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Selected Editorials
Environment action urgent, stop being complacent
Najib Saab
March 2019

Stop being complacent, show some urgency, and get real about implementing the goals you set in 2015 for achieving sustainable development. This unvarnished message is what Jock Martin of the European Environment Agency thought should be conveyed to world leaders, based on the findings of the sixth edition of Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6).
Climate between oil and meat, nations join the fight
Najib Saab
February 2019

While oil-producing countries did not object, this time, to reducing carbon emissions by enhancing efficiency and introducing renewable and clean sources as a key element in the energy mix, beef-producing countries on the other hand resisted the slightest reference to the impact of their production and consumption on the environment and human health.
Why the Poland climate summit succeeded
Najib Saab
January 2019

Despite all the hype and doomsday scenarios, the climate summit (COP 24) in Poland reaffirmed the commitment of countries to confront together a global dilemma that threatens everyone. The summit unanimously concluded with an arrangement that set practical steps to implement the Paris Agreement, in order to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C. True that they did not specifically commit to below 1.5 degrees as called for in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which reflected scientific consensus; however, there was no fallback on the Paris commitments, and the process is moving toward 2020, the actual starting date for the implementation. This is also the time set for countries to make additional new commitments to reduce emissions.
Financing development based on human dignity
Najib Saab
November 2018
Over the past 10 years, the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) reports have identified the state of Arab environment in all its aspects and proposed solutions that have contributed to endorsing numerous environmental policies in the region.
Greening Arab banks
Najib Saab
October 2018

Arab banks discussing financing sustainable development goals in a regional meeting is in itself a major accomplishment; endorsing green banking is, nonetheless, an unprecedented achievement. The tone ushers a new direction not appreciated before. Simply put, the Arab banking sector is starting to realize that it cannot cater for changing development goals without adopting new vision and innovative approach.
Is it too late for Lebanons environment?
Najib Saab
September 2018

In 2000, the late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri invited me to introduce environmental dimensions into his parliamentary elections platform, while the economic and social aspects were assigned to Bassel Fleihan. Upon being appointed Prime Minister following his election victory, Hariri included this environmental program in the cabinet statement, which was consequently approved by parliament in the autumn of that year. This was the first time that a bold and clear environmental policy was introduced into a government program in Lebanon. Implementation was hampered by political disputes.
How can Arabs achieve food security?
Najib Saab
June 2018

The eradication of hunger was the main concern of the Arab Ministers of Agriculture, who met in Rome at the FAO Regional Conference for the Near East. Yet, apart from expressing their sadness for the decline of food production and security, the ministers failed to indicate what their countries could do to address this deteriorating situation
Environmental facts and economic realities
Najib Saab
February 2018

When the eighth session of the Assembly of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) took place in Abu Dhabi last month, some were expecting a decline in clean energy investments, in view of President Donald Trumps emerging policies. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. Renewable energy proved to be the corner stone in the energy mix, and those who defy the rules of the new game will only put themselves out of the market.
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.
Food security needs to be more than just increased production
Najib Saab

Food Security in the 21st century was the subject of a report presented to the World Government Summit, held earlier this month in Dubai. The report calls for the adoption of agricultural technologies that are resistant to climate change and recommends five techniques to solve the problem of food shortages. These include: more greenhouses, growing crops in multilevel buildings within cities, aquaculture for fish farming, making meat in laboratories from animal cells and algae production as a source of protein.
Najib Saab, 8/11/2018

The adoption of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate change agreement in 2015 symbolized a defining moment in international cooperation. They both implied radical changes in the way development is perceived and realized.
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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