World Bank Warns of Coastal Erosion in Libya


On Tuesday, the World Bank warned of the high level of coastal erosion in Libya, which has 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 also has dire effects on tourism revenues, focusing on coastal erosion in the Maghreb.

The estimates show that in Maghreb states, coastal erosion entails substantial direct costs, ranging from $273 million per year in Libya to more than $1.1 billion per year in Tunisia. Relative to the gross domestic product, in Algeria the damages amount to about 0.2% of GDP, in Morocco to about 0.4% of GDP, in Libya to about 0.7% of GDP, and in Tunisia to about 2.8% of GDP.

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 is the second most eroding coastal region, after South Asia, and parts of Bangladesh. 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.