Beirut, 20 February 2019 - UN-Habitat organized a workshop on Building Capacities for Climate Action at the City Level in the Arab Region in Beirut, Lebanon from 18 to 20 February 2019 in collaboration with the EU-funded Clima-Med project. Held under the auspices of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the Islamic Development Bank, the workshop raised awareness on the impact of climate change in cities, enhanced the ability of national and local authorities in the Arab region to develop local climate action plans, and provided guidance on mitigation and adaptation mechanisms.

Bringing together 50 experts representing national and local authorities across the Arab region, representatives of international organisations and other UN entities, the workshop discussed a multidimensional approach to a coherent and coordinated response to climate change in cities, and the establishment of appropriate coordination mechanisms at the regional, national and local levels. It provided an opportunity for exchange of knowledge, tools and best practices from across the region. Participants were able to reflect on key national challenges and identify priority actions. Participants from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and several municipalities in Lebanon shared their success stories.

“The workshop has been extremely useful for us as we got to see the best practices from other Arab countries and how we could possibly replicate them to respond to climate change challenges in the context of our cities,” said head of the Environmental Protection Agency in Aden, Mr. Faisal Althaalabi who presented a case study on climate change impacts on the city of Aden and actions taken to mitigate their effect.

Participants received practical training on development and preparation of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SEACAP) at the city level in the Arab region and introduced to the importance of local climate planning as part of sustainable urban development.

Outcomes of the workshop and recommendations and case studies presented will be compiled in a joint publication titled Local Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Action in the Arab Region: Evidence, Case Studies and Recommendations which will be a guide to climate action for Arab cities.