ArticlePDF Available
1
Impact of Sea Level Rise on the Arab Region
Mohamed El Raey
University of Alexandria
and
Regional Center for Disaster Risk Reduction
Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport
2
Glossary
AFED Arab Forum for Environment and Development
CCI Climate Change Index
COP Conference of Party
DEM Digital Elevation Model
HDI Human Development Index
HFA Hyogo framework of Action
ICZM Integrated Coastal Zone Management
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change
LAS League of Arab States
PPP Public Private Partnership
RCDRR Regional Center for Disaster Risk Reduction
RCM Regional Circulation Model
SLR Sea level rise
UNFCCC United Nations frame work convention on climate Change
UNISDR United Nations International Strategy for Risk Reduction
WRI World Resources Institute
3
Contents
1 Executive Summary ......................................................................................................................... 6
2 Introduction to Global SLR as a Phenomenon ................................................................................ 9
3 Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in the Arab Region ................................................................ 11
4 Impacts of Sea Level Rise .............................................................................................................. 18
4.1 Direct Inundation .................................................................................................................. 18
4.2 Salt water intrusion ............................................................................................................... 18
4.3 Extreme events ..................................................................................................................... 19
4.4 Loss of Biodiversity ............................................................................................................... 19
4.5 Socioeconomic and health implications ............................................................................... 19
5 Country Examples of Impacts of Sea Level Rise ............................................................................ 20
5.1 Egypt ..................................................................................................................................... 20
5.1.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 20
5.1.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 20
5.1.3 Institutional adaptation ................................................................................................ 27
5.2 Saudi Arabia .......................................................................................................................... 27
5.2.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 27
5.2.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 28
5.2.3 Institutional and Practical Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 32
5.3 Republic of Yemen ................................................................................................................ 33
5.3.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 33
5.3.2 Vulnerability to Seal Level Rise ..................................................................................... 33
5.3.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 36
5.4 United Arab Emirates ............................................................................................................ 36
5.4.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 36
5.4.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 38
5.4.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 42
5.5 Kingdom of Bahrain............................................................................................................... 43
5.5.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 43
5.5.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 44
5.5.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 45
5.6 Kuwait ................................................................................................................................... 45
5.6.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 45
5.6.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 47
5.6.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 51
4
5.7 Republic of Djibouti ............................................................................................................... 51
5.7.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 51
5.7.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 51
5.7.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 55
5.8 Morocco ................................................................................................................................ 56
5.8.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 56
5.8.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 57
5.8.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 62
5.9 Sudan .................................................................................................................................... 62
5.9.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 63
5.9.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 63
5.9.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 64
5.10 Qatar ..................................................................................................................................... 65
5.10.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 65
5.10.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 66
5.10.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 68
5.11 Iraq ........................................................................................................................................ 68
5.11.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 68
5.11.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 70
5.11.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 73
5.12 Mauritania ............................................................................................................................. 73
5.12.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 73
5.12.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise ...................................................................................... 74
5.12.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 75
5.13 Libya ...................................................................................................................................... 76
5.13.1 Background ................................................................................................................... 76
5.13.2 Vulnerability to Sea level rise ........................................................................................ 76
5.13.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures ......................................................... 77
6 SWOT Analysis of Policies, Measures and Programs .................................................................... 78
6.1 Gaps of Knowledge ............................................................................................................... 78
6.2 SWOT Analysis ....................................................................................................................... 78
7 Suggested Strategy for Adaptation and Action Plan ..................................................................... 81
8 Summary of Action Plan ................................................................................................................ 82
9 Conclusions: .................................................................................................................................. 83
10 Recommendations .................................................................................................................... 84
5
11 References ................................................................................................................................ 85
6
1 Executive Summary
A survey has been carried out basic findings of global warming and its implications to the
coastal zone with particular emphasis on sea level rise. The vulnerability of the Arab
countries to potential impacts of sea level rise and frequency of extreme events has been
considered. It was well recognized that many locations in the Arab region are highly
vulnerable to the potential impacts of sea level rise, salt water intrusion and increase of
frequency and severity of storm surges. In addition it was also well recognized that the
population at large and stakeholders and decision makers in particular are unaware of the
kind of risk they will be exposed to in the future.
The Nile delta region in Egypt as well as the northern part of Mauritania and many coastal
sites in the Gulf countries and North Africa are found to be highly vulnerable. The
vulnerability is not only due to direct inundation of large areas but also due to salt water
intrusion and its potential impact on groundwater resources and soil salinization. The
impacts are reflected on land productivity, income and health conditions of the population.
Implications of increasing severity and frequency of extreme events will also be reflected in
higher risk of droughts, water scarcity, flash floods, increasing mortality and economic
losses.
The objective of this report is to identify and assess some of the main vulnerable areas to sea
level rise in the Arab world. A survey of a country by country case studies, based on initial
national communications and second national communication as well as recent published
literature is also presented. The main objective is to identify vulnerabilities to sea level rise
and to assess adaptation measures and point out the urgent need to build up institutional and
human capacities to approach the problem and to identify gaps, points of strength and points
of weakness, options of adaptation and needs for sustainable development.
A SWOT analysis identifying points of weakness and points of strength of various aspects of
climate adaptation in the Arab countries has also been worked out. A critical analysis of
threats and opportunities for action in the Arab world has also been presented. It was
concluded that:
1. Most of the Arab countries, if not all, are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of sea
level rise not only through direct inundation but also due to salt water intrusion
7
2. Shortage of institutional systems for climate change in general and sea level rise in
particular has severely limited proactive planning and development of policy and
measures to adapt to potential impacts which cover all sectors of development
3. Shortage systematic observation of coastal systems and changes, lack of integrated
geographic data basis of indicators(e.g. land subsidence in particular), regional
models and awareness represent serious gaps in the process of decision support
4. Vulnerability to sea level rise and its implications on water resources, food security,
tourism and public health for all Arab countries cannot be overlooked
5. With the expected increase of frequencies and severities of extreme events, the
shortage of institutional systems for preparedness and risk reduction mechanisms
could be detrimental.
The pressing need for integrated adaptation infrastructure and institutional capability for
monitoring, building data basis and periodic assessment and risk reduction in all Arab
countries is an important prerequisite for proactive planning, follow up and sustainable
development. Options for adaptation and criteria for selection are based on established
criteria and priority issues of each country taking into account activation of the
precautionary principle. These mainly include;
1. Building infrastructure and institutional capabilities for monitoring, modelling,
vulnerability assessment and development of policies, measures and enforcement of
regulations
2. Carrying out research on water availability and management, food security and salt
tolerant plants, coastal extreme events and water conservation programs
3. Creating job opportunities and development plans in safe areas and enforcement of
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact assessments
(EIA) taking into account climate changes and sea level rise implications
The report ends with a set of analytical conclusions and adaptation recommendations which
include:
8
4. All Arab countries are particularly vulnerable to potential impacts of sea level rise.
Almost none has established a strong institutional capability for adaptation with
particular emphasis on monitoring capabilities
5. All Arab countries should carry out massive programs for detailed vulnerability
assessment, investigate open options for adaptation and develop strategies, policies
and measures in all sectors of development
6. Almost all Arab countries need to build up resilience for vulnerable communities and
carry out proactive planning for integrated coastal zone management and job
creation and development in non-vulnerable coastal areas
7. Regardless of the expected magnitude of the sea level rise, taking action for
adaptation is necessary whether we have sea level rise or not
9
2 Introduction to Global SLR as a Phenomenon
Global warming and climatic change processes are now unequivocal. The global
warming due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is
estimated at 0.13 degree per decade (IPCC, 2007) and is expected to have a full range of
temperature projection of 1.1 degree to 6.4 degree by the end of this century. This range
of temperature rise is expected to lead to melting of polar caps and expansion of water
in deep oceans with a corresponding increase of sea level. It was estimated (IPCC, 2007)
that a sea level rise between 18 and 58cm is expected by the end of the century.
However, recent published estimates have greatly expanded these values to reach more
than 180cm as shown in Fig (2.1).
In addition to expected sea level rise, global warming is also expected to be associated
with an increase of the severity and frequency of extreme events. These changes are
expected to seriously impact water resources, food security, tourism, natural resources
and socioeconomic conditions which would have important implications on the
sustainable development in the region.
FIGURE 2.1 RECENTLY P UBLISHED E STIMATES OF SEA LEVEL RISE DUE TO GLOBA L WARMING
10
Recent measurements by ground based observations as well as satellite observations
have indicated an acceleration of the rates of sea level rise (Figure 2.2.). However, a
number of researchers are still discussing the accuracy of the magnitudes of sea level
rise
FIGURE 2.2 MEASURED GLOBAL MEAN SEA LEVEL (GMSL) OVE R TH E PERIOD (1860-2010) AS
OBSERVED BY GROUND BASED AND SATELLITE OBSERVATIONS ILLUSTR ATING CHANGING RATES OF
SEA LEVEL RISE
Realizing the seriousness of problems of climate change and sea level rise in Rio World
Conference 1992, member countries of the UN signed the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and afterwards Kyoto Protocol for controlling
greenhouse gas emissions. They have also attended a number of conferences with the
11
intention of reaching agreement between developed and developing countries
concerning control of greenhouse gas emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) through its intensive programs has identified and assessed
problems on the global scale and has recommended immediate mitigation and
adaptation measures for developed and developing countries. So far, no final
satisfactory agreement has been reached and many developing countries are still
looking forward for the next Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 16) in Cancun,
Mexico during Dec, 2010 for a new start.
Also, the United Nations International Strategy for Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has
realized the growing global understanding of threats associated with increasing
frequency and severity of extreme events and weather disasters and adopted the Hyogo
framework for action 2005-2015 on “Building the Resilience of Nations and
Communities (HFA)”. One hundred and sixty eight nations committed themselves to
substantially reduce the loss of life and livelihood from disasters by implementing HFA.
3 Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in the Arab Region
The Arab region, which mainly covers North Africa and the Middle East, is located in
area of hyper Arid to semi-arid environment with excess of energy resources (solar and
petroleum) but with very limited water resources, relatively low food production
efficiency and severe shortage of technical and human capacity. The region already
suffers from extreme climatic phenomena such as excessive rates of desertification,
droughts, sand and dust storms, heat waves and flash floods.
The Arab region consists of 22 countries who are all members of the League of Arab
States (LAS), 10 in Africa and 12 in West Asia. It enjoys extended coastal zones on the
Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean where large
percentages of population live in a number of highly populated cities along the coast. In
addition, a trend of growth of population and tourism in the coastal area has been well
observed (Massoud et al, 2003).
12
FIGURE 3.1 ARAB WORLD INDICA TING POPULATION AT RISK OF IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANG E IN
COLORS (AFED ,2009)
In 2003 the total population of the Arab region reached 305 million (4.7 percent of the
world’s population). Over the last two decades, the population grew at an average rate
of 2.6% per annum, with an increase in the total urban population from 44% to almost
54%. Meanwhile, the development and poverty situations in the region are highly
uneven and poverty is a serious problem in many Arab countries. Almost 85 million
people are below the poverty line of $2/day, accounting for almost 30% of the region’s
total population in 2000 (LAS, 2006). Figure (3.1) gives an overall view on the amounts
of population at risk of impacts of climate change in general in the area.
The Arab region’s coastal zones are of immense importance. The total length of the
coastal zone in the Arab region is 34,000 km, of which 18,000km is inhabited. Most of
the region’s major cities and economic activity is in the coastal zones. The amount of
population within 100km of coast is portrayed in Table (3.1). Vastly fertile agricultural
lands are located in low-lying, coastal areas such as the Nile Delta, and popular tourist
activities depend on marine and coastal assets, like coral reefs and associated fauna
(AFED, 2009).
13
TABLE 3.1 THE ESTIMATED AREA, COASTLINE AND THE POPULATION WITHIN 100K M OF THE COAST
IN THE ARAB COU NTRI ES
Even though most reserves of petroleum are located in or near the Arab world, the Arab
region does not contribute significantly to world emissions of greenhouse gases. In fact,
it was estimated that the Arab region contributes less than 5% of world emissions of
greenhouse gases (IPCC, 2007). In spite of the relatively very low emission rate, the
Arab region is considered one of the most vulnerable regions to the adverse impacts of
climate change. It will be especially exposed to diminished water resources, loss of
agricultural productivity, higher likelihood of drought and heat waves, inundation and
salt water intrusion in coastal low-lying areas with considerable implications on human
settlements and socioeconomic systems (IPCC, 2007). Specifically, the impact of sea
level rise, salt water intrusion in the very limited water aquifers and coastal soil
salinization are considered serious for many of the Arab countries (e.g. Agrawala et al,
2004; Dasgupta et al, 2007). According to the Climate Change Index (CCI) developed by
Maplecroft, a British risk analysis consultancy, the region is home to 5 of the top 10
14
countries most exposed to the impacts of climate change: Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco,
and Somalia. (Troubled water)
Given the very high vulnerability of Arab countries to the projected impacts of climate
change, it cannot afford inaction on either the global, regional, or national scales. Based
on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Arab
Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), we can categorically state that the
Arab countries are in many ways among the most vulnerable in the world to the
potential impacts of climate change, the most significant of which are increased average
temperatures, less and more erratic precipitation, and sea level rise (SLR), in a region
which already suffers from aridity, recurrent drought and water scarcity. Fig (3.2)
illustrates the most vulnerable areas of North Africa and the Middle East to the impacts
of sea level rise. It indicates that Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya, the Nile delta, the Gulf States
including Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq are most vulnerable areas
According to recent results of World Bank studies, (Das Gupta et al, 2007), individual
Arab countries will be affected differently under various sea level rise scenarios. Qatar,
the UAE, Kuwait, and Tunisia are most vulnerable in terms of their land mass: 1 to 3 %
of land in these countries will be affected by a 1 m SLR. Of these, Qatar is by far the most
exposed: under various SLR projections where figure rises from approximately 3% of
land (1m) to 8% (3m), and even up to more than 13% (5m). As for SLR’s effect on GDP,
Egypt’s economy is by far the most vulnerable: for SLR of 1 m, more than 6% of its GDP
is at risk, which rises to more than 12% for an SLR of 3 m. Fig (3.3) and Fig (3.4)
represent the results of the World Bank assessment (Das Gupta et al, 2007) portraying
respectively the area and GDP impacted by various scenarios of sea level rise.
