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Chapter Three: Policy Responses - West Asia

Conclusions

There has been a significant increase in national commitments to environmental issues and sustainable development. Environmental institutions have been given higher priority and status, and the level of policy commitment has increased.

Many countries have introduced legislation covering a wide range of environmental issues. Economic and financial instruments are still used only to a limited extent. Cleaner production is being promoted, and environmental education and training have increased.

Water and land management problems are sufficiently severe to merit much stronger action and the consideration of alternative policies. Alleviating water depletion, land degradation and desertification, and achieving a sustainable use of these resources, requires the formulation and implementation of integrated national land and water plans incorporating improved planning and analysis, legal and institutional reforms, and new water and land resource projects and programmes.

Economic development needs to go hand in hand with sound environmental policies within the framework of sustainable development. Policy initiatives should concentrate on institutional strengthening, information management, attracting investment and effective incentives.

Success in implementing MEAs is mixed and economic instruments to improve implementation are still not well developed. Countries depend mainly on command-and-control measures, but instruments such as incentives, taxes and charges, pricing strategies, cleaner production and other indirect measures are being applied to a few MEAs, particularly the Montreal Protocol. National reporting is weak and compliance is not well monitored, except for the Montreal Protocol.


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