December 10, 2007 – Jordan and Palestine Threatened by Global Warming

Jordan and Palestine Threatened by Global Warming

Amman, December 10, 2007

Today, EcoPeace Middle East issued a new report on the security threats posed by global warming at a side event on “the Right to Development in a Climate Constrained World” at the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia.

The Middle East is the world’s most water-stressed region. Climate change is expected to make water resources even more scarce in countries, such as Jordan and Palestine, which already are among the most water-scarce countries in the world, and will thereby contribute to even greater water stress in the region.

“Under climate change there will be no fresh water resources available for agriculture”, Munqeth Mehyar, Director of EcoPeace’s Amman office and EcoPeace Chair stated. “EcoPeace calls on the Jordanian Government to assist rural communities in Jordan that currently are dependent on agriculture to diversify their income sources to rural tourism and small cottage industries. Government policies that continue to heavily subsidize water for agriculture are unsustainable and are preventing us from preparing for the inevitable,” he said.

“US leadership is required to both prevent the worst impacts and to provide developing countries such as Jordan and Palestine with technical and financial assistance in adapting to climate change. The oil producing Gulf States must also step up to the plate and become part of the solution,” Mr. Mehyar continued.

Beginning on December 3, and continuing through this week (December 14, 2007), over 180 nations are gathering in Bali, Indonesia for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference. This year, countries are expected to discuss commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the post-2012 period (the Kyoto Protocol, the implementing instrument of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change covers the period 2008-2012).

Moreover, “for Palestine, the expected rise in the sea level of the Mediterranean will make dysfunctional the groundwater due to increased salinity from the Coastal Aquifer – the primary drinking water source — for 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza,” says Nader Khateeb, Palestinian Director of EcoPeace Middle East.

“Being left unprepared will affect not only economic, physical, and environmental security, but national, regional, and global security, if actions are not taken now to mitigate, and adapt to, the projected impacts of climate change” Mr. Khateeb continued.

For the full report, see http://ecopeaceme.org/index_images/dinamicas/publications/publ78_1.pdf

For additional information, please contact Munqeth Mehyar at [email protected] or +962-777548477, or Nader Khateeb at [email protected] or +972-522875022