The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment (MOCCAE), in collaboration with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Zayed University, conducted a two-day Inception Workshop for the UAE's National Adaptation Plan (NAP) at the Zayed University's Dubai Campus.
Essa Al Hashmi, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Sustainable Communities Sector and Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for the Green Development & Climate Change Sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment, attended the workshop, along with local-level climate action stakeholders, members from the private sector, academia, and civil society.
The Inception Workshop aligns with the MOCCAE's efforts for the Year of Sustainability 2023 and builds momentum towards the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which the UAE is hosting this year and will witness the announcement of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan in the UAE.
The ambitious plan aims to establish and implement flexible mechanisms, policies, and controls that ensure achieving resilience and adaptation to climate change across the federal government, address the specific climate risks in the seven Emirates, and formulate comprehensive national measures for climate change adaptation.
Speaking at the workshop, Essa Al Hashmi emphasised the importance of the NAP project for climate change adaptation and the UAE's commitment to addressing climate change risks and said:
"As we stand here today, we are acutely aware of the imminent threat climate change poses to our precious planet and its precious inhabitants. The rising temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns, escalating sea levels, and intensifying frequency and severity of natural disasters are stark reminders of this harsh reality."
Al Hashmi further emphasised the UAE's commitment to climate action, being the first country in the Middle East to ratify the Paris Agreement, and that the introductory workshop for the Climate Change Adaptation Plan in the UAE reflects the UAE's keenness to highlight its pioneering efforts in the field of adapting to climate change before the world during the Conference of the Parties COP28.
He added that the plan will serve as one of the UAE's achievements in climate action and a roadmap towards more flexible handling of climate change.
Essa Al Hashmi concluded,
"This collective approach will lead to a multitude of results and outputs. We must enhance the governance of climate change adaptation planning and enhance institutional coordination, which supports our ability to overcome multiple climate change challenges. We will also lay the foundation for the evidence-based design of climate change adaptation solutions, which enhances their impact and effectiveness. We aspire to create active participation of the private sector in adaptation, recognising its pivotal role in our collective efforts. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen mechanisms for reporting, monitoring, and review, instilling transparency and accountability in our climate change adaptation actions."
The workshop identified the gaps and main obstacles, included gender equality considerations in the field of climate action, and involved stakeholders and concerned parties in developing risk exposure assessments and climate change adaptation planning.
The first day of the workshop addressed the basics of the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan, its actions, and its associated challenges and opportunities, and a side session was organised on the UAE's institutional arrangements and policy frameworks of climate action.
The second day focused on how stakeholders can develop a robust national plan for the UAE that enhances the response of vulnerable sectors and communities to the impact of climate change. The UAE has made a strong statement to the international community about its commitment to climate action by being one of the first nations in the MENA region to ratify the Paris Agreement.
An ambitious set of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) has further emphasised this message. Having initiated positive and robust climate planning and action since 2009, as reflected in the UAE's National Communications to the UNFCCC, the country is again seeking to set the bar high by developing and adopting an evidence-based and consultative National Adaptation Plan (NAP).
News Source: Emirates News Agency