NB: This map was produced at gatherings of regional specialists (environmentalists, teachers, representatives of UN organiza-
tions, journalists, etc.). Using blank or topographic maps to guide them, we asked them to name and locate as precisely as pos-
sible what they see as major environment and security issues. This results in a subjective map that is neither comprehensive
nor highly accurate, but reflect the sensibilities of the audience assembled on a particular day.
Notes: 6. The Desert Development Corridor would be a new strip
1. Nile valley and Nile delta: urbanization, very high popula- of land for urbanization and development west of the Nile,
tion density, very dense and water-intensive irrigated agri- along a 1 200 km long north-south highway. It is meant to re-
culture. Sea-level rise concerns in the delta. lieve over-populated cities of the Nile valley and limit urban
2. Gaza strip: highest population density in the world, dras- encroachment, reclaiming land (gain of agricultural land) in
tic need for networks (water sanitation, electricity, etc.), the process. Freshwater pumped and piped from the Toshka
high pressure on agricultural land and all other resources. lakes. Related powerline and east-west highway connections
No freedom of circulation. to the Nile valley. A massive project which design started a
3. Shrinking Dead Sea: the Jordan river has been drained for long time ago.
irrigation since the 1960s and diverted by dams, canals and 7. Qattara depression to be filled with sea water (electricity
pumping stations, causing a massive drop in the water level. production). To compare with existing Toshka depression
4. Lebanon: post-conflict recovery from the war with Israel flooded with water from Aswan reservoir since late 90’s.
lasting 34 days in July 2006 which ravaged much of the coun- 8. Red-Dead Seas canal: in 2005 Israel, Jordan and the Pales-
try’s infrastructure (especially in the south) and caused much tinian Authority agreed on a project called the “Two Seas Ca-
environmental damage, including the oil spill from bombing of nal” which will channel water from the Red Sea to the Dead
the Jiyeh power station. The southern part of the country was Sea, providing hydroelectric power and desalinated water
the worst affected, leaving unexploded ordnance (land mines, in the process. There is environmental controversy over the
cluster bombs) and acute tension on the southern border. possible damage to the natural habitat of the Dead Sea, the
5. The long-term Israel-Palestine conflict affects the stability coral reefs of the Gulf of Aqaba, the natural landscape and
of the whole region and causes extreme inequality especially ecosystem of the desert valley of Arabah and its aquifer, ar-
in the Gaza strip, the West Bank (along the Israeli wall and the chaeological heritage (among which, the site of Wadi Finan,
multiplication of illegal settlements) and in the north of Israel, the world’s earliest copper mine).
where the proportion of Palestinians is higher (Haifa, Naza- 9. The non-renewable Disi aquifer is shared between Jordan
reth, Acre). All Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza, the West and Saudi Arabia. Huge demand for freshwater for the city
Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria are also major human and of Amman has already depleted the Azraq aquifer and the
environmental hotspots: high population densities, lack of Jordanian government now projects to pump the Disi aqui-
networks and infrastructure, lack of food and health supplies fer for their capital, causing considerable environmental and
(especially in the Gaza strip, under blockade since the victory security concern on both sides of the border.
of Hamas in January 2006 elections). Difficulties commuting, 10. Tiberias Lake, Jordan river and Jordan canal: conflict over
hence working and studying. Destruction of agricultural land. freshwater between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian authority.