Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands / Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute / United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction / United Nations University-Institute for Water, Environment and Heath

Climate Change Impacts on Water for Development in Arab Region

Tuesday 25 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: FH 201
Flood in Al-Mawaleh in 2014, Muscat Governorate, Oman. Photo Credit: Taiyaba Asad

Sustainable development and climate change adaptation is all about water and water scarcity in the Arab region, particularly the relationship between water and agriculture, energy, health, employment, ecosystem and security. Water-related disasters and changing climate patterns strain the ability of Arab states to provide sufficient water for people, the economy and ecosystems.

The seminar will showcase methodologies, findings and knowledge tools generated to inform climate change adaptation and sustainable development policymaking under the Regional Initiative for the Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Vulnerability in the Arab Region (RICCAR), which is mandated and monitored by the Arab Ministerial Water Council and Arab Permanent Committee for Meteorology, and implemented by 14 United Nations and League of Arab States organizations, expert institutions and climate research centres supporting regional cooperation on climate and water in the Arab region. The seminar will present regional climate modelling and hydrological modelling projections, including analysis on extreme weather events that may affect the region’s shared water basins and associated impacts on agriculture and human health. It will also illustrate the findings of a regional GIS-based vulnerability assessment and the institutional mechanisms established to support the policy-science interface in the region.

Programme

Moderator: Ms. Roula Majdalani, Director, Sustainable Development Policies Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) 

16:00-16:10 Opening Statements

  • Ms. Shahira Wahbi, Chief, International Cooperation, Environment, Housing, Water and Sustainable Development Department, League of Arab States, Egypt
  • Dr. Anders Jägerskog, Counsellor, Regional Water Resources, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Embassy of Sweden, Jordan 

16:10-16:20 RICCAR: A UN-LAS Initiative Informing Regional Action

  • Ms. Carol Chouchani Cherfane, Chief, Water Resources Section, Sustainable Development Policies Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Lebanon 

16:20-16:30 Regional Climate and Hydrological Modelling Findings for Shared Water Resources & Extreme Events in the Arab Region 

  • Dr. Phil Graham, Senior Researcher and International Projects Manager, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Sweden 

16:30-16:40 Vulnerability of the Arab Region to Climate Change 

  • Dr. Ihab Jnad, Head, Water Development Programme, Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD), League of Arab States, Syria 

16:40-16:45 Discussion 

16:45-16:55 Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture and the Green Sector 

  • Dr. Hammou Laamrani, Advisor, Adaptation to Climate Change in the Water Sector in the MENA Region (ACCWaM), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH 

16:55-17:05 Informing Climate Change Impacts on Health 

  • Dr. Zafar Adeel, Director, United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), Canada, and Dr. Sarah Dickin, UNU-INWEH, Canada

17:05-17:15 Regional Mechanisms for Supporting Climate Change Negotiations, Assessment, Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction 

  • Dr. Tarek Sadek, Climate Change Officer, Water Resources Section, Sustainable Development Policies Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Lebanon 

17:15-17:30 Discussion 

17:30 Closing