15
FIGURE 3.2 AN OVERVIEW OF MOST VULNERABLE COA STAL AREAS OF THE ARAB REGION DUE TO SEA
LEVEL RISE ( TOLBA AND SAAB, 2009 )
16
FIGURE 3.3 A COMPARISO N BETWEEN THE ARAB COUNTRIES OF AREA IMPACTED BY VARIOUS
SCENARIOS OF SLR (DAS GUPTA ET AL, 2007)
FIGURE 3.4 A COMPA RISON AMONG ARAB COUNTRIES OF THE GDP IMPACTED BY VARI OUS SCENARIOS
OF SLR (DAS GUPTA ET AL, 2007)
Many of the coastal lines of the Arab countries have low lying areas. These areas are
being backfilled or elevated for development projects. The backfills became prime land
with major commercial development which could be vulnerable to sea level rise. Many
17
of these first order impacts are linked and will be influenced by feedback from changes
to other environmental parameters such as increased temperature, humidity and
changed rainfall and/or wind patterns. As consequences of first order impacts in coastal
zones, a variety of second order impacts can be identified which include the following:
Changes in offshore bottom profile
Changes in sediments and nutrient flux rates
Changes in marine primary and terrestrial production
Extreme events are also expected to be elevated by climate changes in both severity and
frequency. The potential impacts of extreme events such as storm surges on the coastal
zone of the Arab region have also been investigated by the World Bank (Das Gupta,
2009). It has also been realized that these add to the vulnerability of the coastal zone.
Fig (3.5) indicates estimated percentage increase of storm surges due to climate
changes over the coastal areas of various Arab countries. It indicates that increasing
surges will negatively impact Egypt, Algeria and Libya the most.
FIGURE 3.5 PERCENTAGE INCREASE OF IMPACT OF STORM SURGES ON THE COASTAL ZONE OF THE
ARAB COUNTRIES AFTER (DAS GUPTA ET AL, 20 09)
18
It is well realized that, the high rates of growth of urbanization in the coastal zone of the
Arab world without due consideration to the capacity and potential impacts of
urbanization as well as the unknown land subsidence rates and mismanagement of
resources already place severe pressures in the coastal zone. In addition, the strong
economic driving forces, shortage of awareness and weak enforcement of regulations
have also added to these pressures
However, it is well known that the Arab region already suffers from severe shortage of
water resources, food insufficiency, impacts of sea level rise and salt water intrusion,
increasing severity and frequency of extreme events such as droughts, flash floods, dust
and sand storms and heat waves. The socioeconomic implications of these impacts
constitute important pressures on health and socioeconomic systems in the region. The
shortage of access to technology and weak enforcement of regulations exacerbate
vulnerability of many systems
Recent observations of present day sea level rise rates at 3.2mm/yr as well as estimates
of sea level rise have prompted all countries to reconsider its coastal policies.
4 Impacts of Sea Level Rise
The impacts of sea level rise on coastal areas may cover many aspects including impacts
on water resources, agricultural and health resources in the coastal areas. Usually
impacts are exacerbated by other phenomena such as subsidence, presence of ground
water aquifers and coastal agriculture. We shall consider the following impacts in some
details.
4.1 Direct Inundation
Direct inundation may occur on low land areas such as the Nile delta of Egypt and Delta
of Mauritania. Beaches on the Mediterranean coast in Tunisia, Western Libya,
Alexandria, Gamasa and Port Said may also suffer direct inundation due to sea level rise.
Direct inundation will have serious implications on the coastal shape, resources and
tourism
4.2 Salt water intrusion
19
Salt water intrusion is again a direct impact on groundwater resources, soil salinity,
agricultural productivity and quality in the coastal zone. The Nile delta and its
deterioration due to salt water intrusion is an example. Impacts of salt water intrusion
include increase of soil salinity, deterioration of land productivity and socioeconomic
and health implications. It may lead to group migration of farmers looking for jobs
somewhere else
4.3 Extreme events
The Arab region is well known to suffer from impacts of extreme events such as
droughts, storm surges heat waves, dust storms and flash floods. The severity and
frequency of these extreme events are expected to be exacerbated by climate changes.
This phenomenon is not limited to coastal zones; however, due to the high sensitivity of
the coastal zone, these changes are expected to hit the coastal zone the most. The
Saharan dust flows yearly from North Africa across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe
and cause severe damage in Europe on crop acreage and health. These extreme events
in many cases lead to disastrous situations and require risk reduction on a large scale
4.4 Loss of Biodiversity
Coral reefs of the Red Sea are among the most spectacular in the world. It is the main
attraction of tourism all over the region. The rise of sea level will limit the light that
reaches deep lying coral reefs which will no longer be capable of sustaining growth.
Again the direct interrelationship of global warming, increase of ocean salinity and
biodiversity of coral reef and marine life are well recognized in the coastal zone. Its
implication on tourism and national income may be severe. The loss of biodiversity of
medicinal plants, marine life and on land fauna and flora in coastal zone is also an
important factor
4.5 Socioeconomic and health implications
Direct and indirect implications on the socioeconomic systems are important factors
that have to be taken into consideration. The loss of land productivity will force a large
number of farmers and/ or fishermen to move away from the non-fertile land or fishing
grounds and go searching for jobs somewhere else. Again the Nile delta region, where
several million people are expected to leave the infertile land, is an important example.
20
Other examples include drought areas such as Darfur where changes of the
precipitation and grazing grounds forced movement of population from one place to
another where conflicts occur.
Numerous health impacts are expected due to sea level rise and salt water intrusion in
ground water aquifers. Water-borne diseases are expected to be enhanced
5 Country Examples of Impacts of Sea Level Rise
We shall consider vulnerabilities of various Arab countries to potential impacts of
climate change with particular reference to sea level rise.
5.1 Egypt
5.1.1 Background
Egyptian coasts extend for about 3,500 km along the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. In
addition, Egypt hosts a large number of inland lakes, the largest being the fresh water
Lake Nasser and the saline Lake Qarun in Fayoum. The coastal zones of Egypt host a
major part of the industrial activities including petroleum, chemicals and tourism
distributed among a large number of highly populated economic centers such as the
cities of Alexandria, Rosetta, Damietta, Port Said, Suez and Hurghada. Trading and
transportation centers are also distributed among a large number of harbors which are
considered highly attractive to employment from all over the country. The coastal zones
are also considered an important source for fisheries and income generation. Egypt’s
overall production of fish, according to the 2004 statistics (FAO, 2004), is about 876000
tons, of which 116,600 tons (13.3% of the overall production) are from coasts.
5.1.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
The coastal zones of Egypt are perceived as vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,
not only because of the direct impact of sea level rise, but also because of the potential
impacts of climate changes on their water resources, agricultural resources, tourism
and human settlements. In particular, the low lying Nile Delta region, which constitutes
the main agricultural land of Egypt and hosts over one-third of the population and
21
nearly half of all crops (World Resources Institute, 2007), industrial activities and
commercial centers, is highly vulnerable to various impacts of climate change.
Mediterranean Sea Coastal Zone:
The Mediterranean coastal shoreline includes five large lakes which constitute about
25% of the total area of wetlands in the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean
coastal zone hosts a large number of economic and industrial centers as well as
important beaches and tourist resorts. The precipitation along the coastal zone in
winter varies between 130 and 170 mm/year and decreases gradually to the south. The
tidal range is about 30-40 cm.
The Mediterranean coastal zone of Egypt suffers from a number of problems, including
a high rate of population growth, unplanned urbanization, land subsidence, excessive
erosion rates, salt water intrusion, soil salinization, land use interference, ecosystem
pollution and degradation and lack of appropriate institutional management systems.
This zone hosts Alexandria city, which is the main harbor on the western side of the
Delta located at a partly low elevation land. The city hosts about 40% of the country’s
industrial capacity, in addition to being an important summer resort. Other vulnerable
large cities include the cities of Rosetta, Damietta, and Port Said.
Red Sea Coastal Zone:
The coastal zone of the Red Sea of Egypt is generally narrow because of the relatively
close mountains parallel to the shoreline. The coastline is composed of a large number
of embayments, small gulfs and small pocket beaches. Fragmented and extended coral
reef communities with associated rich marine life extend over large areas of the coast.
The tidal range varies between 110 and 130cm.
The Egyptian Red Sea coast in general has very limited freshwater resources due to its
geographical location in the arid sub-tropical region. Human populations are
concentrated in a number of cities along the coastline and in few scattered villages in
between. It hosts a large number of well-known diving sites based on world famous rich
and highly diversified coral and mangrove communities. Tourism along the coastal zone
of Sinai and eastern Egypt on the Red Sea now contributes a significant portion of the
GNP. Fishing and diving activities have supported a growing human population.
22
This coastal zone suffers from increasing losses of habitats due to growing unplanned
urbanization, pollution, coastal land filling, flash flooding and increasing negative
impacts of tourism. In addition, low precipitation has recently been well observed over
a large part of the coastal zone, which has already been reflected over the quality of life
in the region.
The impact of climate change on world famous coral communities in the Red Sea will
include coral bleaching due to increasing temperatures, loss of habitats and loss of
biodiversity hence deterioration of tourism. The shortage of institutional capabilities of
monitoring and control will further exacerbate these impacts
Coastal Zone of the Nile Delta Region:
The Nile Delta region (Figure 5.1) is the most fertile land of the country and hosts most of the
agricultural productivity and the largest part of the population of the country. Its shoreline has
relatively low elevation areas. In addition the Delta suffers from land subsidence that increases
from west to east. Hence it is highly vulnerable to potential impacts of climate change.
Figure 5.1 General Topography Of The Nile Delta Indicatin g Areas Below Me an Sea Level In Red And
Area s Be low 2m Conto ur Level In Yellow (El Raey, 2009).
23
The Nile Delta shoreline extends from Alexandria to the west to Port-Said to the east
with total length of about 240 km and is typically a smooth wide coast. This zone
consists of sandy and silty coasts of greatly varying lateral configurations, depending on
where the various old branches of the Nile have had their outlets. The coastline has two
promontories, Rosetta and Damietta. There are three brackish lakes connected to the
sea: Idku, Burullus, and Manzala. In addition, there are several harbors located on the
coast including: Alexandria, Edku fishing harbor, Burullus fishing harbor, Damietta
commercial harbor, El Gamil fishing harbor and Port Said commercial harbor. Two main
drainage canals, Kitchener and Gamasa, discharge their water directly to the sea within
this zone.
The Nile Delta region is presently subject to changes, including shoreline changes, due
to erosion and accretion, subsidence and sea level rise due to climate changes.
Agrawalia et al., 2004 surveyed specific large economic centers of Alexandria, Rosetta
and Port Said and obtained quantitative estimates of vulnerable areas and expected loss
of employment in case of no action. They concluded that the Nile Delta coastal zone is
highly vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise through direct inundation and salt
water intrusion. Low elevation coastal zones constitute high risk areas due to potential
damage of sea protection from earthquakes or human activities.
24
FIGURE 5.2 POTENT IAL DIRECT INU NDATION OF THE NILE DELTA REGION WITH TWO SCENARIO S OF
SEA LEVEL RISE INDI CATING VULNER ABLE CITIES OF THE DELTA (FI TZGERALD ET AL, 2008)
Egyptian delta coasts are also vulnerable to subsidence. Tide gauges data from the
Coastal Research Institute of Alexandria revealed a land subsidence of about 1.6
mm/year at Alexandria (Figure 5.3), 1.0 mm/year at Al-Burullus, and 2.3 mm/year at
Port Said (Stanley and Warne,1993). However, survey measurements carried out by
Stanley and Warne (1993) has revealed rates greater than 4mm/year at Port Said and
about 2mm/year at Alexandria for the Holocene period.
25
FIGURE 5.3 LAND SUBSIDENCE RATES MAP IN THE HO LOCENE PERIOD AS MEASU RED AT ALEXAND RIA,
BURULLUS AND PORT SAID (STA NLEY AND WA RNE, 1993).
Recently, work carried out by Becker and Sultan, 2009 on Damietta region using Radar
satellite interferometry has revealed rates of subsidence that may reach up to
8mm/year. This prompted carrying out radar image interferometry for Alexandria
(ESA, Altamira, 2010), which has revealed rates that varies between 5mm/year and
9mm/year at some specific areas of the city. Fig (5.4) illustrates the results obtained for
one of the radar satellites output (ESA, Altamira, 2010).
From analysis of the three satellites data, it is found that about 6.5 to 6.9% of the city
are subsiding at rates that vary between 5-9mm/year. These areas are associated with
already low land urban centers. Very limited small areas encounter emergence. A
detailed investigation based on most accurate ground based measurements is
warranted.
