Environmental Assessment of the Gaza Strip following the escalation of hostilities in December 2008-January 2009
This report and its findings are based on field work by a team of international experts deployed by UNEP following its Governing Council's Decision 25/12 in February 2009, requesting UNEP to assess the environmental damage and carry out an economic evaluation of the rehabilitation and restoration of the environment in the Gaza Strip following the escalation of hostilities in December 2008 and late January 2009.The team of experts, coordinated by UNEP's Post- Conflict and Disaster Management Branch (PCDMB), concludes that a wide range of environmental challenges require urgent resolve. These range from safe disposal of large amounts of rubble, some of which is contaminated with substances like asbestos, to sewage pollution of coastal waters. Some of the challenges have been aggravated by recent events but their roots predate the latest hostilities. It is hoped that the facts and economic analysis presented here can assist and guide the relevant national and local authorities and the international community to design forward-looking recovery strategies and transformative investment decisions.