State of Environment and Outlook report for the occupied Palestinian territory 2020

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Executive Summary

This report provides an overview of the current state of the environment in the occupied Palestinian territory. Building on earlier work by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the report includes analysis of the current state of the environment, including biodiversity, water, land and soil degradation, depletion of natural resources, urbanization and waste management.

The report describes trends and identifies emerging environmental challenges, including environmental governance challenges. This analysis is intended to provide a basis for evidence-informed policies.

Methodological approach and sources UNEP uses the drivers-pressures-state-impactresponse causal framework approach. This represents a systems analysis view in which the driving forces of social and economic development exert pressures on the environment, and change the state of the environment. This change leads to impacts on human well-being and ecosystem health, which in turn triggers human responses to remedy these impacts. These responses influence the state of the environment, either directly or indirectly, through driving forces or pressures.
Existing policies should be assessed in terms of how they address the drivers and impacts of environmental challenges.

The evidence in this report was gathered through the following methods:

• Review of data and analysis from available government sources, reports by international organizations and peer-reviewed scientific papers;

• Consultations with Palestinian and Israeli officials and other stakeholders, undertaken during missions in December 2018 and February to March 2019, and via follow-up calls and correspondence; and • Field visits to over 40 sites by a UNEP delegation to the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and to Israel, undertaken in February and March 2019, to review and record evidence of noticeable environmental change.
The report was also reviewed by expert practitioners before publication in 2020.