Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 743–758 | Cite as

Environmental movement in the Arab world

  • Salpie Djoundourian


The paper conducts a comparative study across the Arab world in the Middle East and Africa to determine whether variations exist in environmental performance. Using various indicators of performance, including the 2010 environmental performance index and the total number of international environmental agreements signed, ratified, or accessed by individual governments, the paper concludes that the Arab world is at par with the developing world with its environmental performance. The paper empirically shows that economic well-being determines environmental performance, thus providing evidence to support the EKC-type hypothesis.


Arab world Environmental performance Environmental Kuznets curve International environmental agreements 


  1. Al-Awadhi, B. (2002). Strengthening environmental law in state of Kuwait: Country report. Paper presented at the global judges symposium on sustainable development and the role of law, Johannesburg, South Africa.Google Scholar
  2. Asafu-Adjaye, J. (2003). Biodiversity loss and economic growth: A cross-country analysis. Contemporary Policy Issue, 21(2), 173–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beckerman, W. (1992). Economic growth and the environment: Whose growth? Whose environment? World Development, 20, 481–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Data from Ronald, B. M. (2002–2010). International environmental agreements database project (Version 2010.3). Available at: Accessed 14 Dec 2010.
  5. Djoundourian, S. (2009). Environmental movement in Lebanon. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 11, 427–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Emerson, J., Esty, D. C., Levy M. A., Kim C. H., Mara V., de Sherbinin A., & Srebotnjak T. (2010). 2010 Environmental performance index. New Haven: Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. Available at: Accessed 12 Oct 2010.
  7. Grossman, G., & Krueger, A. (1995). Economic growth and environment. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110(2), 353–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hall, A., & Maabreh, N. (2009). Environmental law in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Law Update. http://newsweaver.le/altamimi/e_article001368618.cfm. Accessed 13 Jan 2011.
  9. Harbaugh, W., Levinson, A., & Wilson, D. (2000). Reexamining the empirical evidence for an environmental Kuznets curve. NBER working papers, No. 7711.Google Scholar
  10. Holtz-Eakin, D., & Selden, T. M. (1995). Stoking the fires? CO2 emissions and economic growth. Journal of Public Economics, 57(1), 86–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jordan Times, January 5. (2009). Environment Ministry records over 17,000 violations in 2008. Accessed 13 Jan 2011.
  12. Panayotou, T. (1993). Empirical tests and policy analysis of environmental degradation at different stages of economic development. Working paper WEP2-22/WP 238. Technology and employment program, ILO, Geneva.Google Scholar
  13. Seldon, T. M., & Song, D. (1994). Environmental quality and development: Is there a Kuznets curve for air pollution emissions? Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 27, 147–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Shafik, N., & Bandyopadhyay, S. (1992). Economic growth and environmental quality: Time series and cross-country evidence. World Bank policy research working paper WPS904.Google Scholar
  15. Stern, D. I., & Common, M. S. (2001). Is there an environmental Kuznets curve for sulfur? Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 41, 162–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Stovall, H. L. (1998). Environmental legislation in the middle east—a priliminary summary. What’s new. Accessed 13 Jan 2011.
  17. World Association for Non-Governmental Organization. (2010). WANGO database, Available at Accessed 10 Nov 2010.
  18. World Bank. (1992). World Bank development report 1992: Development and the environment, World Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deptartment of Economics, School of BusinessLebanese American UniversityByblosLebanon

Personalised recommendations