Climate Change
Conflict Transformation
Development
Energy
Environment & Migration
Land & Food
Security
Water
Middle East & North Africa
Soila Apparicio, Climate Home
© Brad Helmink/Unsplash

Climate change threatens conflict and poverty in the Arab region, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP). In a report published last week, the agency suggested climate risks could derail development gains, such as the decrease in infant mortality and the achievement of near universal primary education.

Mourad Wahba, director of UNDP’s regional bureau for Arab States said that the over the past decade cycles of drought, “the frequency and severity of which are beyond anything seen for hundreds of years in the region”, had contributed to “famine and food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and life, and the displacement of millions”. The report found this could disrupt efforts to bring peace to the region. “Climate change with its direct impact on decreasing water and food security is feeding armed conflict,” the UNDP paper concluded.

The Arab region has 14 of the world’s 20 most water-stressed countries and 90% of the region lies in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid zones. From 2006 to 2011, Somalia suffered a prolonged drought that may have been made more likely by climate change, which led to the displacement of four million people. Similarly, a drought in Syria from 2006 to 2010, which has been attributed in part to human interference in the climate system, led to a mass migration of 200,000-300,000 people from farmlands to urban centres, according to the UNDP.

Rising levels of conflict across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) has resulted in it housing the world’s largest population of refugees and displaced people. “Security and resources go hand in hand in the Mena region. The uprisings and political instability were mainly to demand equal resources, that includes energy, basically in the form of electricity and water,” Safa Al’ Jayoussi, a climate change expert and environmentalist based in Jordan, told Climate Home News.

“Political leaders in the countries are diving into fossil fuels with all the uncertainty around it and removing subsidies without giving the people any other alternative,” she added. “In Jordan, especially with the current wave of protests where we went out to the streets calling for solutions to the price hikes, [the government] is still struggling to see the shining future of climate change solutions,” Al’ Jayoussi said.

 

[This article originally appeared on climatechangenews.com]

Source:
Climate Home

Natasha Vizcarra, Global Landscapes Forum

Now in its second decade, the ambitious African Union–led restoration initiative known as the Great Green Wall has brought close to 18 million hectares of land under restoration since 2007, according to a status report unveiled by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at a virtual meeting on Monday, 7 September.

Adaptation & Resilience
Global Issues
Anne Hammill, IISD

Though focused on climate change, National Adaptation Plans offer important assessments of the risks a country faces and can be valuable in devising comprehensive pandemic response strategies.

Water
Global Issues
Raquel Munayer, adelphi

As part of this year’s online World Water Week at Home, adelphi and IHE Delft convened the workshop "Water diplomacy: a tool for climate action?". The workshop reflected on the role that foreign policy can play in mitigating, solving and potentially preventing conflicts over the management of transboundary water resources, especially in a changing climate.

Forests
South America
Adriana E. Abdenur, Igarapé Institute

The Cerrado, a tropical savannah region located in Central Brazil, is nearly half as large as the Amazon and a deforestation hotspot. Yet little attention is paid to this important biome. That has to change.