The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has co-organised a workshop with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, and United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, on the Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative, LAKI, for the Gulf Cooperation Council region, in Abu Dhabi. The workshop was hosted by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative, AGEDI.
Impacts of climate change, such as increasing or decreasing rainfall and temperature, are expected to affect the Gulf region and its ecosystems in many ways. These include the effects on agricultural production, water availability, coastal infrastructures, biodiversity and human health. Governments around the world are taking measures to adapt to, and be prepared for, potential impacts of climate change.
However, gaps in knowledge, be they insufficient rainfall data, accurate mapping of fauna and flora, robust projection of sea level rise, or economic analysis of costs of inaction, are often cited as barriers for successful adaptation actions. The LAKI workshop aimed to enhance successful adaptation actions in the Gulf region by identifying and prioritising knowledge of these gaps and how to close them.
"Adaptation to climate change is an important agenda for all, but particularly for the Gulf region with high summer temperatures and scarce water resources," said Ali Al Shafar, Deputy-Director, Directorate of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"This workshop helped take stock of what is already in the region and identify ways in which we can address gaps in order for the region to be better prepared for impacts of climate change and achieving sustainable development."
Participants acknowledged that while there are good examples of policy interventions and research, more could be done. Specific feedback included fostering governance mechanisms at the national level for evidence-based decision making and effective implementation, as well as strengthening regional cooperation for unified data gathering, monitoring and capacity building.
"We are very pleased to hold this workshop in cooperation with the government of the United Arab Emirates" said, Dr. Iyad Abumoghli, Director and Regional Representative of UNEP Regional Office for West Asia. "For the first time, climate experts gathered to identify the knowledge needed to address adaptation to climate change. The workshop highlighted a number of important work carried out in the Gulf region as well as challenges that could inspire others for appropriate adaptation measures."
"We are immensely grateful to the leadership of the government of UAE in hosting the LAKI workshop in Abu Dhabi," said Dr. Youssef Nassef, Coordinator of Adaptation Programme, UNFCCC Secretariat. "A list of 10 priority adaptation knowledge needs, together with actions required to address them, emerged from the workshop and will serve as a solid foundation for state and non-state entities to work together towards a more climate resilient GCC region through an enhanced adaptation knowledge base."
"We are pleased to be engaged in the strategic and timely Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative, as it is an opportunity for all to capitalise on the AGEDI’s work programme on climate change which extends beyond Abu Dhabi and the UAE into the Arabian Peninsula to help guide informed decision-making across the region, and for AGEDI to further align with our colleagues on the regional level," said Ahmed Abdulmuttaleb Baharoon, Acting Director of AGEDI, the lead technical coordinating agency at the GCC level for the Initiative.
The workshop participants included researchers from international organisations and academic institutions from the region, representatives from UAE federal and local entities as well as those engaged in international climate change negotiations. –End-
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