26 August, 2008:Arab NGOs Unite to Fight Climate Change; Arab Climate Alliance’ Calls on Arab Governments to do the Same
[Amman/Beirut/Cairo/Dubai/Maghreb/Ramallah], 26 August, 2008:
As the international community faces the challenge of developing a new treaty to replace Kyoto protocol after 2012, 15 NGOs from 9 different Arab countries unified their work on this process by forming the ‘Arab Climate Alliance’, which is being launched all over the region. On this occasion, IndyACT, the League of Independent Activists, organized a press conference in Beirut in partnership with ANND, the Arab NGO Network for Development and Heinrich Boell Foundation Middle East who are also part of the alliance.
Climate change has already started harming people and ecosystems around the world. We can see it in the raising food costs, increasing forest fires, extreme weather events (such as droughts, floods, etc.) and many others. It is considered to be the biggest threat facing humanity. The Arab World will be one of the most impacted regions, with water resources growing scarcer and the agricultural sector becoming the victim of more extreme weather, thus threatening our water and food security.
Currently the world is discussing a new global treaty to fight climate change, also known as post-2012 climate agreement. This agreement is viewed by many as the planets last chance to avoid catastrophic climate change impacts. All countries in the world are actively engaging this process except the Arab governments, which so far has failed in having a common strong position within the international negotiations. Therefore, Arab civil society has decided to unify their efforts, and push their governments to follow suit and to actively and positively participate in this international process.
Wael Hmaidan, the Executive Director of IndyACT, and talking on behalf of the alliance said, “Our governments’ delegates attending the international climate negotiations do not have the needed support from the governments they are representing for several reasons. There is a gap and it is up to us, Arab civil society, to fill it.”
The objectives of the alliance are:
- to build the capacity of Arab civil society institutes on climate science and policy and specifically on the post-2012 agreement negotiations;
- to increase the coordination and communication between these institutes on climate policy;
- to converge policy position and conduct regional activities and communication on post-2012 climate negotiations;
- and to advocate for a strong post-2012 climate policy among Arab states.
“Global problem like climate change requires global coordination, and it must be tackled through a coordinated effort of regional networks.” Hmaidan added.
On the other hand, Ziad Abdul Samad, the Director of ANND highlighted an important political opportunity for change. “In January 2009, the Arab League is holding an Extraordinary Summit on Economic and Developmental Issues, where climate change is on the agenda. This is a unique opportunity for our governments to prove their seriousness on the issue.” Abdul Samad concluded.
The Arab Climate Alliance calls on other civil society organization to join the alliance, and calls on the Arab League to adopt a strong and constructive climate change position on all issues discussed at the post-2012 climate negotiations.
For more information please contact:
Wael Hmaidan, IndyACT Executive Director: Tel/Fax: +961-1-447192, mobile: +961- 3 -506313. email: email@example.com
Notes to the editor: