HEAD: UNEA6 SIDE EVENT URGES ACTION ON CLIMATE-INDUCED HUMAN MOBILITY IN MENA, LATIN AMERICA


The Human Environmental Association for Development organized a side event during the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA6) in Nairobi, focusing on “Climate and Disaster-Induced Human Mobility Within National Strategies and Policies.” The session was moderated by Mr. Mohamed Abdelraouf, Chair, Major Groups and Stakeholders at UNEP, with the participation of speakers from West Asia region, league of Arab States, Latin America, UK, and Lebanon .

Communities, especially in the Arab region, are increasingly exposed and vulnerable to various hazards and pressures that lead to stresses and shocks impacting their everyday lives. These setbacks hinder sustainable development gains and slow down progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) is a crucial node in global and regional networks, serving as an origin, destination, and transit region for those on the move. The region is experiencing the effects of climate change at an alarming rate
, heating up twice as fast as the global average. Additionally, it is prone to various natural disasters, exacerbating the challenges faced by communities already dealing with political conflicts. The climate crisis amplifies existing disadvantages, making the lives of threatened communities even harder and pushing more people onto human mobility pathways.

Dr. Mahmoud Fathallah, Director of Environmental and Meteorological Affairs (EMA) in the League of Arab States, highlighted the consequences of climate change and limited natural resources, such as drinking water, becoming scarce in many areas hosting refugees. He presented Lebanon as a case study, identifying the effects of the Syrian crisis on the solid waste sector, water and wastewater sectors, air quality, and land use and ecosystems. The displacement resulting from these crises leads to trauma and mental health issues among displaced populations, further complicating their situation.

Mr. Doug Weir explored the intersecting environmental and security
drivers of human mobility in the MENA region, emphasizing the need to address climate change, environmental degradation, displacement, and conflict holistically.

Mr. Manuel discussed how climate change is displacing communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, increasing the vulnerability of those who depend on natural resources. He highlighted those hurricanes, floods, and drought force people to leave their homes in search of safety and sustenance, posing challenges in protection and human rights. Urgent measures are crucial to ensure the safety and dignity of those affected.

Mrs. Marie Therese Seif provided recommendations, emphasizing the need to protect nature as the key to securing a livable future. she stressed the importance of ecosystem restoration on a large scale, involving all stakeholders, including states, governments, associations, and individuals. She called for abandoning material and political ambitions and establishing a rescue unit to protect and rationalize the consumption of natural
resources, making environmental protection a lifestyle rather than a social luxury. She also highlighted the importance of using technology for pollution reduction and treatment.

Source: National News Agency-Lebanon

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