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UNEP and PERSGA Organize Regional Training Workshop on Adaptation Planning and Financing

December 2010: The UN Environment Programme Regional Office for West Asia (UNEP/ROWA) and the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA), with support from the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), organized the first regional training workshop on climate change adaptation planning and financing in the Arab Region, from 20-22 December 2010, at PERSGA headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The workshop, which attracted 40 participants from 16 Arab countries, three UNDP country offices, and regional and international experts, focused on three subjects: adaptation within the global and national local contexts; adaptation project design and development; and adaptation financing. One full day was devoted to introducing the Adaptation Fund (AF). Abdulhadi Al Marri (Qatar), AF Board representative for Asia, presented a statement on behalf of the AF Board Chair and elaborated on the rules and procedures for the AF. The Accreditation process for the National Implementing Entities (NIEs) was also introduced. Participants commended the Direct Access modality innovated by the Adaptation Fund, but indicated that procedures appeared to be lengthy and demanding.

In addition to regional experiences from Egypt, Sudan and Morocco, participants learned about experiences on adaptation project development from Africa and Latin America. The workshop recommended that: adaptation be given priority attention when designing national climate change policies and plans, considering the Arab region's vulnerability to climate change in particular with regard to its water resources, land, agriculture and coastal areas; adaptation measures be integrated into development planning especially at the local and ecosystem levels; the Arab region enhance its use of learning opportunities offered within the Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation, and the West Asia Climate Change Network; a more focused training on adaptation project development be developed in the region; the number of qualified project developers (in the Arab Region) on environment in general, and on climate change adaptation in particular, should be increased; and a regional approach in vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning and finance mobilization should be established.

With regard to the AF, Arab countries were urged to nominate their Party Designated Authorities. Furthermore, countries interested in applying the direct access modality of the AF were invited to send their expression of interest and nomination to the AF Board as soon as possible. It was recommended that a technical workshop be organized on accreditation, targeting those nominated NIEs who are willing to pursue the Direct Access modality. In the interim, countries may still use the accredited Multilateral Implementing Entities (MIEs) for indirect access. [IISD RS Sources] [UNEP ROWA Website]