Jerusalem – 03 May 2013 – The Government of Belgium and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an exchange of letters worth over Euro 1.45 million on Friday 03 May 2013 for enhancing Palestinian capacities in mainstreaming environment and climate change in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Water supply and sanitation services are characterized by severe shortage in the occupied Palestinian territory and there is a continuous depletion of natural resources.
Therefore, the potential consequences of Climate Change are serious in view of gradual desertification and increasing scarcity of resources.
The project aims at enhancing the capacities of the Palestinian Authority to mainstream and address the challenges of climate change in the areas of reporting, mitigation and adaptation. It will also contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal relating to ensuring environmental sustainability.
“Belgium is committed to working with its partners to improve the environment in the Palestinian territory. For this reason, environment has been integrated as a horizontal theme throughout our bilateral cooperation with the Palestinian Authority”, said Mr Geert Cockx, Consul General of Belgium. “With annual rainfall showing a clear downward trend and rising temperatures, there is a clear need to integrate climate change into the PA’s policies, strategies and development plans, while at the same time reinforcing its institutional capacity on environmental matters. Belgium is happy to, together with UNDP, work with the PA towards achieving the double objective of state building in the field of the environment and attaining the 7th Millennium Development Goal,” he added.
The first national communication on climate change, including green house gases inventory report, will also be developed throughout the project. In addition, selected on the ground pilot adaptation projects, from the Palestinian Adaptation Program of Action, in the most affected areas of the oPt will be implemented. Projects will address water resources and food security and efficient and sustainable use of energy and sea level rise.
UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, Mr Frode Mauring highlighted the importance of mainstreaming climate change and environment into national development plans to achieve human development, environmental sustainability and a green economy. “Strengthening institutional capacities are key to increasing the responsiveness of Palestinian institutions to be able to serve the Palestinian community for better environmental management and protection”, he added.
The project is part of a larger programme UNDP will be implementing to support climate change resilience and low carbon development in the occupied Palestinian territory. In line with national priorities, previous initiatives included conducting an assessment on “Climate Change Situation in the oPt”; and developing a “Climate Change Adaptation Strategy”, while future interventions include formulating a climate change adaptation programme that will be utilized for raising funds for climate change interventions in the oPt.
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Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.undp.ps.
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