Green Wars? Environment between Conflict and Cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa

Struggles over natural resources, in particular water, have long held to be among the most important causes for potential inter-state conflicts. Yet, the trans-national and trans-border character of many environmental challenges may also compel otherwise hostile neighbors to a minimum level of cooperation. This two-day conference focused on environmental problems that carry the potential to cause conflicts and mostly require cooperation for sustainable solutions. It seeked to shed light on the high benefits of environmental cooperation between states in the MENA region and the necessity to improve and intensify this cooperation, parallel to showcasing the high costs of inadequate joint actions and of the absence of proper state handling of environmental malaise. The objective was to make visible the risks environmental degradation poses on MENA states but also the great potential it bears for finding a common ground.

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November 2007
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