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Introduction
This report aims to describe how environmental degradation will affect
human security in the Mediterranean space, paying particular attention
to the Middle East and North Africa. The report looks at possible risks
and degradation, and how they may impact on conflicts, but also at the
potential for collaboration to solve environmental risks and build closer
inter-state cooperation for the overall peace and stability of the Medi-
terranean region.
The report considers the dangerous mix formed them are extremely rich in today’s solar radia-
by climate change and security in the southern tion which could be harvested and converted
Mediterranean region, continuing with an anal- into electricity to cover the needs of the boom-
ysis of how water scarcity and desertification ing southern population and even earn revenue
are cutting agricultural output and boosting if exported overseas.
migration. According to UNEP estimates more
than 30 per cent of the towns on the Mediter- These are just a few examples of the complex-
ranean coast do not have any sewage treatment ity of the issues that have made the Mediterra-
facilities, whereas the rest have old facilities nean the focus of much attention. For centuries
with poor pollutant-removal performance.

human activity has impacted on the Mediter-
Alongside industry, shipping, with more than ranean environment and its shores. For exam-
220 000 vessels (100 tonnes or more), affects ple, when the Suez Canal opened in 1869 it un-
the marine environment, discharging chemical leashed a surge of migration by various species
pollutants and 250 000 tonnes of oil a year, a from the Red Sea. It also let water with a higher
great deal more than the oil spills, amounting salt content from the Red Sea into the Mediter-
to roughly 80 000 tonnes in 1990–2005,

that ranean, modifying the latter’s ecosystem. In-
attract so much media attention. creasing construction of dams has trapped silt
that would have reached the sea, thus decreas-
Energy security and natural resources are dis- ing nutrients and the fish population.
cussed in the light of their potential for both
cooperation and conflict. Several southern All these environmental problems have a direct
Mediterranean countries are rich in oil and gas impact on human security. The purpose of the
(fossilized solar radiation) which usually needs following pages is to help the reader under-
northern technology to be exploited, but all of stand these linkages.

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