26
Salt water intrusion and its potential impacts on ground water quality in the coastal
zone cannot be overlooked especially in low land areas along the Mediterranean coast
of Egypt. In addition, water logging and water bogging problems are expected to
exacerbate soil salinization which will lead to deterioration of crop quality and
productivity. This will in turn lead to increasing health problems and loss of tourism.
This phenomenon is considered of utmost importance and warrant full investigation as
it may lead to group immigration for other safe areas.
Extreme Events of Heat Waves, Marine surges and Dust storms
The increase of intensity and frequency of extreme events is also expected to affect the
coastal zones of Egypt and extend over the whole country as well as across the
Mediterranean. Saharan dust, marine surges and heat waves are well known to
seriously affect land agricultural productivity, materials lifetime and public health.
Increased intensity and frequency of marine storms will also necessarily increase risks
of accidents in maritime transport systems.
FIGURE 5.4 : LA ND SU BSI DEN CE AND EMERGENC E A T ALEXAND RIA AS ME ASURE D B Y A LOS RA DAR SATELLITE
INTE RFE ROMETR Y (ESA, 2010)
27
5.1.3 Institutional adaptation
A national committee of the highest sectoral authorities as well as national experts has
been formulated by a pri-ministerial decree. The committee has explored options of
adaptation and has recommended policies for different vulnerable sectors. A pri-
ministerial decree has been issued 2009 to establish a national Center for Climate
Change. This center could be an important step towards establishing an institutional
integrated system for coordination among various adaptation measures of various
sectors.
The Egyptian National Assembly has recently approved new regulations to include
Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) into developmental plans needed for
better management of coastal resources and protection against impacts of climate
change. This makes it necessary to have a strong institutional monitoring capability in
addition to a decision support capability for adoption of options for adaptation. Options
of adaptations are generally site-dependent and necessarily involve multi-criteria
analysis to assess levels of technology, maintenance, impact assessment and cost (El
Raey et al., 2000). A national adaptation strategy is already in progress with the
following main aspects:
1. Upgrading adaptive capacity through establishment of institutional systems for
monitoring, building data basis , modeling and upgrading awareness
2. Adopting a proactive no regrets policy in planning and enforcing regulations for
follow up
3. Carrying out research on renewable energy, salt tolerant plants, desalination,
4. Considering geo-engineering activities for protection against sea level rise
5.2 Saudi Arabia
5.2.1 Background
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comprises about four-fifths (80%) of the Arabian
Peninsula, occupies approximately 2,250,000 km2 area and bordered on the west by
the Red Sea; on the east by the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab
28
Emirates; on the north by Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait; and on the south by the Sultanate of
Oman and Yemen.
Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast on the west stretches to approximately 1760 kilometers,
while its eastern coast on the Gulf covers 650 kilometers, including 35 sq. km of
mangroves and 1480 sq. km of coral reefs. The country has an arid climate with an
average annual rainfall of 70.5 mm. Almost two thirds of the country is arid steppe and
mountains with peaks as high as 3,000 meters, and most of the remainder is sand
desert.
Saudi Arabia consists of a variety of habitats such as sandy and rocky deserts,
mountains, valleys, meadows, salt-pans ('sabkhas'), lava-areas, etc. It includes most
types of terrain which can be generally divided into two distinct groups of rocks; the
Arabian shield and the Arabian Platform.
The population of the Kingdom in 1992 was estimated at 16.9 million with a population
density of 7 per square kilometer. Life expectancy at birth in 1991 was 69 for both men
and women. Births that year were 37 per 1000 people, and deaths 5 per 1000, with an
average annual population growth for 1991-2000 of 3.5%. Seventy eight percent of the
population is concentrated in the urban areas (Saudi, 2005).
Coral Reefs represent the most significant habitat found along the Saudi shores (both
Red Sea and Arabian Gulf). Coral reefs play an important role in the coastal ecosystem.
These reefs as well as the Mangrove forests form the basic framework of tropical
habitats and provide shelter and food for wide array of marine life. The highest coral
diversity occurs in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea area. Coral reef harbors a
longstanding and important artisan fishery.
5.2.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
While mangroves are found scattered along much of the Red Sea coast, the major
concentration is in the southern red sea where factors such as increased sediments
create an environment more conducive to their development. Agricultural development,
properly planned and managed, could be beneficial to certain coastal habitats such as
mangroves. Mangroves have a variety of values: they provide food in the form of
detritus, shelter for numerous organisms (such as mollusks, crabs, shrimps, and fish),
29
fodder for camels and goats, and fuel for human use. Mangroves are also important
nesting sites for several species of birds. The development of coastal recreational
facilities and coastal villages in Ras Hatiba area north of Jeddah and shrimps
aquaculture along the southern Red Sea coast have contributed to the decline of Saudi
Arabia's coastal mangroves.
Coastal cities of Saudi Arabia extend along the Red Sea coast as well as the Arabian Gulf
coast. Four coastal cities have been selected as the most vulnerable cities to Accelerated
Sea level Rise (ASLR) along the Red Sea namely Jeddah, Rabigh, Yanbu and Gizan
(Figure 5.6). The selection of these cities was based on the population growth, socio-
economic activities and historical and cultural importance to the Kingdom. Again, on the
Arabian Gulf cities such as El Khafji, Al Jobail, Al Dhahran and El Khobar (Figure 5.5)
could be considered vulnerable.
FIGURE 5.5 THE ARABIAN GULF COA ST AND VULNERABLE CITI ES A LONG THE COAST OF SAUDI ARABIA
30
FIGURE 5.6 COASTAL CITIES OF SAUDI ARABIA ON THE RED SEA
The following potential impacts were identified in a study on Saudi SLR impacts (Saudi,
2005).
31
An increase in sea level rise will increase intrusion of saline water from both the
Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea into coastal aquifers, which will potentially affect the
freshwater supply in coastal zones. In cases of flooding in coastal areas, salt water will
further intrude into aquifers. This intrusion will increase the demand for freshwater
from other sources, mainly Desalination Plants. At the same time, sea level rise will
increase saltwater intrusion of estuaries, potentially benefiting marine fish at the
expense of freshwater ecosystems.
Groundwater levels in these areas might also be affected by the intrusion of saline
water. The groundwater level itself and the soil structure determine the potential for
intrusion of saline waters. Managed areas with a reduction in groundwater level
because of drainage are more vulnerable for intrusion.
Sehat and Qateef are the main agricultural cities along the Arabia Gulf and Gizan along
the Red Sea. These cities could be impacted by Accelerated Sea Level Rise. Recently
increase of soil salinity has been observed in some of these coastal cities. This increment
has impacted the production of cultivated products. It is suspected that salt water
intrusion may be one of the factors impacting the agricultural activities.
One of the most significant impacts of sea-level rise is acceleration of coastal erosion as
well as inundation of mangroves, wetlands, and coral reefs. The rich biodiversity of the
wetlands in Saudi Arabia is seriously threatened by loss of wetlands due to sea level
rise. The effect of sea level rise will depend on the type of mangrove forest. These
mangrove forests may either keep pace with the rising sea level rise or may be
submerged. Large scale changes in species composition and zoning in mangrove forests
are also expected due to changes in sedimentation and organic accumulation, nature of
coastal profile and species interaction.
An additional threat of Accelerated Sea Level Rise affecting the Saudi Arabian coasts will
come from an exacerbation of sandy beach erosion. As the beach is lost, fixed structures
nearby are increasingly exposed to the direct impact of storm waves, and will ultimately
be damaged or destroyed unless expensive protective measures are taken (Figure
3.4.8). It has long been speculated that the underlying rate of long term sandy beach
erosion is two orders of magnitude greater than the rate of rise of sea level. Therefore,
any significant increase of sea level has direct consequences for coastal inhabitants.
32
Results from studies on various aspects of the impacts and possible responses to sea
level rise on the Saudi Arabian coasts indicate that a sizable proportion of the Arabian
Gulf and Red Sea will be affected to a combination of inundation and erosion, with
consequent loss of developed properties including industrial, recreational and
Residential areas.
No detailed socioeconomic study of accelerated sea level rise has been carried out yet in
Saudi Arabia. However it has been estimated that 20% of Saudi Arabian coastal areas
have been subject to development, 130 km along the Arabian Gulf coasts and 352 km
along the Red Sea coasts. A conservative scenario of 1% annual coastal development
was applied on the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea coasts. This scenario was applied on the
coastal erosion model to estimate the area of sandy beaches that may demolish as a
result of sea level rise
Considering the annual coastal development in the Kingdom is 1% and the IPCC Sea
Level Rise projection Scenarios towards year 2100 and by applying Bruun model to
estimate the high risk areas subjected to coastal erosion along the Arabian Gulf, it was
found that:
For the Low Sea Level Rise Scenario (LSLRS) of 0.2m rise, 401 hectares of
sandy beaches are estimated to be lost by the year 2100.
For the Medium Sea Level Rise Scenario (MSLRS) of 0.49m rise, 984 hectares of
sandy beaches are estimated to be lost by the year 2100, and
For the High Sea Level Rise Scenario (HSLRS) of 0.86m rise1, 726 hectares of
sandy beaches are estimated to be lost by the year 2100.
5.2.3 Institutional and Practical Adaptation Measures
It is well recognized that the following adaptation measures are needed:
1. An integrated institutional structure must be developed. A Regional Circulation
Model (RCM) has to be developed and a strong institutional monitoring system
has to be established.
2. A monitoring system of tide gauges and systematic observations of the coastal
zone with provisions for land subsidence must be established
33
3. Early warning systems of extreme events such as heat waves, flash floods and
dust storms must be established
4. Policies and measures should be developed based on model studies and
participation of stakeholders
5. Awareness programs of stakeholders should also be carried out
5.3 Republic of Yemen
5.3.1 Background
Yemen is well known arid country, occupying an area about of 530,000 square
kilometers at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by
Saudi Arabia, to the East by Oman, and to the South and West by a 2,200 km coastline
along the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and the Red Sea excluding the islands. According to
the 2004 census, the total population of Yemen is around 20 million, with annual
growth rate 3 percent. About 1,080,000 people live in major coastal settlements. Along
the coastline of Yemen, many people depend and engaged in fishery sector. Fish wealth
is considered as the second sector in the national economy after oil. The food security in
Yemen depends highly on marine products. The climate of Yemen is hot and humid on
the coastal strip, moderate on the mountains, and desert climate in desert areas.
5.3.2 Vulnerability to Seal Level Rise
Yemen is highly vulnerable to climate change-related impacts such as drought, extreme
flooding and changes of rainfall patterns, increased storm frequency/severity and sea
level rise. These are serious concerns as Yemen's economy largely depends on its
natural resources. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
coastal cities such as Aden and Hodiedah are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise.
The IPCC ranked Aden 6th among twenty five cities vulnerable to danger due to rising
sea levels.
The First National Report states that the climate of Yemen is expected to change
significantly over the next fifty years. It is expected that the temperature will increase
between 1.4°C and 2.8°C by the year 2050. Due to high uncertainties of predictions,
Al -Hodiedah
Aden
Al-Mukalla
Republic of Yemen.
34
rainfall estimates are expected to vary between a decrease by 24% and an increase by
about 50% over the same period.
Between October 23-25, 2008, Yemen was faced with heavy sustained rains as a result
of a level-three tropical storm that hit the country. The storm caused widespread
flooding in several locations in the two eastern Governorates of Hadramout and Al-
Mahra. Yemeni low lying islands and coastal areas could be submerged if climate
changes cause a rise in sea level.
Some of Yemen’s ecological zones are confined to small areas (e.g., islands), with human
communities, flora and fauna highly adapted to subsist within them. Other zones are
much larger (e.g., Temperate Highlands) and support the majority of the country’s
agricultural production. In both cases, climate change poses a major threat.
35
FIGURE 5.7 A MAP OF YEMEN INDICATING COASTAL CITIE S
Sustainable use of the marine and coastal environment is a potentially important driver
of development. Coral reefs, sea-grass and mangroves provide coastal zones with
important biodiversity and fishery potential. Yet, Yemen’s coastal ecosystems are
already experiencing degradation from manmade as well as climatic causes.
Yemen has identified three main sectors that are vulnerable to climate change: water
resources, coastal zones and agriculture. Yemen is promoting sustainable use through
optimal allocation of water resources. Sustainable use of marine and fishery resources
is developed through a strict implementation policy of legislative management and
maintaining agricultural resources and developing sustainable agricultural programs.
The coastal areas of Yemen generally not densely populated with exception of a few
cities such as Aden, Al-Hodiedah and Al- Mukalla (Figure 5.7). Yet the most important
Aden City. Photo A.al Kaf
36
factor is that many activities centers are concentrated at the coastal front, directly on
beaches, particularly in Aden. Aden; Hodeida and Hadramout Governorates are
classified among areas at risk from the impact of sea level rise and coastal flooding.
Extended wetlands along this area are liable to become submerged. Some of these have
already experienced coastal flooding and with storm surges.
5.3.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
Based on the above conditions it is therefore recommended to carry out the following:
1. Establishing institutional capacity for climate change in general and sea level rise
impacts in particular. The capacity includes monitoring systems and human
capabilities. Establishing monitoring systems for coastal subsidence is an
important aspect
2. Enhancing adaptive capacity through encouraging establishment of rainwater
storage systems, upgrading water management and development of integrated
coastal zone planning
3. Encouraging and support of research in drought tolerant crops, salt tolerant
plants and upgrading of awareness
4. An early warning system for flash flood and/or Tsunami may be of great benefit
5. Encouraging geo-engineering activities for protection measures against impacts
of sea level rise
5.4 United Arab Emirates
5.4.1 Background
Population in UAE has grown rapidly nearly ten-fold since 1975, qualifying the UAE as
having one of the highest population growth rates in the world over the period 1975-
2005. However, much of this population increase is associated with non-nationals
coming to the country on temporary work assignments. With a low ratio of nationals to
non-nationals remains low, the national population is increasing at an average annual
rate of 2.9%, while the corresponding figure for expatriates is about 6.9%. The UAE’s
government is a constitutionally-based federal system.
