Climate Security, Social Cohesion and Gender Equity
Climate change phenomena, such as rising temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns and rainfalls, sea level rise, and the increase in extreme and destructive weather, have an immediate impact on social security and wellbeing. Climate change-related effects, both catastrophic and slow onset changes can destroy livelihoods. Natural disasters can cause loss of life immediately leaving large parts of the population homeless, thus acting as a driver for forced migration. As climate change may render parts of the Arab region uninhabitable, the region needs to be prepared for waves of climate-induced refugees. This comes as political instability and armed conflict is already destabilizing the region, causing a major displacement of people, and leaving countries already dealing with resource scarcity scrambling to host large numbers of refugees. Challenges of water security, food security and energy provision, addressed by the three other Task Forces, are intricately linked with social cohesion. A competition over scarcer resources in the region can lead to competition and conflict, both within and across countries. Moreover, a lack of water, food and energy, intensified by climate change, further enhances the struggle to eradicate poverty and hunger, and to create safe, healthy and prosperous livelihoods for all parts of the Arab populations. Research has shown that women are extensively impacted by climate change and water scarcity as compared to men. Therefore, the policy tools addressing climate security must be gender-sensitive and must foster gender equity. Gender equity concerns access to resources, carrying the socio-economic burdens caused by climate change, protection from climate change related risks, and inclusion in framing and implementing climate security strategies. Climate change implications necessitate an enhanced functioning of social protection, health and disaster relief systems, education about climate change and its effects, as well as equal access to financial mechanisms for coping with climate change. In this Task Force, the aim is to identify technical capacities, institutional frameworks and political tools that address social climate security challenges through a nexus approach that integrates the themes addressed by the other three Task Forces.
Additionally, linkages will also be established with the concept of climate security as a whole, and with the political frameworks that form the basis for this workshop, namely: The Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. It is to be emphasized that this workshop is less focused on the identification of particular technical interventions or actions to advance climate security, but more on the development of institutional capacity and strategic planning tools needed to successfully implement already identified action plans.