UN Climate Change News, 7 April 2021- Bridging persistent knowledge gaps in how to adapt to the impacts of climate change in specific subregions and sectors is critical to support scaling up adaptation actions – a key pillar of the Paris Agreement.
Further steps were taken recently to close existing knowledge gaps in addressing climate impacts in the North African and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) subregions at a virtual meeting of experts in the field from different international agencies to identify and discuss key collaborative initiatives.
These initiatives included: Developing a drought monitoring and data-sharing programme; enhancing capacities in the agriculture sector to adapt to climate change through climate-smart and sustainable agricultural approaches; and establishing an evapotranspiration network in the GCC and North Africa sub-regions, which will focus on increasing water productivity as a climate adaptation mechanism in the agriculture sector. The organizations represented offered their support for a variety of the proposed actions, including research collaboration and knowledge and data sharing.
“This has been a collaborative effort among different agencies and it has given a unified and coherent view from the region to the global process to show where the needs are, and what we need to push for, in terms of resource mobilization, collaboration and cooperation,” said Roula Majdalani from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.
This was the second virtual meeting for Phase II of the Lima Adaptation Knowledge Initiative (LAKI), The LAKI informs the UN Climate Change process, which has a global commitment to support national policy planning on adapting to the impacts of climate change and on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Policymakers subsequently have a chance to operationalize the findings of the LAKI process and help stakeholders effectively adapt to the effects of climate change.
Resource opportunities to facilitate the actions
Participants agreed that mobilizing financial resources will be key to the realization of the discussed joint actions. The Global Adaptation Network coordinator of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Elisabeth Bernhardt, showcased several financial mechanisms that can provide a range of technical and logistical support to carry out the LAKI-MENA adaptation actions and other initiatives. These included the newly launched UNEP/IUCN-led Global Ecosystem-based Adaptation Fund, the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator and the Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Awards.
Progress and next steps in 2021
The final LAKI Phase II meeting in the MENA region is planned for May 2021. The objective of this meeting is to agree on a collaborative work plan based on discussions and ideas identified to date. Progress for each action will be showcased at events throughout the year, including the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in November and the Middle East and North Africa Regional Climate Week in March next year.