The Launch of CGIAR's Regional Climate Security Hub for the MENA region
On May 2nd, CGIAR launched its first official Regional Climate Security Hub for the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region in Cairo, Egypt. The MENA Regional Climate Security Hub will create a space for CGIAR’s centers and partners in the region to work together in generating climate security science for the MENA region.
The CGIAR MENA Regional Climate Security Hub brings to bear its expertise in building inclusive and climate-resilient food, land, and water system for the purposes of sustaining peace and stability. As identified in the CGIAR’s MENA Climate Security Position Paper, the collation of this expertise through the creation of the Hub is particularly important in a region characterized by significant climate vulnerability and natural resource scarcity, particularly water; a high dependency on climate-sensitive productive sectors and imports, such as agriculture; high rates of food and nutritional insecurity; as well as the presence of fragile and unstable contexts. To help address this complex and compounding risk landscape – and to harness the CGIAR’s thematic and technical value-added expertise to the intersection of climate change, peace, and security in the MENA region – the Hub aims to work with a diverse set of partners and stakeholders across regional, national, and sub-national levels.
Accordingly, the Hub launch event that took place on May 2nd brought together a diverse set of stakeholders from across a variety of thematic and technical realms to discuss the ways in which food, land, and water system expertise and interventions can be leveraged to pursue objectives relating to climate resilience and peacebuilding jointly. The event witnessed the participation of 39 representatives of CGIAR centers, UN agencies, international and regional organizations, the diplomatic community, think tanks, academia & research centers, civil society organizations, and climate youth leaders. Representatives from the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT, the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dryland Areas (ICARDA), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), as well as the Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Peacebuilding (CCCPA), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the League of Arab States (LAS), and the Arab Water Council (AWC) in particular all played active roles in the panel discussions and conversations throughout the day, emphasizing the timeliness of building a joint agenda for advancing climate security in the MENA region.
Over the course of two panel discussions and a participatory brainstorming session, speakers and participants highlighted the need for greater sensitization and awareness raising around the climate, peace, and security intersection, as well as the need for more reliable and disaggregated data, improved data collection, and better data management and sharing practices. Such data, according to the participants, was needed to inform peace-responsive early warning systems and anticipatory action plans; transformations of food, land, and water systems that help to build human security and sustainable livelihoods; as well as gender and migration strategies that reduce inequalities and foster peace.
Participants also emphasized the need for greater and more localized evidence generation on exactly how, where, and when climate-related security risks may emerge in fragile and post-conflict contexts and for sharing and promoting durable solutions. This includes mainstreaming gender-sensitive approaches into vulnerability assessments and leveraging women’s leadership in resilience and peacebuilding. Furthermore, more coherent and cross-sectoral climate security approaches, better governance frameworks, and the provision of specific programmatic examples and know-how to operationalize the co-benefits of climate action and peacebuilding were referred to as priorities. To ensure the testing and implementation of solutions, attracting more flexible, sustainable, and targeted climate finance to the region (particularly for fragile and unstable contexts) was considered pivotal.
Finally, attendants agreed that, for the MENA Reginal Climate Security Hub to make valuable contributions to a regional agenda based on the above-mentioned priorities, it needs to build complementarities and synergies with existing initiatives on climate, peace, and security throughout the region.
Building on the discussions and needs identified throughout the launch event, the CGIAR MENA Regional Climate Security Hub, together with its partners across the region, aims to:
- Help generate evidence on the interlinkages between climate change; food, land, and water systems (FLWs); and peace and security, as well as on how FLWs-related policies, projects, and interventions can bring a transformative impact by building climate resilience and addressing the root causes of conflict and fragility across the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) continuum.
- Seek to bridge the science-policy interface by contributing to the formulation and implementation of local, national, and regional policies and programmatic interventions – including those of climate finance and investments – that address unsustainable practices and inequalities in food, land, and water systems to move towards inclusivity, resilience, and positive peace.
- Engage with key interlocutors and partners at regional, national, and sub-national levels to carry out capacity-building and policy advocacy work to sensitize decision-makers and mainstream the intersection of climate change; food, land, and water systems; and peace and security.
- Act as a bridging entity capable of linking CGIAR-produced scientific evidence and innovations with key stakeholders working on the climate, peace, and security intersection across the region.
Going forward, the CGIAR MENA Regional Climate Security Hub will be formulating a specific set of activities and pursuing strategic partnerships around the aforementioned objectives and priority areas for action to continue promoting the climate, peace, and security agenda across the MENA region. Stay tuned for more updates, products, and opportunities for collaboration!
For more information on the CGIAR MENA Regional Climate Security Hub, please contact:
Martina Jaskolski – Climate, Peace, and Security Policy Scientist – Alliance Bioversity/CIAT (CGIAR) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Salma Kadry – Climate, Peace, and Security Specialist – Alliance Bioversity/CIAT (CGIAR) – email@example.com
Frans Schapendonk – Climate, Peace, and Security Specialist – Alliance Bioversity/CIAR (CGIAR) – firstname.lastname@example.org