37
The UAE’s economy is well diversified and has experienced robust growth in recent
years. Despite being a major oil-exporter possessing the sixth largest proven oil
reserves and the fifth largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, oil and gas
activities accounted for only about 38% of national GDP in 2007. Overall GDP has been
growing at an average real annual rate of 11.2% for the past dozen years. The UAE is
also a large international trading partner with trade in 2007 totaling nearly US$0.3
trillion, accounting for approximately 22% of the total Arab commercial exchange
despite the fact that the population of the UAE is under 2% of the population in the Arab
bloc. Wealth from natural resources has lead to ambitious coastal development projects
aimed at recreation, tourism and estate industries (Figures (5.8) and (5.9)).
FIGURE 5.8 UAE DEVELOP MENTS IN THE COASTAL ZONE (AL JENEID, 2010) INDICATING HUGE
COASTAL INVESTM ENT AND LOAD
38
FIGURE 5.9 A CLOSE UP OF SATELLITE IMAGE OF ONE OF THE PALM TR EES URBAN D EVELOPMENTS ON
THE COASTAL ZONE OF UAE
Natural resources have always been recognized in the UAE as precious and fragile
assets to be preserved. Several long-term environmental sustainability strategies have
been launched to protect urban air quality, impose tighter regulatory regimes on
industrial and other development activities, establish conservation areas for
biodiversity and endangered wildlife habitats, and sustainably manage scarce water
resources. The climate is hot and arid and is subject to ocean effects due to its proximity
to the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
5.4.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
Climate change will lead to higher sea levels, increased sea surface temperatures, and
changes in wave dynamics. For coastal zones in the UAE, home to approximately 85% of
the population, over 90% of the infrastructure, many sensitive ecological subsystems,
and important cultural heritage sites, vulnerability to climate change is very high.
Moreover, the coasts of the UAE are home to multiple ecological subsystems (Alsharhan
and El Sammak, 2004) and important cultural heritage sites and artifacts. Climate
change-induced sea level rise will adversely affect existing and new infrastructure,
valuable coastal ecosystems, and planned development.
The most recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggest
that the expected range of sea level rise, not considering glacier melting, is between 0.37
and 0.59 meters by 2100. If glacier melting is included, the IPCC notes that 10 meters or
more in climate change-induced sea level rise is possible beyond 2100 (IPCC, 2007).
39
Unless accounted for in future adaptation planning and strategies, the economic
damages for the UAE’s coastal zones will be unacceptably high.
To account for uncertainty in potential levels of sea level rise, a study was undertaken
that applied a scenario approach to analyze the vulnerability of the UAE to sea level rise
(Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi, 2009a). Two plausible sea level rise scenarios for
the years 2050 and 2100 were considered.
A key finding is that coastal areas are projected to be extensively inundated due to sea
level rise as current shorelines migrate inland substantially. Indeed, all coastal cities in
the UAE will experience progressively increasing inundation, depending on the scenario
analyzed. Taking Abu Dhabi as an example, even the smallest sea level rise scenario
shows that significant areas of the built environmental in coastal regions will be
inundated. With the highest sea level rise scenario, the inundated area is quite extensive
in comparison and leads to the shoreline migrating southward by about between 25 and
30 km.
Other Emirates in the UAE show similar inundation impacts. Depending on the
particular sea level rise scenario, total land area inundated in the UAE ranges from
1,155 km2 to almost 5,000 km2, or roughly between 1% and 6% of the country’s total
land area. These inundation levels will lead to a number of adverse impacts on sensitive
ecosystems and natural areas along the UAE shoreline. In addition, excessive coastal
activities of oil extraction and urbanization are expected to cause some kind of
subsidence. The subsidence rates have never been measured to the author’s knowledge.
The impact of ASLR on the coastal areas could be summarized as briefly outlined below:
Sabkhat areas are found only a few meters above sea level, and thus, highly
susceptible to sea water intrusion and changed salinity. In the future, Sabkhat
areas will likely experience migration;
Mangrove forests are sensitive to sea temperature, water depth, and salinity.
Roots need to be totally exposed for certain periods of the day, which future sea
level rise will make impossible unless mangroves are able to migrate upslope. If
not, the UAE’s mangrove forests will be destroyed due to submergence;
40
FIGURE 5.10 IMPACT OF PROJECTED SEA LEVEL RISE ON EMIRATES: TODAY’S LEVE LS, AND 3.0 M SEA
LEVEL RISE. NOTI CE T HE EXCESSIVE COASTAL URBANIZATION.
(RIVER SURVEYOR: HTTP ://FLOOD.FIRETREE.NET)
Sea grass habitats are important for their role in maintaining local biological
diversity, a critical part of dugong and hawksbill turtles and other species’ food
chains. Climate change induced sea level rise undermine this habitats by
41
increased sea surface temperature, tidal variations, salinity content, changing
water depths, as well as by ocean carbon dioxide content;
Coral reefs are vulnerable to thermal stress and recent increases in seawater
temperature. The expected increases of 1.5 to 2.6°C will exceed coral’s
physiological limits and result in more frequent coral bleaching events, on par
with extreme bleaching most recently witnessed in 1998; and
Fisheries: Depending on how ambient and sea surface seasonal temperatures
change over time, the abundance of some of the Emirate’s most important
fisheries like kingfish will be adversely affected, as will hawksbill turtles and
Dugongs which depend on the viability of sea grass habitats.
The area expected to be inundated for each emirate under 4 scenarios have been worked out
and presented in Table (5.1) (Emirates second National Communication 2010), where it is
clear that Abu Dhabi emirate is the most vulnerable emirate followed by Dubai
TABLE 5.1 ESTIMATED IMP ACT OF SEA LEVEL RISE ON AREAS TO BE INUNDATED IN EACH EMIR ATE
AREA FOR FOUR SCENA RIOS OF SEA LEVEL RISE (EMIRATES SECOND NATI ONAL COMMU NICA TIONS,
2010)
In addition, groundwater in the Emirate will be definitely affected by salt water
intrusion in the coastal areas. Fig(5.11) represents to what extent would salt water
intrusion affect the groundwater resources in Emirates (GTZ, 2005)
42
FIGURE 5.11 POTENTIAL IMPACT OF SALT WATER INTRUSION ON THE COASTAL AQUIFER IN ABU
DHABI, UNITED EMIRATES ( STATE OF ENVIRONMENT REPORT, ABU DHABI, 2007)
5.4.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
To address the major findings above, it is important to the UAE to understand its
adaptation options in the near, mid and long-term. Two near-term strategies are under
consideration. The first strategy is to develop strategic information systems for coastal
zones. Data collection and information development are prerequisites for coastal
adaptation as technologies and measures to protect coastal areas, retreat inland, or
accommodate sea level rise requires a considerable amount of data on a range of coastal
parameters and dynamics.
In particular:
1. Establishing an institutional capacity for climate risk reduction, capacity
building and upgrading awareness
43
2. Establishing a network of coastal monitoring systems with special reference
to tide gauges to assess rates of subsidence and potential cavities in coastal
areas in view of extensive urbanization in progress
3. Increasing the understanding of coastal systems through development of
databases on coastal adaptation technologies and measures, preparation of
planning studies, undertaking further sea level rise impact assessments, and
raising awareness.
4. Undertaking an assessment of zoning, building codes, and other regulations
to identify future planning options and approaches within an integrated
coastal zone management framework.
5. Carrying out research on salt tolerant plants and drought
5.5 Kingdom of Bahrain
5.5.1 Background
The kingdom of Bahrain is a low-lying archipelago of 36 islands and shoals, is a nation of
dynamic social and ecological systems as well as a plethora of accompanying climate
related challenges (initial National communication,). The total land area of the Kingdom
is 706.0 km2. There is approximately 400km of coast line. The capital city, Manama, is
located on the largest island, Bahrain, which accounts for 84% of the total area of the
country. Land and freshwater resources in Bahrain, like many small islands, are subject
to competing demands for urban development, agriculture, industry, and other uses.
These two resources are vital for meeting basic human needs, economic growth and
improved access to goods and services.
The total land area of Bahrain has been steadily increasing through land reclamation
and dredging activities. Many sites along the northern and northeastern coastal areas
were dredged and reclaimed for industrial, recreational and residential purposes. As a
result, the country's total land area has increased from 662 km sq in 1975 to 710km sq
in 2000. Although reclamation activities have significantly increased prime and suitable
land for various development projects, they included a host of adverse social, economic
and environmental impacts. In an effort to lessen the adverse impacts associated with
44
future reclamation efforts, discussions are underway for Bahrain to adopt an integrated
coastal area management approach for strategic planning.
Due to rapid urban and industrial development, valuable agricultural land in Bahrain
has been increasingly lost. Arable lands have been converted to residential areas as
demand has continued to increase for housing and recreational facilities. Moreover,
high soil salinity resulting from the use of groundwater for irrigation has been gradually
increasing
Bahrain has no natural fresh, surface water resources. Hence, groundwater and
desalinated seawater are the only sources to meet water needs for households, industry
and agriculture. Annual water consumption is about 320million m3, 60% of which is
consumed in agriculture sector, which relies heavily on irrigation.
5.5.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
Bahrain’s total population is just over 600,000. The country has experienced large
population growth over the years, with an annual national population growth of 3.6%
making it one of the largest in the world. Most of the population of Bahrain is
concentrated along coastal zones particularly in the north and northeastern parts of the
main island Bahrain. High population densities 700-900 persons/km2 characterizes
these areas. This makes seal level rise a very significant issue when considering climate
change adaptation in Bahrain.
In order to assess the potential impact of sea level rise on the kingdom of Bahrain, a
satellite imagery analysis for identification of land use and GIS estimation has been
carried out (Al Jeneid et al, 2007). Analysis of overlays has also indicated high
vulnerability of the coastal zone to potential impacts of sea level rise. This is shown in
Fig (5.12). Results indicated that if the sea level rises by only 50cm, about 11% of the
area of the Kingdom of Bahrain will be directly inundated. No consideration of salt
water intrusion and/or land subsidence has been estimated
45
5.5.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
In view of the high vulnerability of the kingdom it is necessary that a strong adaptation
capability be established. In particular
1. Developing the institutional capability with special reference to a strong
monitoring system, Building up national capacities for monitoring, assessment
and risk reduction Particular emphasis on land subsidence monitoring and
assessment systems
2. Building up capacities for proactive planning and ICZM and upgrading follow up
3. Upgrading awareness of policy makers and stakeholders
5.6 Kuwait
5.6.1 Background
FIGURE 5.12 TOT AL PERCENTAGE OF INUNDAT ED LAND F OR T HE KINGD OM OF BAHRAI N UN DER
THREE SCENARIOS OF SLR (AL JENEID ET AL , 2 007 )
46
The State of Kuwait is situated in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western
Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and Iraq to the north and lies on the
northwestern shore of the Persian Gulf (Figure 5.13). Kuwait covers an area of
17,820 km2 and has a population of about 2.7 million. Kuwait has nine islands, all of
which with the exception of Failaka Island are uninhabited. With an area of
860 km2, the Bubiyan is the largest island in Kuwait and is connected to the rest of
the country by a 2,380 m long bridge. The land area is considered arable and sparse
vegetation is found along its 499 km long coastline. Kuwait City is located on Kuwait
Bay, a natural deep-water harbor. The state has some of the world's richest oil
fields with the Burgan field having a total capacity of approximately 70 billion
barrels (1.1×1010 m3) of proven oil reserves. The oil spills during the Persian Gulf
War also drastically affected Kuwait's marine resources.
Kuwait's coastal area is considered to have special importance because most urban,
industrial, commercial and recreational activities are concentrated in this zone. It
also represents the main source of fresh water and electricity in the country.
Besides, the coastal zone has a unique ecosystem and is a significant nursing ground
for fish and shrimp.
47
FIGURE 5.13: A MAP OF KUWAIT INDICATI NG COAS TAL AND VUL NERABLE SITES
Kuwait, being a maritime and mercantile country with more than 500 km of shoreline,
depends to a great extent on its marine environment for its drinking water supplies,
fishery resources, through desalination cooling water for power plants, oil transporting
through oil-loading terminals and recreation. The harbors of the country are used for
transportation of commercial goods to and from Kuwait. Hence, Kuwait’s territorial
waters are Kuwait’s life line. Therefore, the protection of its coastal zone, as well as the
marine environment, is of utmost importance to Kuwait.
5.6.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
There are many areas that are very sensitive and vulnerable to the potential sea level
rise along the coastal zone of Kuwait. Figure (5.14) illustrates the digital elevation
model extracted from topographic map of scale 1:50000. In general, the lowlands are
concentrated on the eastern part of Kuwait. Figure (5.16) illustrates three main sites
48
that may be at risk from any potential sea level rise. Bubyan Island that is located in the
northeastern part of Kuwait is one of the most vulnerable sites in Kuwait. The elevation
at some points is below the sea level and the elevation on the northern part of the island
ranges from few centimeters up to 2 meters. The second vulnerable site is Qaruh Island.
This island is totally highly vulnerable regarding any potential sea level rise. The
disappearance of such island due to any rise to the sea level is one of the expected
scenarios. The third vulnerable site in figure (5.16) is Al-Khiran region, at the
southeastern part of the coastal zone.
