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Newsletter No.11 - September 2011
Issue No.11 | September 2011 

Climate Change:
IFI official observer to world summit negotiations

   The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has formally granted the Issam Fares Institute the status of official observers to the seventeenth Conference of Parties (COP17) world summit negotiations on climate change, which will be held in Durban, South Africa, at the end of year. Observer status to the negotiations means IFI can attend and interact with the foremost authorities in the climate change arena, and that IFI is automatically admitted to attend all future COP sessions. IFI had previously attended the fifteenth and sixteenth COP summits in Copenhagen (COP15) and Cancun (COP16), respectively, as part of the Lebanese delegation. At COP15, IFI's climate change program faculty research director Dr Nadim Farajalla, from AUB's faculty of agriculture and food sciences, presented a National Economic, Environment and Development Study (NEEDS) Country Brief for Lebanon that was prepared by an AUB inter-faculty team of professors upon the request of the Ministry of Environment.

International Affairs:
Visiting scholar talks Arab awakening with AUB Provost and Faculty

   Dr. Michael Hudson, Director of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore and Professor of International Relations at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, joined IFI as a visiting scholar during his stay in Beirut over the summer. Hudson is an internationally respected authority on Arab politics who has contributed to and edited numerous books.

   He gave a presentation, "The Arab Awakening: Western and Eastern Perspectives", as part of IFI's Policy Briefing Luncheons series, which was attended by AUB Provost Ahmad Dallal and AUB deans and professors from a range of faculties. Hudson focused on the diversity of perspectives of the Arab Awakening, breaking his presentation down into three segments: a quick summary of his essay published on Jadaliyya, a segment on East and South-East Asian perspectives, and finally a segment on Western (specifically US) perspectives. Hudson concluded by saying that, at face value, "It is primary political grievances, about the legitimacy of political rule, that have been driving all of these protest movements."

Research in Focus

Assessing Climate Change Adaptation in the Arab World

   The World Bank in partnership with the Leagues of Arab States (LAS) is producing a flagship climate change report, "Adaptation to a Changing Climate in the Arab Countries", to provide information and technical guidance on adaptation to climate change for all 22 countries in the region. IFI's Director Rami G. Khouri and Associate Director Dr Karim Makdisi are on the advisory committee to the report, and two of IFI's climate change program faculty advisory members, Dr Rima Habib from AUB's faculty of health sciences and Dr Hamed Assaf from AUB's faculty of architecture and engineering, are contributing a chapter each. Habib is co-authoring a chapter on climate change and health, and Assaf is co-authoring a chapter on options for water stress reduction.

   LAS and 22 Ministries of Environment will be receiving comments and feedback for an external review workshop in late 2011, after which the World Bank and LAS expect to launch and disseminate the report by early 2012.

Climate Change

"Assessing the Cancun Climate Change Summit: Views from Within"

A panel discussion with Lebanese participants at the Cancun sixteenth Conference of Parties (COP16) World Climate Change Summit. The event was co-organized with IFI's UN in the Middle East Research Initiative. The discussants included Associate Director Dr Karim Makdisi, Climate Change Program Coordinator Sara El Choufi, Vahakn Kabakian of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, and Habib Maalouf, As Safir journalist and President of the Lebanese Environment Party.

Listen Audio ||| Watch Video ||| UNFCCC COP16 Negotiations summary

Food Security

"Challenges of Rural Poverty in the Middle East and North Africa"

AUB's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) and the Issam Fares Institute (IFI) organized a regional seminar to launch the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Rural Poverty Report 2011, “New Realities, New Challenges: New Opportunities for Tomorrow’s Generation".

FAFS and IFI had held a consultative workshop with IFAD, which brought together 26 participants to share opinions and propose recommendations from a regional perspective.

Launch event summary ||| Seminar agenda

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