Algeria is situated in the Maghreb region. Its capital Algiers is its most populated city. The country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes. As largest African country (with approximately 90% of its land surface covered by the Sahara desert) it is a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union. It is furthermore a member of the African Union, the Arab League, and the OPEC.
The backbone of Algeria's economy is formed by the fossil fuels energy sector. This sector, accounts for approximately 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Recently, due to the oil price drop, the situation has changed. Algeria’s national oil company is the largest African company. Algeria has always been noted for the fertility of its soil. About 10.8% (UN, 2014) of its labour force is employed in the agricultural sector, which contributes 13.1% of the GDP (Worldbank, 2015).
Largest cities (inhabitants 2008 census):
- Algiers (2,988,145 – 2015 estimates 3,700,000 and metropolitan area 5,400,000)
- Oran (1,454,078)
- Sétif (1,489,979)
- Constantine (938,475)
- Annaba (609,499)
Annual population growth (2015): 1.9%
Annual population growth (2000): 1.3%
Water and waste
In urban areas 83.6% of the population has access to proper water sources and 87.6% to proper sanitation (Worldbank, 2015). In 2012 Algeria generated 10.3 million tons of municipal solid waste (per person 0.8 kg/day in urban areas and 0.6 kg/day in rural areas). The amount of waste is growing by 3% annually. Waste collection coverage in urban areas is between 85%-90% and in rural ones between 65%-70%. The final destination of collected waste is generally open-dumping (60-70%) and landfilling (30-40%) (GIZ, 2014 – Country report on Solid Waste Management in Algeria).
Energy and Climate
Algeria’s energy consumption in the road transport sector in 2013 amounted to 39.4% (IEA, 2013) of its final energy consumption (IEA, 2000: 37.5%), whereas energy consumption per capita in 2013 amounted to 1,246.0 kg of oil equivalent (Worldbank 2000: 865.7 kg).
Electricity consumption amounted to 1,277.4 kWh per capita in 2013 against 680 kWh in the year 2000 (Worldbank data). According to World Bank figures CO2 emissions in Algeria were 3.3 metric tons per capita in 2011 against 2.8 metric tons in 2000, representing 96% of the country’s overall GHG emissions.
Policies and strategies
- National Environmental Strategy
- National Action Plan for Environment and Sustainable
- National Water Supply and Sanitation Plan
- Urban Effluent Treatment Programme
- Programme for the management of Municipal Solid Wastes
- National Plan for the Management of Special Wastes
- Programme for the coastal planning of the Algeria zone and the metropolitan zone of Annaba
- Planning of the metropolitan zone of Oran
- Industrial voluntary agreements
- National Action Plan in the frame of the Strategic Action
- Programme for the protection of the Mediterranean from land-based pollution sources (UNEP/MAP)
- Millennium development Goals
- Renewable Energy Development Programme
- Energy Efficiency Programme
- National Reforestation Plan
- National Transport Strategy
Bottle-necks and developments
Most important environmental bottle-necks in Algeria include environmental degradation of the coastal zone caused by discharge of (insufficiently and untreated) urban and industrial effluents to the sea and dry river-beds, and non-operative or partially operative waste water treatment plants. The second major problem is the uncontrolled dumping of solid waste as a result of insufficient solid waste management plans, and the insufficient management of industrial solid waste.
Industrial pollution makes up an important part of the overall pollution. In order to mitigate effects of untreated waste water discharges by large coastal cities 18 new waste water treatment plants will be constructed until 2013.
Wild dump sites for domestic waste create serious hygienic problems. A series of sanitary landfills and waste transfer stations are planned for the coastal areas. Energy recovery from waste has so far not been included in this planning.
Two major problems that are indirectly linked to the energy sector are the decaying infrastructure limiting mobility, and a rapid population growth adding further tension to the situation due to a limited ability to provide services and a lack of ability or willingness to pay for electricity, with the unemployment rate simultaneously rising.
ENP Progress Report 2011
No Country Progress Report is available for Algeria because there is no ENP Action Plan in force between the country and the EU.
- Decree on EIA in Land Use Planning
- Decree on Management of Plants of High Risk
- Decrees on (hazardous) Waste Management
- Decree on Limits for Atmospheric Emission of Gas, Fumes, Particles and their Control
- Law on Energy cuts
- Law on Electricity and Distribution of Gas
- Law on promotion and exploitation of renewable energies in the context of sustainable development
- National Fund for Renewable Energy
- Decree on application of a subsidisation of renewable energy based electricity production
- Law on Sustainable Tourism Development
- Law for General Environmental Protection
- Law on Water Resources
- Law on Municipal Solid Waste Management
- Decree on designation of environmental audit and inspection at industrial installations
- Law on Land Use Planning and Urbanism
- Decree on Rules for Planning, Inspection, and Permitting of Industrial Installations
- Law on Management, Control and Elimination of Solid Wastes
- Law on the Protection and Valorisation of the Marine Coastal Zone
- Decree on Environmental Impact Assessment Studies
- Decree on Packaging Waste