Figure (5.15) shows the vulnerable sites along the coastal zone of Kuwait Bay. The main
and large vulnerable site is located to the north of Kuwait bay (Fig. 5.14). There are
many other vulnerable sites along the bay but are of smaller areas (see also Fig. 5.17).
FIGURE 5.14 TOPOGRAPHY OF KUWAIT (ALJENEID, 2010)
49
Figure 5.15: Impact of sea level rise on the North East of Kuwait and Bubyan Island for three
possible scenarios of sea level rise (0, 1m and 3m, respectively)- (Source: River Surveyor:
http://flood.firetree.net)
50
FIGURE 5.16 THREE SELECTED VULNERABLE AREAS (BUBYAN ISLAND, QARU H ISLAND , AND AL-
KHIRAN COASTAL REGION) TO THE POTENT IAL SEA LEVEL RISE IN KUWAIT.
FIGURE 5.17: A SATELLITE IMAG E AND MAG NIFICATIONS IND ICA TIN G SOM E O F TH E
VULNERABLE AREAS I N KUWAIT
51
5.6.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
Due to the importance of the coastal zone of Kuwait to the wellbeing of population, it is well
realized that adaptation measures should include:
1. Creating a strong Institutional capacity that includes capacity to monitor the coastal
areas and related indicators
2. Establishing and enforcing Proactive planning and ICZM with a follow up
3. Upgrading awareness of decision makers and stakeholders concerning sea level rise and
its potential implications
5.7 Republic of Djibouti
5.7.1 Background
The Republic of Djibouti is situated in the Horn of Africa, between the tropic of Cancer
and the equator, at the junction of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The country has an
area of 23,200 km2 and a coastline 370 km long. As it is located in an area of tectonic
plate separation, the landscape is largely made up of volcanic formations. It has a dry
climate with a mean annual rainfall of about 150mm average daytime temperatures
vary between 17°C and 42° C and relative humidity is fairly high, between 40 per cent
and 90 per cent. There are occasional catastrophic floods resulting in massive damage
to people and property. The drought of 1986-1988 was followed in 1989 by a record
rainfall of 692.9 mm, of which 543.6 mm fell in the month of April alone. Almost 82 per
cent of the population lives in urban areas and 65.5 per cent of those live in the city of
Djibouti. The population growth rate is 3 per cent and the population is a young one,
with 54 per cent under 20 years old and slightly more females than males.
5.7.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
Djibouti is ranked globally as the most exposed to the impacts of climate change, scoring
0.00 overall (CCI values closer to zero represent higher levels of exposure to the
consequences of climate change). Djibouti’s is already regularly buffeted by tropical
52
storms from the Indian Ocean (Hamid, 2009). With 7.1 percent of the population living
less than 5 meters above sea level, Djibouti will be increasingly vulnerable to inland
flooding as sea levels rise. Djibouti, like other countries is rated “extremely” affected by
climate change, will also suffer public health impacts, including more severe heat waves.
In many places around the world, these dangers have already begun to take a significant
toll.
Added to all this, the cities face other problems related to urban infrastructure, such as
sanitation and the draining of rain water. The high level of unemployment is linked to
the economy’s failure to create new jobs. Women, who form the majority of the
employable population, are under-employed at a rate of 34 per cent. Furthermore, the
formal sector is the largest supplier of employment, accounting for almost half of all
registered jobs (44 per cent). In the area of health, national policy is mainly directed
towards primary health care, although the infrastructures are still inadequate and there
is a shortage of medical staff. Life expectancy is only 50 years and the rates of child and
maternal mortality remain high.
Sea level rise represents the greatest threat to Djibouti town where about 70% of the
population is concentrated. The information gathered from satellite imageries (Fig 5-
18) and in the field on vulnerability can be summarized as follows:
Direct flooding of many parts of Djibouti City and salt water intrusion in coastal
areas including inland Lake Asal
Water supplies will record a deficit at least equal to the decline in rainfall,
causing a reduction in the quantity of water soaking into the water table and the
lowering of piezometric levels;
Given the country’s specific hydrogeological conditions, with a relatively high
level of mineralization of its water, we may expect a rise in the salinity of the
ground water; Sea-level rise, linked to the decline in rainfall, will mean a gradual
increase in the influx of sea water into coastal regions;
Ultimately, in both urban and rural areas, the problems entailed in providing
water for human consumption, agriculture, stock-raising and industry will
become increasingly serious.
53
The study of the vulnerability and adaptation of the coastal region focuses
primarily on the city of Djibouti, an extensive urban sprawl and hive of economic
and social activity, which is in the throes of rapid urban development and a
marked population growth
FIGURE 5.18 IMPACT OF SEA LEVE L RIS E ON THE COASTAL ARE A OF DJIBOUTI (UPPE R 0LEVEL) -(LOWER 3M
SLR) . NOTICE EXC ESS IVE EXP ANSION OF LAKE ASAL BY SALT WATER INT RUS ION AND FLOOD ING IN DJI BOU TI
CITY AND VIC INI TY (RIVER SUR VEY OR: HT TP:// FLO OD.F IRE TREE.NET)
For estimated flood levels which lie between 1.88 m and 2.78m, the rising water
levels would have a significant impact throughout the city of Djibouti, affecting
between 26per cent and 45.5 per cent of the population. Between 18 per cent
54
and 30.8 per cent of homes would be affected, between 47.1 per cent and 52 per
cent of economic activity, between 25.4 per cent and 30 per cent of public
utilities and between 61 per cent and 76 per cent of its nature areas. These
figures are indicative of the serious problems faced in any future urban planning
and development in the city of Djibouti.(Initial Nat. Comm2001) (River
Surveyor: Http:// Flood.Firetree.Net).
Preliminary investigations indicate that the most vulnerable area is the city of Djibouti
itself. Direct inundation of large areas and salt water intrusion may be the most obvious
modes of impacts (Figure 5.19). Table (5.2) presents an estimate of approximate losses
due to 2m and 3m SLR scenarios (Djibouti,2001) indicating the seriousness of the
impacts
55
FIGURE 5.19 DETAILED ELEVA TION OF THE CAPITAL DJIB OUTI INDICATING LOW AN D HIG H
ELEVATION AREAS AND VULNERABILITY TO SLR (INITIAL NATIONAL COMM, 2001 )
TABLE 5.2 A TABLE IND ICATING AREAS THAT ARE SU BJEC T TO INUNDATIO N IN CASE OF SEA LEVEL
RISE FOR TWO SCENARIOS OF 2M AND 3M (INITIAL NATIONAL CO MM, 2001)
5.7.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
It is clear that the capital city Djibouti is highly vulnerable to impacts of sea level rise
and adaptation measures have to be addressed immediately. The following is a
56
summary of the proposed adaptation measures, which must form part of a
comprehensive social and economic approach (First National Communication, 2001):
o Coastal protection especially close to highly populated areas;
o Strengthening of rock rubble breakwaters on the marine coastline;
o Reforestation of dunes;
o Banking up the walls of landfills;
o Installing a drainage system for rainwater ;
o Implementing regulatory and institutional measures.
The consideration of coastal, marine and land ecosystems, which looks in particular at
mangroves, coral, fauna and forest areas, assesses their current state as fragile and
vulnerable. Given the gravity of the situation, the following measures are proposed:
o Creation of a national network of protected areas;
o Putting in place a follow-up program for ecosystems;
o Examination of the vulnerability of ecosystems;
o Establishment of an integrated development program for the Day forest;
o Conduct of institutional measures.
5.8 Morocco
5.8.1 Background
The Moroccan Atlantic coast is the most important area for the national economy, taking into
account its demographic and economic weight. The Atlantic coast of Morocco is divided into:
61% of the urban population of the large cities
80% of permanent manpower of industries
53% of the tourist capacity
92% of the foreign trade.
However this situation is changing with the realization of the new port Tangier Med and the
economic development it brings to the Mediterranean coast of Morocco (Etude V&A; 2006).
57
The total coastal population represented more than 50% of the population of Morocco,
increasing on average by 2.77% per annum, whereas the total population of Morocco increased
only by 2.5% per annum on average for the same period. The densely populated coast is subject
to major pressures from human development and this is only projected to increase in the future.
The urban population of the coastal areas did not cease growing since the beginning of the
century. The density of the population reaches 162 habitants/km ² between Kenitra and
Casablanca, compared to the 93 inhabitants/km ² in the Mediterranean coast (Etude V&A;
2006).
77% of Morocco’s industrial activities are located at the coastal areas and 98% of Moroccan
foreign trade relies on shipping as transportation method. Therefore the economic importance
of coastal areas is imperative. Also increasing popularity of beach tourism highlights the
importance of coastal areas to Morocco’s economy. Beach holiday was the primary motivator
for both international and national tourism in Morocco, and the coastal areas boast more than
50% of accommodation capacity, the most dynamic centers being Agadir and Casablanca (Etude
V&A; 2006).
5.8.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
The coasts of Morocco already strongly weakened by human activities would be confronted
with major socio-economic and environmental difficulties if no adaptation measures or
vulnerability studies are undertaken. A 2002 study by the Ministry of Environment identified
two coastal zones as being most vulnerable: The coast of Saïdia and the coast of bay of Tangier
(Etude V&A; 2006).
Fig 5.20 through Fig 5.21 shows the variation of land use and elevation along the coastal strip of
the Mediterranean coast of Morocco. The figures demonstrate the vulnerability of the dense
urban areas and tourist units to potential impacts of sea level rise and salt water intrusion. Fig
5.22 presents a simulation of the land to be flooded in case of SLR of 2m
58
FIGURE 5.20 LAND USE IN ONE OF T HE VULNERABLE AREAS OF MOROCCO (SNOUSSI ET AL, 2008)
5.21 DIGITAL EL EVATION MODEL (DEM) OF THE EASTERN MEDITER RANEAN COAST OF MOROCCO
INDICATING VULNERABLE COASTAL AREAS (SNOUSSI ET AL, 2008)
FIG 5.22 AREAS TO BE FLOODED DUE TO A SLR OF 2M OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN COAST OF
MOROCCO (SNOUSS I ET AL, 2008)
59
Biogeophysical Impacts of SLR
Impacts of sea level rise on coastal areas are numerous and varied but the most
significant are generally and in the case of Morocco: the low-lying coastal flooding,
coastal erosion and salinization of estuaries and coastal aquifers (Etude V&A; 2006).
Phenomenon of flooding: The first threat is that of flooding of evergreen coastal
marine waters which are currently poorly or partially emerged, as the shores of deltaic
plains, salt marshes, mangroves, coral reefs, etc. There seem has increased the intensity
and wave heights over the past three decades, and that the waves of storms were more
frequent with the expected climate CC.
In Morocco, the importance of the coastline (3500 km), is marked by a large number of
environments margino-coastal and coastal wetlands such as lagoons, estuaries, berries
or more less closed beaches, coastal islets and predisposes. These areas generally have a
low topography and high vulnerability to flooding by sea water.
Coastal wetlands of Morocco are renowned for their ecological values, as well as goods
and services they provide to local populations, who long have developed know-how
traditional use of natural resources. The flooding of these wetlands could ultimately
damage their ecological, social and economic conditions and force people who depend
on their activities (including agriculture and livestock) to new conditions by their
conversion to fishermen, aquaculturists and others. The barrier beaches could also be
readily admits a cross-cut larger volume of seawater, which could be detrimental to the
vegetation of halophilic salt marshes, which will be subject to a longer duration of
submergence and higher salinity, for all species sensitive to salinity and water column,
for salt marshes which could be used for grazing, and for the protection works
(breakwaters, jetties, groins, etc..)
Coastal Erosion: In Morocco, two thirds of the beaches are eroding, particularly
among the cliffs Jorf Lasfar and Oualidia recede seven major coastal environments of the
Atlantic are total or partial closure and port facilities have increased volumes dredging
of 15% during the last 5 years. It is often difficult to attribute these changes to a single
cause. While the share of anthropogenic activities is undeniable, these findings could
provide tangible evidence of a rise in sea level combined with strong swells storms
becoming more frequent.
60
Phenomenon of salinization: The phenomenon of salinization (Increasing the salt
content of freshwater by seawater intrusion) is likely to affect estuaries and coastal
aquifers. Indeed, the SLR may lead to an increase in the depth of estuaries but especially
a greater penetration upstream intrusion of salt water. Increased salinity of surface
water will no doubt have an impact on the fauna and flora. It seems that disturbances of
this kind should be more sensitive in areas with low tidal range.
With regard to fresh groundwater, if the sea level increases, the separation between the
continental freshwater and saltwater marine will move sideways to the ground and
level piezometric groundwater will be enhanced. Thus this will result in a reduction in
the volume of fresh groundwater through salt wedge intrusion. The hydrogeology of
low areas, often composed of alluvial sedimentary permeable soil can be changed. The
aquifers at risk of a rise of the same order as that of sea level would have considerable
impact on vegetation, and even at ultra-high elevations.
Many studies have shown salinity more or less advanced into coastal aquifers. This has
been attributed to several anthropogenic factors (including over-pumping, return of
irrigation water, etc.) which are the main cause of the decrease levels of fresh water as a
result of the invasion of salt wedge. However, no study has explicitly linked salinity to
sea level rise due to CC. The penetration of the salt tide further upstream is felt in
several estuaries, without series temporal data can confirm. Many living species may
disappear because they cannot adapt to changes in salinity.
Socio-economic impacts of SLR
Agriculture: The intrusion of saltwater into groundwater can affect the quality of
products and yields significantly.
