The ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of Middle East and North Africa Climate Week 2022
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28/03/2022

The first ever Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional climate week to be held from March 28 to March 31 will focus on accelerating collaboration and integrating climate action into global pandemic recovery.  The city of Dubai will be hosting the first ever conference as one of the world’s most vulnerable areas to climate […]

The first ever Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional climate week to be held from March 28 to March 31 will focus on accelerating collaboration and integrating climate action into global pandemic recovery. 

The city of Dubai will be hosting the first ever conference as one of the world’s most vulnerable areas to climate change seeks ways to address its dire threat. The MENA Climate Week will take place at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

As per a report by Gulf News, the event is hosted by the UAE Government, represented by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank Group.

What is the agenda?

The ‘Climate Week’ will accelerate collaboration and integrate climate action into global pandemic recovery. Building forward opens an opportunity to address social inequalities and invest in economic development that is good for humanity and nature.

It will provide a platform for governments, cities, private sector leaders, financial institutions and civil society to discuss opportunities to build forward from the pandemic by identifying opportunities to enhance climate action. 

The event will bring together key stakeholders to take the pulse of climate action in the region, explore climate challenges and opportunities and showcase ambitious solutions.

Why Middle East and North Africa Climate Week ?

According to a report by Al Jazeera, at current projections, some areas in MENA could see temperatures potentially reaching 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher in the coming decades, rendering them uninhabitable.

“In the climate change process, governments are working to limit average global temperature rise to as close to 1.5C [2.7F] as possible. For some places, like the MENA region, even a small increase in average global temperature can create very hot local conditions. It is a real social and economic risk, ” said Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in an interview to Al Jazeera.

Droughts and water scarcity an issue

It may not come as a surprise if the regions of the Middle East and North Africa might have frequent periods of water scarcity. Improving water management relies on accurately measuring and quantifying existing water resources.

As per an opinion piece by Gulf News, it is no longer possible to rely on historic patterns of drought and rains to anticipate water levels and needs. This is why the development and implementation of map-based monitoring and early warning systems is the first pillar of the MENA drought initiative, which has already supported the governments of Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco to adopt a drought index that can show where stressed conditions exist and trigger actions to help.

(Banner Image Credits: @mariammalmheiri/Twitter)

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