Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohammed Abdel Aaty - File Photo Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohammed Abdel Aaty - File Photo

Egypt, Lebanon discuss plans to adopt climate change impacts

Thu, Sep. 28, 2017
BEIRUT - 28 September 2017: Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohammed Abdel Aaty met on Thursday with Lebanese Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil to discuss regional issues of mutual concern and regional plans to cope with climate change impact on water resources.

They met on the fringe of the high Level Conference on Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation in the Arab Region held under the auspices of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al Hariri and organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA).

Abi Khalil said that the temperature rise taking place in recent years in addition to the low average rainfall started to affect the lakes including Lake Qaraoun that began to witness periods of droughts, threatening a reduction in Lebanon’s available water resources.

During the meeting, they tackled drafting a protocol of cooperation between Egypt’s ministry of water resources and its Lebanese counterpart in the field of water harvesting.

Under the protocol, studies aiming at making use of the internal rivers in Lebanon and stopping the waste of the Mediterranean sea water will be conducted in addition to organizing training sessions in several fields.

On the other side, Abdel Aaty discussed with the ESCWA economic chief the necessity of boosting cooperation between the organization and Egypt in order to be able to get the needed fund from Green Climate Fund (GCF) for implementing Egypt's National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change 20150 and National Water Resources Plan (NWRP) 2037.

They agreed to focus in the coming period on providing people working in the field of climate with training sessions to improve their negotiation skills in order to be able to obtain funding from international climate funds.

As well, they mulled preparing a regional proposal that reflects Arab issues of water resources. Most Arab countries are located on river deltas which means more dangerous impact as a result of climate change.

The proposal is expected to be officially delivered to the 23rd climate change conference on national and regional adaptation fund.

Abdel Aaty attended a debate on the fragility of Arab sectors in facing climate change. Participants affirmed the need for upgrading the ability of countries to implement plans and projects aiming at coping with expected impacts in addition to outlining priorities needed for establishing development projects to reduce such effects.

The water resources ministry aims to present challenges facing the water resources’ sector and highlight dangers threatening such a vital sector in Egypt. It has underlined the damage that hit several areas in Egypt as a result of storms during the past few years and reviewed Egypt’s efforts in the fields of protecting the country from flood and rainwater harvesting.
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