Water resources: As the sea rises, the fresh groundwater and surface water can be
displaced by salt water, which can have significant adverse impacts on drinking water
supply. Following CC, prospective studies have shown that in 2020 the water cut by 10-
15%. The SLR would therefore exacerbate the reduction in coastal areas.
Fisheries and Aquaculture: SLR could affect coastal activities such as (fishing, coastal
lagoon, the harvest of shellfish and seaweed, etc.). In addition, aquaculture activities
that are related to physical and chemical conditions (salinity, chemistry, temperature,
61
oxygenation, etc.) specific husbandry should adapt to changes associated with SLR, the
increase temperature and salinity.
Tourism: Impacts of CC and the SLR on tourism will affect quality and availability of
water resources, erosion of beaches and loss /degradation coastal infrastructure.
A very powerful example is that of the Bay of Tangier, which represented the first
station
national tourism in the years 1970-1980. It has fallen sharply in the years 1990, mainly
because of the chronic degradation of its coastline. Thus, Tangier has lost 53% of its
international nights, resulting in a decrease in tourism revenues ($ 20M / year), income
crafts (25%) and tourist transportation (40%) (Snoussi and Long, 2002). SLR would
have catastrophic effects if nothing is done to rehabilitate and protect the bay.
• Industry: The Moroccan coastline is the area where the main focus of activities
industry. Thermal power plants installed on the coast, refining plants and deposits
industrial centers and roads along the coast, are particularly vulnerable to SLR plus
swells from storms or surges.
The sanitation sector: In the big coastal cities, were particularly systems of sewage
and storm water that would be threatened by SLR? Coastal stations of water treatment
may be damaged and no longer fulfill their function, which will be detrimental to water
quality, and consequently to health of populations.
Forests: Forests on the coast would be affected by the marine invasion and
salinization waters of the aquifer.
As a conclusion:
A change in sea level, even a few inches may, in different segments of coastline,
cause a significant withdrawal of the shore either by erosion or flooding;
The intrusion of sea water can lead to forms of degradation by salinization in
extensive grounds operated by coastal agriculture;
The main coastal port structures, harbor pools and sanitation are also vulnerable
to rising sea level
62
Rising sea levels will not only impact the environment but also different sectors of the
economy including in particular tourism, and will require interventions (protection,
rehabilitation) which are not always easy or even possible sometimes. Hence the
interest is to give priority to the issue of rising sea levels in future decisions for
management of coastal environments. The studies and research to identify
vulnerabilities to rising sea level across Morocco have remained very limited and data
that may help in realizing such studies are unavailable. Also, it is urgent to establish a
research program integrated with sampling measurements and modeling of the tidal
effect of the elevation sea level on coasts and in the image of what has been done in
neighboring countries
5.8.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
Based on previous considerations, it is suggested that the following adaptation
measures are necessary:
1. Projects for vulnerable sectors (such as the coastline, forest or precarious human
establishments) have to be identified and protection measures worked out.
2. Establishing a strong institutional capacity for monitoring, building geographic
data base, modeling and assessment
3. Adopting proactive planning and integrated coastal zone management
approaches for development along the coast
4. Upgrading awareness of decision makers and stakeholders of the potential
impacts of sea level rise on various aspects of development
But, it is clear that the Moroccan economy, which is still caught up in the problems of
development and struggles against poverty, cannot withstand the costs of such projects
without sacrificing the major components of its social and economic development
programs (education, health, basic infrastructures, rural development, etc.).
5.9 Sudan
63
5.9.1 Background
Sudan encompasses an area of about 250.6 million hectares, bounded on the east by the
Red Sea and on the other sides by nine African nations. The country is divided
administratively into 26 States. It is composed of vast plains interrupted by a few widely
separated ranges of hills and mountains. It lies within the tropical zone between
latitudes 3º and 22º north and longitudes 22º to 38º east.
Arable land of Sudan constitutes about one third of the total area of the country,
however only 21% of this arable land is actually cultivated. Over 40% of the total area of
Sudan consists of pasture and forests. Natural pasture provides grazing land for nearly
all livestock. Sudan is characterized by a wide range of climate variations which vary
from desert in the northern part of Sudan, where it seldom rains, through a southward
belt of varying summer rainfall, to an almost equatorial type of rain in the extreme
southwest, where the dry season is very short. Rainfall, which provides much of the
available surface water and supports most of the country’s agricultural activity, varies
significantly from the northern to southern ranges of the country. Annual rainfall in the
northern half of Sudan varies from close to zero near the border with Egypt, to about
200 millimeters around the capital Khartoum. Where it rains, the rainy season is limited
to two or three months with the rest of the year remaining virtually dry. Moreover, the
rain usually comes in isolated showers, which are highly variable in time and location,
with a coefficient of variation ranging between 40% and 60%. In the quarter south of
the country’s center, the annual rainfall rarely exceeds 700 mm. Rains in that quarter
are concentrated in less than four months of the year with a coefficient of variation
between 20% and 40%. In the southernmost quarter, where the annual rainfall exceeds
700 mm, the area is dominated by swamps and inhabited by the tsetse fly, which is
hazardous to human and animal life. The erratic nature of rain, and its concentration in
such a short season, creates a vulnerable situation, especially for rain-fed agricultural
areas.
5.9.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
The coastal zone of Sudan on the Red Sea is one of the Rich coasts with coral reef,
mangrove and Marine life. It has many promising sites for petroleum extraction and
tourism. Unfortunately, it is exposed to the same problems of impacts of sea level rise
on corals, mangrove and marine life.
64
The Red Sea governorate is the only governorate that lies on the Red Sea. The City of
Port Sudan is the main coastal city of large population, which may be considered
vulnerable to potential impacts of sea level rise and impacts of extreme events on
coastal structures. However, other towns such as Swaken may be equally vulnerable. A
large area to the north east, east and south east of Tokar is noticed to be vulnerable to
even a 1m sea level rise as observed by Sea level explorer (Figure 5.23). The impact of
sea level rise in this area on the coral reef and mangrove may be devastating
FIGURE 5.23 THE COASTAL ZONE OF SUDAN ON THE RED SEA INDICA TING VU LNERABILITY OF THE
CITIES OF PORT SUDAN, SWAKEN AND THE ARE A TO THE NORTH AND SOU TH OF TOKAR BY DIRECT
INUNDATION AND/OR SALT WATER INTRUSION. (LEFT TODAY, RIGHT 1M SEA LEVEL RISE)- (BASED
ON ANALYSIS BY RIVER SURVEYOR: HTTP://FLOOD.FIRETREE.NET)
5.9.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
1. It is most essential that an institutional system for climate change and sea level
rise including monitoring capabilities, be established
2. Geo-Engineering protection measures of flooding on the Red Sea such as
required walls and/or nourishment and protection of coral reef and mangrove
must be established
3. A detailed vulnerability assessment of potential impact of Sea level rise on the
Red Sea coastal area has to be taken to identify and assess options for adaptation
4. A program for upgrading awareness of decision makers, civil society and
stakeholders, must be undertaken
65
5.10 Qatar
5.10.1 Background
The State of Qatar is situated halfway along the West coast of the Arabian Gulf covering
an area of 11,437 km2 and protruding about 160 km along its north-south axis into the
central zone of the Gulf. It includes, in addition to the mainland, several islands in the
coastal waters of the peninsula, the most notable of which are Halul (the main oil
storage and exporting centre), Sharauah, Al-Bashiriya, Al-Asahat, Al-Safiliya and Al-Aliya
islands.
Qatar measures about 80km at its widest point from coast to coast. It is surrounded by
the Arabian Gulf from the north and east and by the Gulf of Bahrain from the west.
Major towns are located on the eastern sea coast, such as the capital Doha, and the
major cities of Al Wakra, Al Khor, Al Thakhira and Al Shamal, in addition to the
industrial cities of Mesaieed, Ras Laffan and Dukhan. 83 per cent of inhabitants reside in
Doha and its main suburb Al-Rayyan.
Qatar’s population grew from about 422,000 in 1990, to about 617,000 in 2000, and
then reached 1.4 million in mid-2008 more than tripling population size in just 18
years. Qatar’s exceptionally rapid population growth, averaging 16 per cent per year
between 2005 and 2008, is virtually unprecedented historically and globally.
Qatar’s terrain is flat and rocky with some low-rising limestone outcrops in the Dukhan
area in the west and Jabal Fiwairit in the north. It is characterized by a variety of
geographical phenomena including many coves, inlets, depressions and surface
rainwater-draining basins known as Riyadh (gardens), which are found mainly in the
north and central part of the peninsula. These areas have the most fertile soil and are
rich in vegetation.
Extensive dredging and land reclamation, especially in Doha, has radically modified that
section of the coastline. Intensive building activity is creating a new central business
district in which more buildings are currently under construction than are operational,
and unprecedented demand has already resulted in non-conventional water supplies
(desalinated and treated wastewater) almost totally replacing conventional water
66
supplies (from rainfall and groundwater) except for agriculture, which is rapidly
depleting the remaining fossil water drawn from natural aquifers.
5.10.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
67
FIGURE 5.24 I MPACT OF SE A L EVEL RISE ON QATAR AS IDENT IFIED BY CO MPARIS O N BETWEEN P RES ENT DA Y
MAPS (L EFT) AND SI MULATI ON OF 1M SEA LEV EL RISE ( RIG HT). N OTI CE DIRECT IM PACTS OF SE A L EVEL RISE
AND/ OR SALT WAT ER INTRUSION ON NORTH WEST REG ION AS W ELL AS THE SOUT H E AST ERN RE GION S.
(BASED ON ANALYSIS BY RI VER SURVE YOR: H T TP://FLO OD. FIRETREE. NET )
68
According to AFED (2009), Qatar is by far the most exposed: under various different SLR
projections the figure rises from approximately 3% of land (1m) to 8% (3m), and even up to
more than 13% (5m). Das Gupta et al, 2007 predicted that Qatar is the most exposed country
of the Arab region in terms of its percentage land area affected by sea level rise (see Fig 3.3).
Figure 5.24 represent a preliminary comparison analysis of potential impact of sea level rise
on Qatar. It shows a comparison between the two situations of present day and in case of 1m
sea level rise. It indicates that a 1m sea level rise will have serious direct and indirect impacts
on the coastal area of Qatar, especially that most of the major cities are located on the coast.
5.10.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
1. Establishment of a strong institutional system for monitoring of coastal
indicators, identifying and assessing in particular, the land subsidence in the
coastal area.
2. Carrying out proactive planning and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
for future developmental plans with strong follow up taking SLR into
consideration
3. Building up a strong early warning system and contingency plans against
extreme storm surges
4. Upgrading awareness concerning impact of climate change in general and SLR in
particular
5.11 Iraq
5.11.1 Background
Iraq's only outlet to the sea is a short stretch of the coast on the northwestern end of the
Arabian Gulf, including the Shatt al Arab waterway. Basra and Umm Qasr are the main
ports. Iraq is approximately coextensive with ancient Mesopotamia. The southwest, part
of the Syrian Desert, supports a small population of nomadic shepherds. In the rest of
the country, life centers on the great southeast-flowing rivers, the Tigris and the
Euphrates, come together in the Shatt al Arab at the head of the Arabian Gulf (Fig 5.25).
The marshy delta was largely drained in the early 1990s as part of a government
program to control terrorism; by 2006 roughly half the area had been restored.
Between the two rivers are numerous wadis and water basins.
69
Very little rainfall occurs in Iraq except in the northeast, and agriculture mainly depends
upon river water. The sandy soil and steady heat of the southeast enable a large date
crop and much cotton to be produced. The rivers cause destructive floods, though they
occur less often as a result of flood-control projects undertaken since the 1950s. Farther
upstream, as the elevation increases, rainfall becomes sufficient to grow diversified
crops, including grains and vegetables.
Iraq is on the front line of climate change. It lies in a water-stressed region with scarce water
resources of its own. Iraq is mostly a desert, with most areas receiving less than 150 mm of
rain per year; only about 13% of the land area is arable. Iraq is therefore extremely
dependent on neighboring countries for most of its surface water. The situation is very
alarming. A projection of rainfall and stream flow in the Fertile Crescent (Figure 2.25), using
a high resolution global climate model (20 km resolution), indicates that the Fertile Crescent
will lose its current shape and might simply disappear altogether by 2100, with the discharge
of the Euphrates River possibly decreasing by 29-73% (Kitoh et al, 2008).
Regional
Precipitation
May 12, 2010
Ira
q
FIGURE 5.25: A MAP OF IR AQ I LLU STRAT ING LO CATION OF VEGET ATE D AREAS
70
5.11.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
The shoreline of Iraq on the Arabian Gulf is very limited; however, it is considered one
of the most vulnerable areas in the region because of its low elevation with respect to
sea level. The low elevation areas appear to extend through Basra City even for 1m sea
level rise. The potential impact may affect soil salinity by salt water intrusion and may
cause serious inundation of many parts of the region (Fig 5.26).
