Near East

IRENA Assembly Focuses on Accelerating Renewable Energy Transition [viewed]

IRENA17 January 2016: The sixth session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly focused on accelerating the transition to renewable energy, in particular, by mobilizing investment. More than 1,000 officials and other stakeholders from over 150 countries convened in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 16-17 January 2016 to provide strategic and programmatic direction to the agency. In addition, IRENA launched a report on the economic benefits of renewable energy and announced funding for four renewable energy projects in Antigua and Barbuda, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde and Senegal.

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UNSG: 2016 Must See National Traction on SDGs, “Put the Last First” [viewed]

ban_ki_moon14 January 2016: “We begin 2016 needing to get our priorities right,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in an informal briefing to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). He noted the heavy responsibility resting on “Year One” of the UN's new development agenda, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is also the last year of Ban's tenure as Secretary-General.

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Event: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016 [viewed]

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is an Abu Dhabi government initiative to address the interconnected challenges affecting energy, water and sustainable development. The largest sustainability gathering in the Middle East, ADSW encourages outcomes that pave the way toward sustainability, and provides the opportunity for dialogue and cooperation through policy dialogues, conferences, exhibitions and other events. ADSW 2016 is comprised of: an opening ceremony; the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), including a solar expo and sustainable transport zone; the International Water Summit; the EcoWaste exhibition; and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly. It also will also include the following events: Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy; IRENA Financial Times Debate; Egypt Energy Forum; Abu Dhabi Global Action Day; and the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the United Arab Emirate's international awards for energy and sustainability pioneers.

Speakers during the opening event include: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and nine heads of states, including those from the Seychelles, Palau, Kosovo, Serbia, Nigeria and Morocco.

ADSW is being hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, and is expected to attract more than 33,000, with over 80 heads and ministers of state, and other participants from more than 170 countries.  

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Event: Global Aviation Dialogues: Middle East [viewed]

This Middle East regional meeting will discuss progress regarding the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on a global market-based mechanism (MBM) scheme. It is one of several regional meetings forming the second round of Global Aviation Dialogues (GLADs), which will take place during the period from 20 March to 8 April 2016 at five venues across the ICAO regions. GLADs aim to ensure the full engagement of States and other stakeholders on a global market-based mechanism (MBM) scheme for international aviation and to facilitate information exchange. ICAO is developing a global MBM as part of a basket of measures for addressing the contribution of international aviation to climate change.  

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Thailand Takes Over as G-77 Chair for 2016 [viewed]

G77logo12 January 2016: Thailand officially commenced its tenure as Chair of the Group of 77 (G-77), taking over from South Africa during a special ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York. Thailand announced the theme ‘From Vision to Action: Inclusive Partnership for Sustainable Development,' to be used as an underpinning principle during its chairmanship.

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UNGA Agrees on Inclusive Participation at Habitat III [viewed]

hiii23 December 2015: The Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) will be “the most inclusive [Conference] ever organized by the UN,” according to the Conference secretariat, following the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) adoption of the modalities of work for Habitat III. The text approves rules of procedure for the Conference and arrangements for accreditation and participation of major groups and other stakeholders, including recognition of the participation of local authorities. The Assembly also encourages Member States to conclude negotiations on the Conference outcome by July 2016, at the Preparatory Committee's third session.

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Event: 7th International Conference on Integrated Natural Disaster Management [viewed]

The 7th International Conference on Integrated Natural Disaster Management (INDM) will bring together Iranian and international experts in risk and disaster management to discuss a range of topics in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030. The conference will focus on four priority action areas: understanding disaster risk, including exposure, vulnerability and hazard characteristics; strengthening disaster risk governance to manage risk; investing in DRR for resilience; and enhancing disaster preparedness to effectively respond and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. More specifically, the conference will address: climate change adaptation; risk management with an emphasis on earthquakes, floods, storms and extreme heat and cold; risk management in massive religious structures; interaction and communication of risk in controlling the consequences of natural hazards; the role of urban strategies in disaster preparedness and response; the use of new technologies, such as remote sensing, monitoring and warning systems, innovations and inventions; national strategies for risk and crisis management; health management in crisis, with the aim of reducing amputations; mental health management of survivors, particularly children and women; and population management to prevent deaths during religious ceremonies. The conference is being organized by the Global Risk Forum (GRF Davos) and the INDM Secretariat.  

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December 2015 Sustainable Energy Finance Update [viewed]

energy2015January 2016: During the month of December, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Caribbean Development Bank (CBD), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and World Bank announced sustainable energy project funding and initiatives. ADB and EIB released reports on financing and deploying clean energy.

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UNIDO, GEF Provide Mitigation Training to CIS Experts [viewed]

GEF UNIDO7 December 2015: The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has organized a workshop to train experts from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to develop programmes for climate-change mitigation. Approximately 40 participants from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine received training in building programmes to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to promote the uptake of clean technologies and other mitigation actions.

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Mountain Day Focuses on Mountain Products; Launches Reports on Food Insecurity and Adaptation [viewed]

mountain_international_day11 December 2015: International Mountain Day (IMD) took place under the theme ‘promoting mountain products,' with the aim of highlighting the potential of mountain products and services to contribute to livelihoods and sustainable employment in mountain areas. The Day highlighted opportunities for growth, such as the production of high quality, high value products like fair trade, organic cocoa, coffee, herbs, honey, spices and other niche market products, and underscored constraints in mountain development, especially with regard to food insecurity and climate change.

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