World Bank warns of erosion of Libyan coasts
The World Bank warned of the level of erosion of the Libyan coasts, in a negative phenomenon that caused losses to the national economy estimated at a quarter of a billion dollars annually, in addition to affecting the country's gross domestic product.
In a report entitled "Coastal Erosion and its Costs in the Maghreb : Disappearing Coasts," the bank revealed that coastal erosion has negative consequences for the destruction of coastal assets such as land and buildings, and has dire effects on tourism revenues, focusing on coastal erosion in the Maghreb as part of the Middle East and North Africa region.
Using local data on real estate prices in Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, the report found out the cost of asset destruction, stating that coastal erosion leads to significant direct costs ranging from $273 million annually in Libya, to more than $1.1 billion annually in Tunisia. The annual cost of asset destruction due to coastal erosion is estimated at 0.7% of GDP in Libya, 0.4% in Morocco, and 0.2% in Algeria.
The Libyan coasts also witnessed net erosion of about 27 centimeters annually. The report, which was prepared in cooperation between the World Bank, the National Oceanography Center in the United Kingdom and the European Space Agency, confirmed that high-resolution satellite images were used in order to accurately determine the extent of coastal erosion for some hotspots.
With regard to the coasts of the Mediterranean, where it was expected that there would be a difference in the nature of the development of the coasts due to the hydrodynamic processes on the coast, the analysis showed that the coasts facing the Mediterranean have sandy coasts lowered by 75%.
The World Bank's report said that the Maghreb region is the second most eroding coastal region, after South Asia, parts of Bangladesh, saying it's costs are disappearing very quickly, adding that the average annual coastal erosion rate in the Maghreb region exceeded 0.07 meters, especially in Tunisia, which has an average coastal erosion rate of 0.70 meters annually.