27 January 2023 01:48 PM

The First Edition of the Arab Environmental Forum 2022

Thursday، 20 October 2022 - 12:00 AM

The Egyptian Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad, Chairman of the current session of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, inaugurated on Wednesday 10-2022 the first edition of the Arab Environmental Forum 2022, which was held on the sidelines of the current session of the Council of Arab Environment Ministers chaired by the Arab Republic of Egypt, and jointly organized by the University of the Arab countries, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia “ESCWA” and the United Nations Environment Programme, under the theme “together protect our environment amid current crises.”
The Forum objectives:
 • Provide a periodic platform for dialogue between various stakeholders and exchange experiences on environmental issues
 • Review the Arab vision on issues to be raised during upcoming international processes and events, including the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) on climate change and COP 15 on biodiversity
 • Put forward a clear Arab vision regarding issues raised during the Forum. 
Participants:
Ministers and high-level representatives from the public and private sectors are participating, in addition to participants from civil society, regional and national organizations, the United Nations and other experts. 

Desertification 
During the forum's activities, the Minister of Environment addressed the issue of desertification, which is closely linked to biological diversity and climate change, stressing the need to work on three axes; namely: "desertification, climate change and biological diversity" when starting any project or initiative.
In this respect, the Minister presented an example with the issue of burning agricultural waste in Egypt, which causes the release of methane gas, and thus global warming, which is one of the causes of desertification, noting that for this reason, a system has been established to deal with agricultural waste to reduce the rise of greenhouse gases in order to work on rehabilitation of environmental systems to carry out their services.
The minister also pointed out that the process of compatibility between the three axes in all environmental fields paves the way for the private sector and its investments, such as the field of new and renewable energy that can be linked to agriculture and seawater desalination.

Climate Conference

The minister indicated that the next climate conference will be an implementation conference, concerned with the idea of ​​linking the three axes: "desertification, biodiversity and climate change."

The minister emphasized that the conference is an opportunity to raise these issues through the negotiation process, including the axes of adaptation, mitigation, financing, losses and damages, saying: "We realize that we have not yet reached the necessary funding of 100 billion dollars."

She added that the axis related to losses and damages is very important, especially the activation of the Santiago network, because just as the world suffers from economic crises in addition to an energy and food crisis during 2022, it is also suffering from environmental crises and disasters without distinguishing between developing and developed countries, such as forest fires in Europe and floods in many other places, noting that this is among the critical issues that will be raised in the negotiations and on the non-negotiating track as well, through the Egyptian presidency program on the site.

The Minister of Environment called on all Arab countries to participate in the global initiative put forward by the Egyptian presidency on how to adapt to the effects of climate changes in the agricultural sector and food systems, while trying to find solutions to these problems and work to solve them.

The minister also called on all Arab countries to participate in the Biodiversity Day, where the Egyptian presidency will launch the global initiative for nature-based solutions that addresses a set of goals that have been set with international organizations, which is storing nearly 100 million tons of carbon, protecting nearly Of the 150 million people from the bloody effects of climate change, and the preservation of 500 million hectares of natural systems.

The Minister congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for holding the Saudi Green Initiative Forum and the Middle East Green Initiative Summit under the patronage of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and for hosting the "United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification" conference, as it is an opportunity to support the Arab presence at the global level and represent a unified voice to confront desertification problems, expressing support for the Kingdom in preparing for this file.

The First Edition of the Arab Environment Forum 2022 concluded with a set of important recommendations that help form a clear Arab position on all environmental issues:

1. The importance of linking the three axes (climate, desertification, and biodiversity).

2. The importance of shedding light on the issue of desertification, after listing a number of related problems that affect the Arab region, such as the encroachment of sand, the scarcity of crops, torrential rain and rain.

3. Proposing a set of solutions, such as creating lakes that contain torrential and rainwater, and preserving forests, which are a natural storehouse of greenhouse gases.

4. Call for the formation of a unified Arab position and work hand in hand to support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s hosting in 2024 of the United Nations Convention on Desertification.

5. Agreeing on the importance of obtaining funding as well as a unified and expanded Arab participation in the upcoming COP27 Conference of Parties.



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