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

Adaptation & Resilience
Sustainable Transformation
Global Issues
UN Environment

More than 4,700 delegates, including environment ministers, scientists, academics, business leaders and civil society representatives, met in Nairobi for the UN Environment Assembly, the world’s top environmental body whose decisions will set the global agenda, notably ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in September.

Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Sustainable Transformation
Europe
Global Issues
European Commission

Mid february, the EU's foreign affairs ministers welcomed the Commission’s strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral Europe. Ministers also called for urgent and decisive action to strengthen the global response on climate change and restated the EU’s determination to lead the way on accelerated climate action on all fronts.

Adaptation & Resilience
Cities
Global Issues
Daria Ivleva, adelphi

In an increasingly urbanised world, global resilience cannot be achieved without cities. Separating a local from a national or international sustainability issue is increasingly difficult – be it climate change, migration, or economic development.

Adaptation & Resilience
Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Development
Security
Global Issues
Dr. Dhanasree Jayaram

Climate diplomacy needs to release itself from the shackles of ‘systemic’ politics in order to achieve a climate agenda that is driven by human security interests, including equity and justice, and strengthen climate change initiatives at local, national and regional levels, in order to bridge the gap caused by the slow pace of progress at the international level.