Muscat – Oman hosted the second edition of the Arab Environment Forum on Tuesday.
Themed ‘Together to Confront Climate Challenges to Achieve Water and Food Security’, the forum discussed climate change and its impact on food security and water resources, and how to address the triple planetary crisis – climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.
Addressing the forum, Dr Abdullah Ali al Amri, Chairman of Environment Authority, said that Oman set a zero carbon neutrality target for the year 2050, as well as adoption of a national strategy for an orderly transition to renewables, with the Royal blessing of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.
Amri stressed that Oman accords great attention to protecting the environment and preserving its natural resources as one of the basic pillars of comprehensive Omani development and one of the pillars of Oman Vision 2040.
He also highlighted Oman’s interest in ensuring environmental safety, combating pollution and preserving ecosystems within the framework of UN Sustainable Development Goals by adopting policies, strategies, laws and regulations in the environmental field.
Dr Mahmoud Fathallah, Director of Arab League’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Meteorology, said in his speech that the forum focuses on efforts addressing the environmental problems that the Arab region suffers from, with especial emphasis on climate change and its effects on water and food security.
In this context, Sami Demasi, UNEP Regional Director and Representative of the UNEP Programme in West Asia, explained that the forum came at a time when the Arab region is facing environmental, economic and social crises simultaneously. He stressed the need for solidarity and synergy between international, community and academic organisations to confront environmental challenges related to climate crises, ecosystems and cross-border pollution.
The forum, which was opened under the patronage of H H Sayyid Dr Fahd al Julanda al Said, Vice-Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University, was organised by Environment Authority, in cooperation with regional and international organisations.
Its working sessions addressed the relationship of drought and desertification to food and water systems, investment in innovation and strategic foresight in the Arab world towards a sustainable global environmental agenda, and the shift towards resource sustainability – challenges and opportunities for confronting climate change to ensure water and food security.
The forum provided a platform for dialogue among all partners, policy makers and international and regional experts in the fields of environment, climate change and green economy.
It also enabled exchange of information and experiences in relevant environmental fields, identified possible cooperation partnerships between different parties, and facilitated regional dialogue on the current situation and prospects for future environmental efforts in the Arab region.