MEDCOP 21, Driving a new type of change?

Discussing impacts of climate change on ‪‎Mediterranean‬ countries, as a pre-step before Paris ‪‎COP21‬.
IUCN ROWA was able to showcase how participatory tools can help acheive ‪‎Hima‬ and increased ‪‎climate change‬ resilience in local communities around the region in France during the MEDCOP 21.

Discussing how different tools can increase climate change resilience on the ground

On a global scale, faced with the multiplication of extreme weather events and the resulting health risks, many countries hitherto reluctant to implement policies that fight against climate change, are now showing signs of openness. The now undisputed forecasts of the scientific community are forging global awareness and calls for concerted action and a convergence of interests in the light of a challenge that threatens us all.

According the MEDCOP21, the Mediterranean holds a very special place when it comes to merging countries whose response to the legitimate needs of their people can only be found along the paths of sustainable development.

To start, Med countries have major challenges in terms of the survival of vulnerable territories, itself being subject to annual temperature increases of 2.2 to 5.1°C. This change will have a considerable impact on both natural resources (modification of the rich yet fragile Mediterranean biodiversity, depletion of aquifers, soil erosion, loss of coastal areas etc.) and on human activities, affecting large areas of the Mediterranean economy including agriculture, tourism, industry, energy production etc. (MEDCOP 21, 2015)

However, initiatives of many kinds are flourishing in the region with huge emphases on participatory approaches, better governance and resilience on the ground. In West Asia, IUCN has been able to prove that participatory approaches and good stakeholder engagement is key to increasing climate change resilience on the ground. 

IUCN clearly showcased that climate change resilience in local communities in the MENA region can be increased using participatory tools, that can also be used in various fields like dryland restoration and reviving Hima in the middle east. 

In 2014, IUCN was able to produce "A guiding toolkit to increasing climate change resilience in the MENA region" aiming at providing guidance and recommendations on how to develop climate change resilient strategies and plans at national,sub-national and local levels. The scope, however, is more specifically to delineate and share the participatory methodologies and approaches tested by the project partners to integrate climate change risks into local and national plans, policies and strategies in the region. More importantly, the toolkit describes the main challenges that faced the development and adaptation of such plans and recommends practical means to address them.

This has also and foremost complimented the reviving of Hima sites in Jordan, through our Dryland, Livelihoods and Gender programme in response to climatic changes in semi arid areas. The word Hima (Arabic: حمى ) originally means “protection” and refers to an area set aside for conservation. Its a traditional conservation system used by Bedouins and local people in the Middle east and north Africa region to organize grazing and keep lands protected and conserved. A successful example of reviving hima in response to climate change using participatory approaches was done in the Zarqa River Basin, in Jordan. 

for more information, kindly contact:

Lara Nassar


[email protected]


West and Central Africa
West Asia
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