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Addressing the Challenges of Climate Change in the Mediterranean Basin

Sparked by a presentation of Jeffry Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, USA, a senior UN advisor and the Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN) during the recent international conference on “Climate Change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East: Challenges and Solutions” (/www.climatechange2018.org), the President of the Republic of Cyprus, HE Mr. Nicos Anastasiades announced that Cyprus is going to assume a coordinating role in an international initiative by the countries in the Mediterranean to tackle climate change and its impacts for the region. Given the fact that the Mediterranean has been identified as a “climate change hotspot” facing various societal challenges, but also as a region with substantial potential for green growth through renewable energy, sustainable tourism and agriculture, and innovation, such an initiative is timely and most relevant.

President Anastasiades also emphasized the initiatives promoted by The Cyprus Institute (CyI) in this area, which have led to the creation of an international scientific network, thereby transforming an academic institution such as CyI into a hub for cooperation. Given the involvement of Future Earth (http://www.futureearth.org) as a partner in the International Network for the Climate Conference, the fact that CyI hosts the Future Earth MENA Regional Center (FEMRC; http://www.futureearth.org/mena-centre; MENA = Middle East and North Africa) and the close alignment of Future Earth’s main goals and objectives with the aforementioned challenges in the Mediterranean, it is foreseen that the FEMRC will play an important role in facilitating the implementation of the proposed initiative. In fact, these issues were already extensively discussed during a meeting of the Regional Advisory Committee for the Future Earth MENA Regional Center during a workshop preceding the international Climate Change conference. It is understood that the FEMRC will spearhead the specification of a Future Earth Research Strategy that will pave the way to address adaptation to climate change impacts in the MENA Region in a sustainable and effective manner.

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