The earthquake that struck the Iranian Bushehr province in April 2013 reminded us of the nuclear reactor at Bushehr, and raised concerns about possible radioactive leakages. Such fears were to be expected, just two years after the nuclear disaster caused by the tsunami in Fukushima.
Let's not plunder the future
Najib Saab
December 2012

Demand for life-supporting goods and services in the Arab countries is twice the potential renewable resources that their ecosystem scan provide. This imbalance between domestic supply and demand for resources is a threat to future growth opportunities and quality of life.
Climate change, natural resources and conflicts in Arab countries
Najib Saab
The Netherlands, 10/2/2017

Najib Saab, secretary-general of Arab Forum for Environment & Development, presented this keynote speech today 10 February, at the Future Force Conference, hosted this week in The Hague by the Dutch Minister of Defense and the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Netherlands.
Development in a Changing Arab climate
Najib Saab

Even if all conflicts and wars were to stop immediately, the Arab region cannot meet the target of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 using traditional methods. Many Arab countries have experienced collapse at gigantic scale over the past years, which has largely reduced their hopes to no more than re-establishing the status quo which prevailed in 2010, rather than achieving the SDGs by 2030
AFED Secretary General at UN General Assembly
New York, 22/4/2016

In a statement at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Najib Saab, Secretary General of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), said that after all the wars and conflicts, Arabs will not be able to escape their duty of responsible care for natural resources, in order to ensure the continuation of life. He emphasized the need to include the principles of sustainable development and environmental stewardship in construction and reconstruction programs, instead of subsidies and localized aid.
Who pays the bill at Climate Summit?
Second week of negotiations at the Climate Summit in Paris overshadowed by the question of who pays the bill. A draft agreement reached at the first week was put forward to the ministerial segment, with unresolved issues revolving around the distribution of responsibilities.
Sustainable Consumption for Better Resource Management - Preface
Najib Saab
November 2015

Annual reports on the state of the Arab environment, produced since 2008 by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), have become a main source of information and a prime driver for policy reforms in Arab countries. Findings of the seven reports produced so far have clearly underscored the pivotal role of sustainable consumption patterns in any viable environmental management scheme.
Arab Perspective on Rio +20
Najib Saab

Keynote Address at the 14th Meeting of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD)

Budva, Montenegro, 30 May-1 June 2011
Arab Environment: Survival Options - Executive Summary
Measured by the increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the last 50 years, Arab countries have performed well, with average GDP per capita quadrupling in this time. But while this has often resulted in higher standards of living, it has not always translated into a better quality of life nor has it enhanced the chances of sustainable living.
Regional Cooperation to Bridge Food Deficit
Najib Saab
Rio de Janeiro, 20/6/2012

Arab demand on natural resources (footprint) amounts to more than twice what is available locally (biocapacity). This disparity, particularly signified by food deficit, is largely bridged by imports financed by oil exports, a model which is not sustainable, taking into account the increasing prices of biocapacity imports and the eventual depletion of non-renewable energy resources.what is available locally, and called to bridge the gap through efficient production and regional cooperation.
Green Economy is Re-Branding of Sustainable Development
Nairobi, 21 February 2012

AFED Secretary General Najib Saab was a panelist at a ministerial roundtable on Green Economy, during the UNEP Governing Council and the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF) in Nairobi on 21 February.
AFED Secretary General Talks about Green Jobs at ILO Conference in Kyoto
Kyoto, 5/12/2011

Secretary General of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) Najib Saab addressed a special session entitled Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future, at the 15th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting of the International Labor Organization onvened (ILO), which convened in Kyoto, (Japan) between 4-7 December 2011. The conference was opened by Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihiko Noda. The special session on Green Jobs was moderated by Ashok Khosla, President of IUCN and the Club of Rome. Here are Saabs main key points in the session.
Executive summary Arab Environment: Future Challenges
Najib Saab
Preface and Executive Summary of "Arab Environment: Future Challenges", Edited by: Mostafa K. Tolba and Najib W. Saab - 2008

Arab Environment: Future Challenges is the first annual report produced by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED). The policy-oriented report is designed to evaluate the progress made towards the realization of sustainable development goals and a good environmental quality. It also examines the Arab contribution to global environmental endeavours.
The Lebanese Coast
Najib Saab
Introduction of "The Lebanese Coast"- 2003

This book of photographs is unique in that it pictures the Lebanese coastal zone from the sea. What we have been used to in similar books was to look from land to sea; here we are looking from sea to land. This turning of the picture outside in is extremely significant since it provides for viewing the coast not only aesthetically but also environmentally, making many beauties stand out in a new perspective.
A Plan for Environmental Recovery
Najib Saab
Chapter in "Options for Lebanon" - 2004

It can be said without hesitation that the environmental crisis in Lebanon is rooted in the weaknesses inherent in the countrys prevailing political system. It is, unfortunately, a structure based on the distribution of profits among those in power, which encourages dealing with public resources not as a national common good, but rather as a milch cow to be shared among influential clan-chiefs, under the pretext of various religious, regional and provincial interests.

Arab Environment in 10 Years
ARAB ENVIRONMENT IN 10 YEARS crowns a decade of the series of annual reports produced by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) on the state of Arab environment. It tracks and analyzes changes focusing on policies and governance, including level of response and engagement in international environmental treaties. It also highlights developments in six selected priority areas, namely water, energy, air, food, green economy and environmental scientific research.
Environmental Agenda
Environment in Arab Media
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