71
72
FIGURE 5.236: EXTENSION OF SEA LEVE L RISE IN IRAQ AS REP RESENTED BY THREE SCENARIOS OF
SEA LEV EL RISE( 0M, 1M AND 3M) INDICATING THE SERIOUSNESS OF IMPACT AT LEAST THE CITY OF
BASRAH
On the coast, Umm Qasr and Al Faw, which support trade, shipments, and various
businesses and industries (including oil production and storage), may be vulnerable to
sea level rise and changing weather patterns that may increase erosive action on the
natural features of the coast, as well as infrastructure. This area is very low-lying (see
Figure 5.27) and susceptible to any amount of sea level rise, as well as being subjected
to redistribution of coastal and marine sediments during extreme storm events, which
clogs shipping channels and forces frequent dredging. Sea level rise, and constant
movement of the lowest low-water mark which defines the maritime borders with
Kuwait and Iran, has the potential to create international conflict with regard to the
location of shipping (there have already been several incidents related to this in recent
years between Iran and Iraq. As noted previously, Shatt al-Arab is already suffering
from salinity intrusion mostly related to lack of freshwater discharge; sea level rise will
exacerbate this problem (Problem Statement, Iraq 2010).
FIGURE 5.24 DEPE NDENCE O F T HE IRAQ M ARI TIM E BORDER ON THE LINE OF LO WEST LOW-WAT ER (L LWM ),
WHIC H W ILL CE RTAINLY C HANGE WI TH SEA LEVEL RISE AND LACK OF SE DIMENT ATION FRO M T HE SHATT AL -
ARAB (LLWM RECE DIN G TOWARDS TH E C OAST)( SO URC E, IRA Q W ATER P ROB LEM .
73
Almost all the possible impacts of climate variability in Iraq are currently being felt in
the Marshlands and adjacent areas in the south, due to the fact that this area is a
receptacle for all river discharge and irrigation drainage in Iraq (upon which they
depend, actually) and is also exposed to the influences of sea level rise (increasing
salinity in the southern fringes, through the Shatt al-Arab and into portions of the
Hammar Marsh). Thus, it is a globally significant area (wetlands with high biodiversity
and traditional cultures) that is being assaulted on two fronts (from the north and from
the south). Furthermore, the Marshlands are being compromised by planned expansion
of oil and gas activities, which permeate many areas in and around the Marshlands, an
additional burden on an already sensitive habitat (Problem Statement, Iraq 2010)
5.11.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
1. A detailed assessment of the vulnerability of southern area of Iraq to potential
impacts of sea level rise has to be carried out
2. An institutional system for monitoring and assessment of coastal changes has to
be established south of Iraq
3. A program for protection of vulnerable areas and upgrading awareness of
decision makers, stakeholders and civil society must be initiated
5.12 Mauritania
5.12.1 Background
Three-quarters of the Mauritanian territory is covered by Saharan desert, and the
remaining one quarter is a Sahelian zone. Each of the zones has a coastal element and a
mainland element. The district of Nouakchott alone, on the Atlantic coastline, accounts
for about a quarter of the country’s entire population living in less than 1% of the
country’s surface area. The economic potential of Mauritania relies mainly on the
mining sector, fishing, raising of livestock, and to a lesser degree, agriculture. Fisheries
and marine resources account for more than 12.5% of Mauritania’s GDP: 46% of its
population lives on less than a dollar a day, so it ranks among the least developed
countries in the world. The coastal town of Nouakchott holds over 25% of the country’s
population, a great part of industry (fish processing, tourism and construction), and
commerce and of other socio-economic infrastructures. Most of the town’s suburbs,
74
industries and infrastructure, some of which are vital to the development of the country,
are in the low-lying areas susceptible to Flooding (Sebkha and Aftouts) (Mauritania
NAPA, 2004).
5.12.2 Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
The rise in sea level brings with it increased flooding in the rainy season, coastal
erosion, the infiltration of sea water in the water-tables, the disappearance of low-lying
wet lands and related biodiversity changes place major impacts on the human habitat
and on all the coastal socio-economic infrastructures.
Topographical maps of the different parts of the coastline reveal the existence of a
number of low areas or areas made vulnerable by human activities, which are
threatened by the rise of sea level. Simulations carried out by experts during the Initial
National Communication on Climate Change in 2001 estimated that the potential
damage of marine transgression or flooding, as a result of climate change, could
generate losses amounting to US$ 3,956 million by 2020 and US$ 6,330 million by 2050.
For instance, the NPBA ecosystem, noted for its high biological productivity, would be
among the first to be affected by a rise in sea level. The rise in the level could mean that
these marshes would be submerged, or that they would have to be maintained after
being moved inland, or that they might even be extended if they experience a high level
of vertical and lateral sedimentation.” (Mauritania NAPA, 2004)
Rural migration to Mauritania’s coastal cities of Nouakchott or Nouadhibou offers no
certain refuge from the perils of climate change. Originally planned as a modest
administrative centre, Nouakchott has mushroomed into a capital of uncertain
population. In the absence of urban regulations, up to one million people may have
settled on the flood plains.
As the sea level rises and natural sand dune defenses crumble or retreat, most of the
Nouakchott region has been assessed to be at serious risk of permanent inundation
within a generation (Figure 5.28). Beyond the city, the coastline is threatened with
flooding, salt water intrusion and loss of wetland biodiversity.
75
Whilst fishing and marine livelihoods have in the past contributed over 12% of
Mauritania’s GDP, this sector has diminished in value in recent years. The presence of
high technology European trawlers is a principal cause but rising sea temperature is
known to affect breeding and habitat of local fish stocks.
FIGURE 5.25 A SATE LLITE IMA GE OF NOWAKC HOT TODAY (L EFT) WI TH COR RESPONDIN G SIMULATION FOR A
SEA LEV EL RISE OF 1M ( RIGHT) INDI CAT ING POTENTIA L I MPACTS O F INNUND ATION AN D/OR S ALT WAT ER
INTR USION ((BASED ON A NALYSIS BY RIV ER SUR VEY OR: HT TP: //FLO OD.FIRETREE.NET )
5.12.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
1. An institutional capability for integrated coastal zone management must be
established
2. An institutional capability for monitoring of various indicators including
provisions for monitoring land subsidence must be established
3. Proactive planning and ICZM concepts should be introduced as well as capacity
building in these directions with follow up procedures
4. Upgrading awareness of decision makers and stakeholders is a necessary
prerequisite for sustainable development
76
5.13 Libya
5.13.1 Background
Officially the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is located in North Africa.
Bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Libya lies between Egypt to the
east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the
west. With an area of almost 1,800,000 km2 Libya is the fourth largest country
in Africa by area. The capital, Tripoli, is home to 1.7 million of Libya's 5.7 million people.
The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. Libya
has the highest HDI in Africa and the fourth highest GDP (PPP) per capita in Africa as of
2009, behind Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. These are largely due to its
large petroleum reserves and low population.
Libya has a small population residing in a large land area. Population density is about 50
persons per km² in the two northern regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but falls to
less than one person per km² elsewhere. Ninety percent of the people live in less than
10% of the area, primarily along the coast. About 88% of the population is urban,
mostly concentrated in the two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi. With the
longest Mediterranean coastline among African nations, Libya's mostly virgin beaches
are important social gathering place.
5.13.2 Vulnerability to Sea level rise
Regardless of the inland areas that lie below the sea level, most of the coastal area at the
southern part of Sert Bay is vulnerable to direct inundation and/or salt water intrusion
as seen by comparison to the simulation of sea level rise of 1m (Figure 5.29). In
addition, many of the coastal cities such as Benghazi, Libya's second largest city are
considered vulnerable to sea level rise and to potential impacts of extreme storm
events. Salt water intrusion on already scarce groundwater resources may also be
damaging to important water resources.
77
FIGURE 5.26 T HE MED ITE RRANE AN COA ST OF LIB YA INDICATING VUL NERABLE AR EAS OF SE A LEVEL RISE
(UPP ER - T ODAY) AND L OWER (SIMULATIN G I .0M SL R). (BASED ON A NALYSIS BY RIV ER SURV EYO R:
HTTP:// FLO OD.FI RET REE. NET )
5.13.3 Practical and Institutional Adaptation Measures
1. Building up institutional and human capacity for monitoring coastal parameters
including land subsidence, developing databases and modelling are necessary
prerequisites for adaptation
2. Development of proactive planning and integrated coastal zone management are
also necessary
3. Carrying out a complete vulnerability survey of the coastal zone and associated
protection measures are necessary
78
4. Upgrading awareness of decision makers and vulnerable communities
6 SWOT Analysis of Policies, Measures and Programs
6.1 Gaps of Knowledge
Identifying and assessing general aspects of gaps of infrastructure, knowledge necessary to
identify and assess present day conditions
The shortage of long term data and information on various aspects of climatic variations and its
impacts makes it very difficult to make decisions at early times. Missing data over many of the
Arab countries include:
a. Time series data concerning climatic parameters
b. Data on tide gauges at a number of strategic positions indicating land subsidence
or emergence
c. Socioeconomic and health data in highly vulnerable areas
d. Accurate topographic data on many of the vulnerable low land areas
e. Very limited information is available on potential impacts on coral reefs, cultural
heritage and fish catch
f. Development of RCM for temperature, precipitation and wind speed and
direction
g. Socioeconomic adoption of adaptation policies, measures and programs
h. The role of mass communication in motivating decision makers to put strategic
policies of proactive planning in their consideration
6.2 SWOT Analysis
A critical SWOT analysis of policies, measures and programs carried out by individual countries
of the Arab region based on preliminary communications and survey of published and
unpublished literature (e.g. Agoumi, 2003, Tolba and Saab, 2009, El Raey, 2010,)
Item
Points of strength
Points of weakness
79
1. Institutional structure
At least Egypt, Morocco and
Tunisia have developed
institutional structures for
adaptation including
integration among
vulnerable sectors
Implementation of some
regulations have proved to
be efficient such as EIA,
ICZM
A national committee for
climate change has been
formulated by many
countries
Few countries are still in the
process of developing
institutional structures and
Many countries have not
considered that because of
national priorities
Many institutional systems
are still too weak to enforce
regulations
2. Awareness of Decision
makers
Most of decision makers in
most Arab countries are
well aware of the problem
Awareness does not mean
action of any kind and
priorities of immediate needs
are preferred
3. Awareness of the
community
Vulnerable communities
and stakeholders are aware
of the problems in Egypt,
Tunisia, Emirates, Morocco
and Saudi Arabia
There are still many mal
practices in the community
Economic driving force is very
strong in poor communities
Weak enforcement of
regulations
4. Vulnerability
assessment and
seriousness of impacts
Most of the countries have
carried out vulnerability
assessments reported
through UNFCCC initial
national communications.
Countries such as Somalia,
Iraq, Palestine however
vulnerability assessments
may not be complete. Who
has?
Initial national
communications do not
reflect actual vulnerability
due to the lack of monitoring
capacities and systems, data,
and capacity
No information is available on
land subsidence in many
coastal countries in spite of
massive programs of oil, gas
and groundwater extraction
5. Availability of
Monitoring systems and
indicators
Human capacities for
monitoring systems may be
available subject to training
Some countries have
participated in EWS?
Systems and systematic
observations are very limited
Very limited plans for
development of such systems
except in Gulf countries
6. Adaptation Strategy,
planning ,Policy and
measures
Adaptation strategies are
under consideration in
some of the Arab countries
such as Egypt, Tunisia,
Morocco and Saudi Arabia
Many countries have not
taken initiatives for strategies
yet (opportunity: could use
regional support?)
7. Adaptation action Plan
Some such as Egypt,
No strategies have been
80
Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan
have carried out Action
Plans. Others such as
Mauritania, Yemen, Iraq and
Libya have not. Very limited
implementation of action
plans have been realized
developed by the majority of
Arab States
No implementation on the
individual or regional scales
and no monitoring systems
for enforcement
8. Extreme Events
Many countries have
realized the importance of
extreme events and needs
for preparedness (e.g.
Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco,
Saudi Arabia and Oman)
Some have realized
probabilities of internal
conflicts and issued
regulations (e.g. Egypt and
Tunisia)
Shortage of transparent data
Very limited enforcement is
available
Many mal practices with
strong economic driving
forces
Shortage of monitoring
systems, early warning
systems and follow up
9. Risk reduction and
preparedness
Many countries have
adopted Hyogo Protocol
and started to put
preparedness policies into
practice
A regional center for
Disaster Risk Reduction has
been developed by the Arab
League
Many vulnerable countries
have not adopted Hyogo
framework of action or other
risk measures(e.g. Iraq,
Djibouti, Sudan, and Yemen)
No emergency responses have
been developed
Very limited institutional and
human capacity
10. Law enforcement
Regulations are available
Very weak enforcement of
environmental regulations
due to shortage of monitoring
systems and awareness
11. Group Migration
Problems of migration have
been well realized in Egypt,
Sudan( e.g. Darfur), and
Djibouti
No serious plans have been
developed
No firm policies have been
implemented
12. Adaptation
Implementation
Adaptation Strategies are in
development (e.g. Egypt,
Tunisia, Morocco and Gulf
States)
Strong gaps of accurate
vulnerability assessments
No adaptation strategies or
policies have been
documented
No co-operation?
13. Socioeconomic
Implications
An early warning of the
potential implication so
there is time for proper
proactive planning
Excluding Gulf countries,
severe pressures are exerted
on economies of most Arab
countries
81
Threats and opportunities are also considered at the present situation
Item
Threats
Opportunities
1. Institutional structure
Time delays means loss of
opportunities for adaptation
and economic loss
Integrating efforts, capacities
and coordinating activities
easier now since all sectors
are encountering problems
of climate changes
2. Awareness of decision
makers
More programs will be
implemented with no
consideration to climate
change.
