Doha, November 28 (QNA) – The United Nations Development Program UNDP has launched an initiative for confronting climate change in the Arab region.
The initiative was announced on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change COP18 underway in Doha, following intensive discussions with the UNDP regional bureau in Arab countries.
Called “The Arab Initiative For Confronting The Impact of Climate Change” , it aims at helping Arab countries set the ground for sustainable development and linking response to climate change with low growth of carbon emission and according due attention to the concept of environment-friendly economy.
Achieving economic growth in this framework promotes new means of sustainable development , including improving agricultural production without compromising natural resources in the sector, improving energy efficiency , investment in renewable energy technology and increasing incentives .
The initiative also calls for alleviating poverty and promoting gender equality.
Adel Abdel Latif, head of regional programs at UNDP told QNA that the initiative singled out three major issues of concern to countries of the region and related to climate change, namely water, food and sustained energy.
Regional countries, he noted, agreed on three program areas to improve institutional capabilities to treat climate change and prop up local policies to adopt to the changes.
The initiative is built on national efforts and partnerships that facilitate knowledge sharing and technology transfer.
It pinpointed obstacles to adopting to climate change and recommended promoting regional countries capabilities to adopt to the change.
The initiative comes in response to the needs of the Arab countries which originally suffer from lack of water resources, desertification and rising temperatures.
According to estimates of an international team on climate change, the Middle East and North Africa is set to witness an increase of two degrees Celsius over the next 20 years and more than 4 degrees by the turn of the century.
Thirteen of the 19 most water deprived countries in the world are in the Arab area. Water scarcity is coupled with an increase in population of the Arab world which will hit 600 million by 2050. (QNA)