This thesis discusses the international law concept of sustainable development. It then assesses the effectiveness of Egyptian policies, laws and regulations with regard to sustainable development and culminates with recommendations on how to move towards more sustainable water management, which is one of the most urgent aspects of sustainable development that needs to be improved. Egypt is confronting an increasing problem of water scarcity. It is a developing economy with high population growth. The effects of climate change are predicted to be particularly severe in North African states, with a decrease in rainfall and increasing desertification and drought. Additionally, in Egypt, every year viable agricultural land is lost to urban encroachment. Yet, Egypt's current policies do not adequately address these issues. Environmental laws are outdated and at times remain unenforced and unregulated. Furthermore, laws do not include sustainable development goals that target poverty reduction and other factors which undermine adherence to current policies. In light of the 25 January 2011 Revolution in Egypt, the creation of new environmental policies that incorporate sustainable development goals, as well as their subsequent enforcement, now seems attainable. As Egypt moves towards democratization, enforcement of law is more likely to translate to sustainable development practices.


Law Department

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2013

First Advisor

Natarajan, Usha

Committee Member 1

Sayed, Hani

Committee Member 2

Skouteris, Thomas


63 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Sustaible development -- Egypt.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Environmental policy -- Egypt.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


With the culmition of my graduate education, I would like to take the time to thank my thesis supervisor, Professor Usha tarajan, and my first reader, Professor Hani Sayed, for without their encouragement, dedication and thorough guidance this thesis would not have been possible. I am indebted to Professor Tanya Monforte, Nesrine Badawi and other American University in Cairo law professors for providing an exceptiol educatiol experience that instilled in me the strong desire to help work toward a more just world. I must also thank my parents, Lori and Mark McKen, my grandparents, Dr. Bruce L. Parker, Judythe D. Parker, and Marie H. McKen and the rest of my family for their unwavering support throughout my educatiol career. Filly, I thank the Philanthropic Educatiol Organization for granting me the Educatiol Loan Fund, which made my Master's degree a reality.