More damages and losses
over all sectors on the
regional scale
The early we start the more
we save
3. Establishment of
regional monitoring
systems
Many impacts will go
unaccounted for with
Economic and health losses
Success of preliminary and
integrated early warning
systems for flash flood and
heat waves on the regional
scale will save lives and
resources
4. Awareness of
stakeholders
Continuation of over
consumption, unplanned
urban development and
interference of land use
Now increasing with
stakeholders feeling heat
waves and flash floods
5. Vulnerability
assessment and
preparedness
Necessary for proper
identification of proactive
planning. Loss of time
Prerequisite for proper
proactive planning with risk
reduction
6. Extreme events
More lives and economic
damages may occur
Continuing development on
stable foundations
7. Socioeconomic
implications
Severe pressures will be
exerted when time for hard
decisions comes
The earlier we plan for safe
development the better
7 Suggested Strategy for Adaptation and Action Plan
A general strategy for adaptation will be outlined taking into account various activities of the
League of Arab states in the frame of disaster risk reduction taking into consideration recent
experience of preparedness for flash flood. The strategy should include:
82
a. Institutional setup
b. Proactive Planning
c. Monitoring system and Research capabilities
d. Identification and assessment of options for adaptation
e. Upgrading resilience and awareness
f. Regional follow up of implementation
g. Adoption in the educational system
8 Summary of Action Plan
Institutional capacity
1. Arab countries must develop a regional center or organization for climate change. The
center should collect and analyse data, build geographic data base and establish
monitoring systems for indicators of concern to all Arab countries. It should be
responsible for carrying out and enforcing strategies, plans, policies and measures for
proper adaptation
2. Arab countries must introduce concepts of ICZM and disaster reduction in the
educational system and must develop institutional capability for integrated coastal zone
management and build up capacity and follow up in these direction
3. Arab countries must develop institutional capability for risk reduction by adopting Early
Warning Systems of flash flood, storm surges and heat waves.
4. Arab countries must develop transparent data and information systems so as to allow
early warning of problems
Awareness
1. All Arab countries must develop awareness programs for upgrading resilience of
vulnerable communities, population, stakeholders and investors
2. Work to create new job opportunities in safe areas and exercise environmental law
enforcement of regulations such as SEA, EIA
Monitoring
1. It is necessary to monitor and assess land subsidence especially in coastal areas of
excessive urban loads and excessive rates of oil and/or water extraction
83
2. It is necessary to monitor and assess coastal vulnerabilities and rates of land subsidence,
especially that extraction of oil from coastal regions are progressing at high rates
3. It is necessary to build geographic data basis for each of the Arab countries making sure
that data are available for decision makers and researchers
Management
1. Build capacities for protection of coral reef, marine reserves and proactive planning
2. Proper management and protection of coral reef in coastal areas against mal practices of
tourism, is necessary
Research
1. Arab countries must adopt scientific research as the main defence against natural and
manmade risks, and introduce pupils to environmental protection from the early
education steps
2. Research has to be carried out on salt tolerant plants, suitable crop cultivation in the
coastal zone, monitoring systems, analysis of extreme events and early warning systems
3. Research on extreme events on coastal areas and implementation and training on early
warning systems has to be investigated on a regional scale
9 Conclusions:
1. All Arab countries are highly vulnerable to potential impacts of sea level rise with
varying magnitudes. Many such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Tunisia and Morocco
have realized the seriousness of these impacts to their economy and have started steps
towards adaptation and risk reduction and many have not yet realized the potential
impacts on their economy and socioeconomic conditions.
2. Excessive coastal urbanization, oil and groundwater extraction especially in high
population densities areas and gulf countries, constitutes serious risk to coasts and
coastal properties, especially in the absence of accurate data and information on coastal
land subsidence
3. No systematic observations on coastal land subsidence and changes especially of areas
subject to excessive petroleum and gas extraction. There is a high shortage of human
capacity in most countries
84
4. Increasing severity and frequency of extreme events constitute a serious threat to the
coastal and non-coastal communities due to increasing rates of droughts, flash floods
and heat waves. Very limited institutional capacities for risk reduction already exist.
5. The shortage of systematic observation systems, lack of awareness and weak
enforcement of environmental regulations constitute basic obstacles for proper
implementation of proactive planning for sustainable development
6. Many decision makers take advantage of uncertainties of sea level rise not to take
strategic decisions. However, it should be noted that all required decisions are needed
whether we have a sea level rise or not. All countries should take action for adaptation
the sooner the better.
10 Recommendations
1. A Regional integrated center for climate change and risk assessment has been
established (RCDRR) and needs to be supported for development of data base and
systematic observations of the region. The center should be capable to provide data and
information to researchers
2. A data base of systematic observation of sea level parameters such as sea level, storm
surges, water and soil salinity, coastal temperatures and phytoplankton, erosional
pattern and coastal socioeconomic parameters, must be established
3. Systematic observations of land subsidence has to be carried out by radar imagery
interferometry in coastal areas of oil extraction to identify and assess rates of land
subsidence and vulnerability to sea level rise
4. Encouraging and supporting research and building capacities in the lines of systematic
observations, time series analysis, modelling, water desalination and wastewater
treatment , salt tolerant plants, extreme events and awareness programs for vulnerable
communities
5. Upgrading awareness and building national capacities
85
11 References
1. Abdel Hamid, Mohamed A Raouf,2009; Climate Change in the Arab World,:
Threats and Responses; In Troubled Waters; Climate Change, Hydro politics, and
Transboundary Resources David Michel and Amit Pandya Editors: The Henry L.
Stimson Center,
2. Abdul-Gelil, I; Arab Region State of Implementation on Climate Change; The Joint
Technical Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the United Nations Economic
and Social Commission for Western Asia and the United Nations Environment
Programme, Regional Office for West Asia
3. Abdulkader M. Abed, Mustafa Al Kuisi, Hani Abul Khair; 2009; Characterization
of the Khamaseen (spring) dust in Jordan; Atmospheric Environment 43, 2868
2876
4. Agoumi, Ali, 2003; Vulnerability of North African Countries to Climatic Changes;
Adaptation and Implementation Strategies for Climate Change
5. Agrawala Shardul, Annett Moehner, Mohamed El Raey, Declan Conway, Maarten
van Aalst, Marca Hagenstad and Joel Smith; 2004; Development And Climate
Change In Egypt: Focus On Coastal Resources And The Nile; Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development
COM/ENV/EPOC/DCD/DAC(2004)1/FINAL
6. Al Sharhan, A.S. and A.A. El-Sammak, 2004. Grain-size analysis and characterization
of sedimentary environments of the United Arab Emirates coastal area. Journal of
Coastal Research, v. 20(2), p. 464-477.
7. Al-Janied, S. Bahnacy, M.; S. Nasr, and M. El Raey; 2007; Vulnerability assessment
of the impact of sea level rise on the Kingdom of Bahrain; Jour. Mitigation and
Adaptation Strategies of Climate Change
8. Aljenaid Sabbah; Nadir A. Hammed Musa , Maha Mahmood Alsabbagh ,2010;
Coastal Areas and Marine Environment; Arabian Gulf University (AGU)
9. CSIRO,2010; Sea level rise: understanding the past- Improving projections for
the future; www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/
86
10. Dasgupta Susmita; Benoit Laplante; Siobhan Murray; David Wheeler, 2009; Sea-
Level Rise and Storm Surges: A Comparative Analysis of Impacts ; in Developing
Countries; Policy Research Working Paper 4901
11. Dasgupta, S., Laplante, B., Meisner, C. and Yan, J. “The impact of Sea Level Rise on
Developing Countries: A Comparative Study.” World Bank Policy Research
Working Paper 4136, February 2007.
1. Djibouti Initial Nat. Comm.2001, UNFCCC (In French)
12. El Raey, M., S. Nasr; M. El-Hattab and O. Frihy, 1995; Change detection of Rosetta
promontory over the last forty years; Int. J. Remote Sensing, 16,825-834.
2. El Raey, M.; Y. Fouda and S. Nasr; 1997a; GIS Assessment of the vulnerability of
Rosetta area, Egypt to the impacts of sea level rise; J. Environmental Monitoring,
47,59-77,
3. El Raey, M; 1997b; Vulnerability assessment of the coastal zone of the Nile delta,
Egypt, to the impacts of sea level rise. Ocean and Coastal Management, vol 37, No
1,29-40,
4. El Shaer H; B. Salem and M. El-Raey, 2010; Towards evaluating the natural
resources to support land use decisions using remote sensing techniques: Case
Study: Ras Mohammed National Park; (In preparation)
5. Etude V&A; 2006 Etude Vulnerabilite Et Adaptation Du Maroc Face Aux
Changements Climatiques
6. Fitzgerald D.M. et al,2008; Ann. Reviews of earth and Planet Science, 36, 601-
647
7. Frihy, O.;S. Nasr, M. El Hattab and M. El-Raey; 1994; Remote sensing of beach
erosion along Rosetta promontory, Int. J. Remote Sensing, 15,p 1649 -1660,
8. Gerges Makram A.;2002; The Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Action PlanFacing the
challenges of an ocean gateway Ocean & Coastal Management 45 (2002) 885
903
9. Grinsted, A., Moore, J. C. and Jefrejeva, S. Clim. Dynam. 34, 461472 (2009).
10. Horton, R. et al. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L02715 (2008).
87
11. Jevrejeva, S., Moore, J. C. Grinsted, How will sea level respond to changes in
natural and anthropogenic forcings by 2100?; A. Geophys. Res.
Lett.doi:10.1029/2010GL042947
12. Kitoh A., A. Yatagai and P. Alpert. 2008. First super-high-resolution model
projection that the ancient “Fertile Crescent” will disappear in this century.
Hydrological Research Letters, 2, 1-4.
13. LAS,2006; Report prepared by the League of Arab States, UN ESCWA and
UNEP/ROWA in cooperation with the Arab countries and presented at the
Commission on Sustainable Development, at its fourteenth session (CSD-14) held
in April 2006).
14. Martin Vermeer and Stefan Rahmstorf; Global sea level linked to global
temperature; www.pnas.org_cgi_doi_10.1073_pnas.0907765106
15. Massoud M.A., M.D. Scrimshawa, J.N. Lestera, (2003). Qualitative assessment of
the effectiveness of the Mediterranean action plan: wastewater management in
the Mediterranean region; Ocean and Coastal Management 46 (2003) 875899.
16. Mauritania National Adaptation Programme of Action on Climate Change, 2004,
Ministry of Rural Development and of Environment, Department of the
Environment Project Coordination Unit,
17. METAP (2002). Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean.
18. Michel D. and Amit Pandya 2009; Troubled Waters; Climate Change, Hydro-
politics, and Transboundary Resources, Stimson Institute Washington, USA
19. Munawar, M. (2002). Aquatic ecosystem health of the Arabian Gulf: Status and
research needs. In.: N.Y. Khan, M. Munawar and A.R.G. Price (Eds.), The Gulf
ecosystem: health and sustainability, Eco-vision Monograph Series. Backhuys
Publishers
20. Nasr, S. A.F. Abdel Kader, H.; El Gamily and M. El-Raey; Coastal zone
geomorphology of Ras Mohamed, Red Sea, Egypt; J Coast. Res.13, 1,134-140,
1997.
21. PERSGA (1998). Strategic Action Programme for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden
22. Pfeffer, W. T., Harper, J. T. & O'Neel, S. Science 321, 13401343 (2008).
88
23. Problem Statement, 2010: Water-Climate Change Issues in the Iraq South
Material for the Adaptation Working Group Case, Climate Change Workshop,
Amman, Jordan, July 4-8,
24. Qatar National Vision 2030; Advancing Sustainable Development; Qatar's Second
Human Development Report; General Secretariat For Development Planning;
July 2009
25. Rahmstorf, Stephan 2007 Climate Change - State of the Science, Potsdam
Institute for Climate Impact Research (www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan)
26. River Surveyor: http://flood.firetree.net. Google
27. ROPME (2004). The state of the marine environment report, 2003. Regional
Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment. Kuwait, 2004.
ROPME/GC-11/003.
28. Saudi Arabia,2005; First National Communication, Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia,
Submitted To The United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change,
(UNFCCC); Presidency Of Meteorology And Environment (PME)
29. Sestini, G. 1991: The implications of climate changes for the Nile Delta. Report
WG 2/14, Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP/OCA
30. Snoussi Maria, Tachfine Ouchani, Saıda Niazi,2008; Vulnerability assessment of
the impact of sea-level rise and flooding on the Moroccan coast: The case of the
Mediterranean eastern zone, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 77 , 206-213
31. Snoussi, M., Haida, S., Imassi, S., 2002. Effects of the construction of dams on the
Moulouya and the Sebou rivers (Morocco). Regional Environmental Change 3,
5e12.
32. Snoussi, Maria, Tachfine Ouchani, Abdou Khouakhi , and Isabelle Niang-
Diop,2009; Impacts of sea-level rise on the Moroccan coastal zone: Quantifying
coastal erosion and flooding in the Tangier Bay; geomorphology
33. Stanley, D.J., and Warne, GA 1993: Nile Delta: recent geological evolution and
human impact. In: Science 260: 628-634.
34. Tawfiq Nizar I.,1994; Impact of Climate Change on the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden;
UNEP Regional Seas Report and studies, No 156
89
35. Tolba, M.K. and N. Saab (Edits: Arab Environment: Climate Change. Impact of
climate Change on the Arab Countries; REPORT OF THE ARAB FORUM FOR
ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT, AFED, 2009
36. UAE, 2010; Emirates Second National Communication; UNFCCC,2010
37. UNEP (2007). Global Environment Outlook (GEO) 4.
www.unep.org/regionalseas/Publications/profiles/map.doc
38. UNISDR, 2009; Prevention web www.preventionweb.net observed June,2010
39. Vermeer, M. and Rahmstorf, S. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106, 2152721532
(2009).