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April 14, 2024

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(WAM) — Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government hosted the second edition of the Arab Climate Forum as a knowledge partner, which is launched by the Arab NGO Network for Development in partnership with the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND).

The two-day event, which will conclude today, is being held under the patronage and presence of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Chairman of AGFUND, under the theme “Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security: Together to Achieve the Resilience and Social Development of Small-Scale Farmers”, at the Sofitel Downtown Hotel – Dubai.

Taken place ahead of COP28, the forum aims to assess the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector and small farmers in the Arab countries and mechanisms for enhancing the steadfastness and flexibility of small farmers. Expanding the application of climate-smart agriculture methods.

Dr. Ali Al Marri, Executive President of MBRSG, said that the School’s strategic and knowledge partnership to host the forum is in line with UAE’s hosting COP28 and with the country’s theme as the year of sustainability, and based on the School’s keenness to support research projects and initiatives aimed at mitigating challenges resulting from climate change and its effects on development, environment, sustainable agriculture and food security in the Arab world.

He added that the School seeks, in partnership with AGFUND and the Arab Network for Non-Governmental Organisations, to monitor and evaluate the repercussions of climate change on the supply chains of food products and livestock and to support the initiatives of Arab civil organisations seeking to adopt climate-smart agriculture methods and preserve livestock.

He pointed out that the School aims to mobilise the energies of Arab civil society to pay more attention to the issue of food security and to come up with work programmes and future and continuous plans to monitor the situation of climate change in the Arab region. The development of its repercussions on the countries of the region, and to stimulate efforts aimed at adopting national strategies to adapt to climate action, and mitigate its consequences, and develop a policy paper to enhance the role of Arab civil organisations in climate action that responds to the challenges facing agriculture and small-scale farmers.

The forum witnessed a speech by Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal Al Saud and a recorded speech by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and Ambassador Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary General, Head of Social Affairs Sector at the League of Arab States, and representatives of international institutions such as the World Bank and academic institutions.

Dr. Nasser Al-Qahtani, Executive Director of AGFUND, said, “The second edition of the forum focuses on monitoring and evaluating the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector, livestock, and food security in the Arab region, with a focus on small-scale farmers – who represent the backbone of family farming – in the Arab region and developing countries, and the consequences of climate change on food security, food supply chains, and livestock.”

Through its sessions, the forum discussed the most successful programmes and initiatives adopted by Arab civil organisations to enhance the capabilities of small farmers to adapt and adopt climate-smart agricultural methods and preserve livestock. It also included launching the first annual climate change and development report titled “The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture and Small Farmers in the Arab Region”.

The forum highlighted the role of financial inclusion concerning strengthening the resilience of small-scale farmers in response to climate disasters and emphasising the importance of working on financial products specific to small-scale farmers to empower them to continue contributing to agricultural activities instead of abandoning the sector to pursue other work opportunities, which may risk the deterioration of food security in the Arab region.

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