1- Climate Change Adaptation Policy Development and Action Planning in Lebanon and WANA
Even though the WANA region is generally not considered a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions; studies have shown that it is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. As such, the future of the countries of the region will greatly depend on their ability to adapt to climate change impacts. Policies informed by research, from and for the region, will be instrumental in leading adaptation that prioritizes fundamental and sensitive sectors, resources, regions and population groups.
The following themes are given special attention owing to their importance and relevance to the region and Lebanon as well as due to the substantial gaps in related research:
- Water – Energy – Food Nexus:
Central to the Arab world’s future and its pursuit of sustainable development is its ability to deal with a three-fold challenge represented by:
a) the need for an efficient response to water scarcity, b) an enhanced management of energy given the restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions being put forward by international agreements such as the Paris Agreement, and c) ensuring that the rapidly growing Arab population enjoys the benefits of food security. This Water – Energy – Food (WEF) nexus is critical to the Arab world and for the development of policies in face of the challenges to the sustainable development of the region.
The water sector problems in Lebanon and most other countries of the region are mainly related to poor governance along with mismanagement and lack of integrity in the sector’s practices. The existing weak institutions and outdated or deficient policies in the water sector in the region are major challenges in ensuring water security. This is of special concern given the accelerating impacts of climate change.
The WANA region is both a major producer and consumer of fossil fuels. Emissions from the region are not as high, in total, as in developed countries; however, the per capita emissions are amongst the highest in the world (below North America and higher than Europe). Further, energy is critical in making water available to the residents of one of the most water scarce regions in the world. Reducing emissions without affecting the region’s energy security and continued development is a major challenge.
The WANA region is considered one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; however, data and studies pertaining to the specifics of the “how, what and where” that are essential for informing policy making and planning on a national level are not well developed and often times poorly targeted.