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Regional Conference
Regional Conference on Environmental challenges in the MENA region
27 November 2010 - 28 November 2010

Environmental concerns in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) often slip through the net of public policy design, despite the fact that most countries in the region now have dedicated ministries or entities. More attention should be accorded to environmental challenges given that the region is exhausting its natural resources at rates well above sustainable levels. The environmental challenges facing the region are myriad, ranging from local to global pollution problems, water scarcity, degradation of arable land, solid waste problems, and/or illegal or over-harvesting problems due to the lack or slack regulation.

One reason why environmental problems tend to receive less attention than necessary in the region is the lack of systematic knowledge about the magnitude of these problems, their causes and possible remedies. The situation is further complicated by weak research capacity in the area of environmental economics. To attempt to reverse this situation, the Economic Research Forum (ERF), with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), initiated a program of research/capacity building in 2008. This regional conference is part of this process.

The topics of the sessions encompass two areas of discussion:
1) Issues of renewable and non-renewable resources, pollution and land conservation using methods such as Environmental Accounting, Environmental Valuation, General Equilibrium Models and assessment of policy instruments.
2) The issue of the role of economic incentives and environmental regulation in influencing environmental outcomes in the MENA Region. The diversity of topics reflects the multiplicity of interest among researchers and the multifaceted nature of environmental concerns.


The conference is intended to:

  • Disseminate the findings of a number of selected papers written on the role of incentives, norms and institutions in mitigating environmental degradation in the MENA Region.
  • Receive feedback on the research papers chosen from among the proposals selected in Environmental Economics Research Competitions in the MENA Region conducted by ERF in May 2008 and August 2009.
  • Provide a platform for interaction not only between junior and senior researchers but also between the researchers and policy makers.


The conference will be held in Casablanca, Morocco during November 27-28, 2010. It will convene around 65 participants: the authors of papers, the project’s advisors, policymakers from the region and a number of eminent regional and international experts in the field. The working language of the conference is English with French language translation available. The opening and first session will last for 90 minutes. The opening remarks followed by the welcome speech will take 30-45 minutes. The speaker will take 15-25 minutes. This will leave 30-45 minutes for open discussion. The remaining sessions are organized to include one or two papers and will last for 45 or 90 minutes each, respectively. Each paper presenter has 15-20 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes for the discussant and the remaining time that may vary between 15 to 40 minutes according to the number of papers in the session is dedicated for open discussion. The moderator of the session will ensure speaker(s)’ adherence to the time allocated. The conference includes three panels that vary in length and structure; lasting between 90 and 120 minutes. The speakers will have about 45-60 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes for the discussant if any and the remaining time 35-60 minutes are dedicated to open discussion. Speakers’ presentations and discussants’ comments will be in power point format.

Download Regional Conference Agenda

Presented Papers
Integrated Water Resources Management in Jordan
Velma I Grover, Abdel RaoufDarwish and Eliza Deutsch
Read Abstract | Download Paper
Managing Bluefin Tuna in the Mediterranean Sea
Ussif Rashid Sumaila and Ling Huang
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Cost assessment of environmental degradation in the Middle East and North Africa region – selected issues
Bjorn Larsen
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Does Non-renewable Energy Utilization in Egypt Generate Net Gain or Net Loss?
Hebat-Allah El-Deken, Noran Farag and Noha Hamdy
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Commodity Price Volatility and the Sources of Growth
Tiago V. de V. Cavalcanti, Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mehdi Raissi
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Is There A Triple Dividend Effect From A Tax On Fertilizer Use? A Computable General Equilibrium Approach
Abeer Elshennawy
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From Innovation System Perspective: Environmentally Friendly Technical Change and Small-and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Bahar C. Erbas and Pinar C. Geylani
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Climate Change Policy in the MENA Region: Prospects, Challenges, and the Implication of Market Instruments
Mustafa Hussein Babiker and Mohammed A. Fehaid
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Climate change mitigation options and directed technical change: A decentralized equilibrium analysis
André Grimaud, Gilles Lafforgue and Bertrand Magné
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Income level and environmental quality in the MENA countries: discussing the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis
Hatem M'HENNI, Mohamed El Hedi AROURI, Adel BEN YOUSSEF, and Christophe RAULT
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Sustainable Development and Environmental Challenges in the MENA Region: Accounting for the Environment in the 21st Century
Susan L. Sakmar and Mathis Wackernagel
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Factors Affecting the Choice of Households’ Primary Cooking Fuel in Sudan
Kabbashi M. Suliman
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