The UAE highlighted the importance of immediate action, collaboration, data sharing and investment to achieve global solutions that promote water sustainability.
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “These challenges, once seen only as relevant to desert nations or small island developing States, are now being experienced by more and more countries, home to two billion people. , said last week during an interactive dialogue at the United Nations in New York.
The UN Water 2023 Conference, held March 22-24, brought together global leaders and experts to identify innovative solutions to water challenges. Speaking to delegates and attendees, Almheiri called for urgent action to address water scarcity and environmental protection exacerbated by climate change.
In the interactive dialogue “Climate, Resilience and Water for Environment: Marine Resources, Biodiversity, Climate, Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction”, co-chaired by Japan and Egypt, she said: “Thankfully, these issues also The other side of the challenge—investment and action on water supply ecosystem health and food systems has never had a higher return,” Almheiri added.
While water scarcity is a major threat to human life and political stability, the UAE sees addressing global water challenges as an economic opportunity to help communities progress.
Despite doubling production by 2030, the UAE is on track to reduce overall water consumption in its food sector by more than 15%. The country also has a national plan, the Water Security Strategy 2036, which ensures that water production and distribution are planned according to supply-side needs and are available in emergencies.
Looking ahead, COP28, to be hosted by the UAE in November 2023, will build on Egypt’s groundbreaking water issue at COP27.
Inclusive and Consultative Process
“The UAE is committed to an inclusive and consultative process leading to enhanced financing policies and technologies around water,” Almheiri said, adding that COP28 will focus on actions necessary to maintain 1.5 degrees and address climate impacts including water.
The minister shared four initial reflections on potential outcomes of the consultations, including implementation of the 30 by 30 agreement, investment in fragile states, early warning and anticipatory action systems, and innovation.
Almheiri participated in a side event entitled “From UN Water Conferences to COP28: Accelerating Water and Climate Action” co-chaired by the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the United Nations, the Netherlands, Tajikistan and UN-Water. Almheiri shared the UAE’s experience in addressing the challenges of water scarcity and climate change.
“It was remarkable how many other sectors made water an urgent priority during our final month-long listening tour for COP28; food producers, humanitarian agencies, environmental health organisations, energy producers, gender equality experts,” she said.
“All of these constituencies feel imminent risks from water scarcity, acidification, extreme weather and other climate impacts,” she said, adding that, however, investments in actions ranging from irrigation innovations to mangroves would have significant Economic, Employment and Health Opportunities Restore Early Warning and Preemptive Action Systems.
Almheiri highlighted the UAE’s investment in R&D and innovative water-efficient food production at a session hosted by Egypt titled “From COP27 to UN Water Conference 2023: Action on Water Adaptation and Resilience (AWARE)” .
Rethinking the Water Challenge
“We must collectively rethink the water challenge and recognize the impact of three macro trends: population growth, socioeconomic development and climate change, each of which is putting pressure on water supplies,” Almheiri said.
“We are investing significant resources in research and development and maintaining a range of national and international initiatives aimed at addressing the pressing challenge of water scarcity,” she said.
COP28 will focus on responding to the findings of the global stocktake, summarizing global adaptation goals and emphasizing the importance of water-related adaptation measures.
Almheiri encouraged all parties to align their efforts with water and ecosystem protection to adapt to and mitigate climate change. trade arab news agency