Climate Change

It’s Blog Action Day and the topic is climate change. I personally have as good as no expertise on the subject, but here are some links to articles and posts about climate change and the Arab world.

The Arab Climate Alliance’s English page and Arabic here.

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.

Here’s an ArabEnvironment.net post about 160 Syrian villages being abandoned as a result of climate change.

Some 160 villages in northern Syria were deserted by their residents in 2007 and 2008 because of climate change, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The report drawn up by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) warns of potential armed conflict for control of water resources in the Middle East.

“The 2007/8 drought caused significant hardship in rural areas of Syria. In the northeast of the country, a reported 160 villages have been entirely abandoned and the inhabitants have had to move to urban areas,” it said.

In Syria and also in Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, “climate change threatens to reduce the availability of scarce water resources, increase food insecurity, hinder economic growth and lead to large-scale population movements,” the report said.

“This could hold serious implications for peace in the region,” the Canada-based institute said.

The study, financed by Denmark, predicts a hotter, drier and less predictable climate in the Middle East, “already considered the world’s most water-scarce and where, in many places, demand for water already outstrips supply.”

Here’s an article on Arab Media Watch’s blog about climate change.

At a recent seminar at the American University of Beirut, climate change researchers from four Levant countries reported that massive quantities of fresh water are pumped out of the ground and used by private interests, without state regulation. Consistent over-exploitation of underground aquifers has seen fresh water supplies decline steadily in many if not most Arab countries. Water sectoral allocation, pricing, re-use, storage and conveyance are widely mismanaged throughout our region.

A treehugger.com article on the Arab world’s dealing with climate change.

Environmental issues affecting the Arab world include widespread desertification, water scarcities, soil degradation and declining land productivity. Despite the fact that environmental factors have already contributed to political unrest in places like Sudan, Arab countries lack coherent policies on climate change. A survey of 56 countries last year placed Saudi Arabia dead last in dealing with climate change.

It’sgettinghotinhere.org’s article on climate change in the Arab world.

“Again Arab leaders missed yet another opportunity to defend the survival needs of the region from climate change impacts.” said Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director of IndyACT. “While today’s climate summit is attended by Presidents of the US, France, China and many others, only Algeria participated at the Presidential level from the Arab region”, added Hmaidan.

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