Edited by Lelia Croitoru, Maria Sarraf
How much is a cleaner environment worth? For policy makers, that
question used to go largely unanswered. Many economic activities cause
environmental degradation, entailing real costs to the economy and to
people's welfare. Knowing the extent of these costs is crucial for
identifying a country's main environmental priorities and
allocating appropriate funds for environmental protection.
Over the past decade, the World Bank has initiated a systematic
effort to measure the costs of environmental degradation in the Middle
East and North Africa, shedding new light on their magnitude and on the
need for policy changes. In many cases, these costs were found to be
surprisingly large. The Cost of Environmental Degradation: Case
Studies from the Middle East and North Africa brings together the
best case studies of this program and summarizes their policy impacts
at the national and regional levels.
The case studies quantify monetarily the annual damage due to
environmental degradation and express these estimates as percentages of
the countries' gross domestic product. The studies use the most
recent environmental valuation methods to estimate the economic costs
resulting from air pollution, water degradation, deforestation, and
land degradation. Uniquely, the book dedicates a case study to value
the costs of environmental degradation resulting from an oil spill and
demolition waste in times of conflict. The studies then illuminate the
concrete implications on policy, investments, and institutions for the
This book will be of interest to policy makers, nongovernmental
organizations, and academic and research institutions.
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