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Abstract

Known to be one of the most arid regions in the world, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is particularly vulnerable to climate-induced impacts on water resources and food production. Despite this alarming situation, promoting adaptive governance strategies to deal with such increased hydrological risk remains a low priority for most of political leaderships in the region. It is increasingly clear that adaptation to climate change and environmental sustainability are closely linked to water availability and food production added to a set of social, economic and political factors. In most of the MENA countries, climate change is likely to lead to reduced rainfall and consequently a real threat to food security in what are already dry regions. In certain cases, an intensification of the water cycle has caused more extreme floods and droughts in some countries of the region. Generally, climate change acts as a “threat multiplier” increasing existing vulnerabilities among already vulnerable and poor populations and existing threats to security, and can indirectly rise risks of violent conflict in the region. It is worthy to note that climate impacts will not be equally distributed, and much will depend upon national resources and adaptive capacities which is one of the main focus of the study. Thus, we will attempt to delineate the expected and dynamic impacts of climate change and environmental sustainability on food-water poverty and analyze how the political, economic, and institutional drivers may have shaped governance responses in the region. The linkage between food-water poverty and environmental sustainability hasn»t got a significant policy attraction that generally in favor of livelihood of the poor, which is broadly influenced by climate change, food security challenges and poor access of improved water resources. These challenges and defies commonly encountered by less developing countries, while some MENA countries has no exemption to escape out from this food-water poverty nexus owing to inappropriate socio-economic and environmental action programs of sustainable development. Contrariwise, some others countries in the region, mainly the oil-dependent countries, have been able to overcome such challenges, at least in the short run, primarily thanks to their oil resources and the rent that these generated. In addition, we will endeavor in the current study to examine the dynamic nexus between climate changes, environmental sustainability and food-water poverty in a panel of selected MENA countries over the recent decades. To do this, we will use various empirical models such as pooled least squares regression, pooled fixed effects, and pooled random effects regression techniques. The data on food-water poverty, environmental sustainability and climate changes indicators for the set of selected MENA countries, comprising low and high oil-dependent economies, from 1980 to 2013 are taken mainly from World Development Indicators published by the World Bank (2014) and International Financial Statistics published by the IMF (2014). It»s noteworthy that the considered countries are chosen according to data availability. In order to keep the maximum number of countries possible in the empirical analysis, the forward and backward interpolation technique will be used to fill the gaps between the two periods. In this study, we»ll use five dependent variables (response variables), including three food poverty indicators and two water poverty indicators that were separately regressed with the set of explanatory variables in the panel of the considered countries. These variables were chosen giving their broader coverage of food-water poverty and environmental sustainability indicators in the region. In the empirical analysis, we»ll attempt then to estimate two simple non-linear regression equations, similarly to Ozturk (2017) [1], to understand the food-water nexus, by using a set of explanatory variables of environmental sustainability and climate changes such as the rainfall indicator, the annual average temperature, agricultural value added, forest area, carbon dioxide emissions, GDP per capita, inflation, the consumer price index. Three food poverty indicators will be used as dependant variables, i.e., the depth of the food deficit (kilocalories per person per day), the household final consumption expenditure per capita (constant 2005 US$), and the prevalence of undernourishment (percentage of population). While in the second model devoted to water poverty, percentage of population without access to water sources and percentage of population without access to sanitation facilities will be used as the two dependant variables. The first step is using the conventional panel unit root tests to assess the stationary properties of the selected variables. In this regard, different panel unit root tests will be used to check the order of integration of the given variable»s series. After that, we»ll use the Johansen Fisher panel co-integration tests to evaluate the null hypothesis of no co-integration against the alternative hypothesis of co-integration relationships between variables. In order to get robust inferences, the study will use three separate panel regressions, comprising the panel least squares regression, commonly known as the ‘common constant method’; fixed effects, commonly known as the ‘least squares dummy variables (LSDV)’; and random effects model, commonly known as the ‘Dynamic Model’. The food-water poverty is a buzzword that is generally used by the policymakers to assess the insufficient intake of food calories per day and lack of regular access to water resources among households across countries. In order to understand the food-water poverty nexus in the MENA region, one may look deeply and separately to the main factors that may affect such two linked issues over the time. The real contribution of the study is then to investigate over the high and low oil-dependent countries in the region, the main determinants of food-water poverty that affected mainly by climate changes and environmental sustainability indicators. In this context, it»s substantially required to investigate this relationship for sound policy interventions, in favor of livelihood of the poor and most vulnerable population groups, that should help to reduce the food-water poverty taking into account the most severe challenges facing the majority of countries i.e. climate changes and environmental sustainability. [1] Ozturk, I. (2017). The dynamic relationship between agricultural sustainability and food-energy-water poverty in a panel of selected Sub-Saharan African Countries. Energy Policy, 107, 289-299.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2018.EEPP461
2018-03-12
2020-09-21
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