On the 18th and 19th May 2018, The Cyprus Institute is hosting the International Conference “Climate Change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East: Challenges and Solutions”, which takes place at the “Filoxenia” Conference Centre, in Nicosia, Cyprus. The event is organised under the Aegis of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, and with the support of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus.
The conference addresses the scientific basis of Climate Change in the region and its various impacts and challenges on issues of health, water, food, tourism, and migration. Mitigation and adaptation strategies, policy challenges and governance will also be discussed at the conference, with an overall goal of providing high-level propositions for mitigation/ adaptation strategies.
The Conference was preceded by two days of Scientific Workshops, which focused on modelling predictions of Climate Change and its impacts (especially in the areas of sustainability, energy, health, agriculture, water security and migration), and on examining and proposing mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Although the focus is regional, this is a Conference of global importance, as indicated by the composition of the International Advisory and Scientific Programme Committees. Participants at the Conference include prestigious speakers such as Laurent Fabius (former Prime Minister of France, who presided over the success of the COP21 Paris Agreement), Prof. Jeffrey Sachs (Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network), Prof. Petteri Taalas (Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation), and many others. The event has received significant media coverage by local and international news organisations.
In his opening remarks on the first day of the conference, the President of The Cyprus Institute, Prof. Costas Papanicolas, said that "it is with pride, humility, but also with a sense of enormous responsibility, that we welcome our high-profile guests to this important conference on behalf of The Cyprus Institute".
"From the very beginning, we have identified climate change and its impacts as a huge research challenge”. “We have worked over the years to be able to identify, in the most accurate way possible, through modelling, observations, and analysis of relevant data, the magnitude of the problem for Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean”.
In his address, Mr. Laurent Fabius, noted that “the high level and stimulating program of this conference and the outstanding participants, outline the dynamicism of The Cyprus Institute and its leadership on environmental and climate issues”
Mr Fabius also announced a new international initiative that will consolidate via a treaty with legal force, and not through declarations as it has been so far, fundamental environmental principles that will apply to all countries. The initiative is called the “Global Pact for the Environment” and has the full support of French President Emmanuel Macron, and is expected to be completed over the next two to three years.
Finally, the Minister of Education and Culture, Dr. Kostas Champiaouris, speaking on behalf of the President of the Republic, welcomed the organization of such an important conference. "Cyprus, a country that is already suffering from the effects of climate change, has consistently supported all international and local scientific initiatives to address this phenomenon, and our commitment is a given".The Conference is made possible with the generous sponsorship of the A. G. Leventis Foundation, the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), RCB Bank, the MISTRALS Project, Deloitte, Medochemie, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), and Makkas Winery. The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) and the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) are Media Sponsors for the Event.