The world´s climate is changing; the impacts can already be observed and felt on the global, regional and local levels. Climate change is considered one of the biggest challenges to development in the 21st century. More frequent, stronger and more erratic weather extremes will result in significant socio-economic and environmental losses.
The latest assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that most countries in the Middle East and North Africa region – including Egypt – are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
Cities play a key role when it comes to addressing this challenge. The urban population and infrastructure are increasingly at risk. Poor inhabitants are especially vulnerable to those impacts, due to their limited financial means to pursue a sustainable livelihood. While a framework for climate change adaptation exists in Egypt, local level policies and actions need strengthening, and concrete examples for community-based adaptation measures need more support.
To address this challenge, the PDP has incorporated in its portfolio a component dealing with climate change adaption and strengthening the resilience of local urban communities in informal settlements of the Greater Cairo Region (GCR).
Objectives of the component:
The component Climate Change Adaption and Urban Resilience tackles the predicted negative impacts of climate change on poor and informal urban areas in the Greater Cairo Region.
The overall objective is to increase awareness and information level of public administration and civil society organizations with regard to the consequences of climate change on informal urban areas. To achieve this objective, the PDP:
- implements small-scale adaptation measures in informal areas in collaboration with residents and civil society in order to enhance urban resilience;
- facilitates exchange between climate change stakeholders of different levels;
- supports the development of formal policies, strategies, and development plans.
Climate Change Adaptation Strategy
Based on a comprehensive study of climate change sensitivity, adaptive capacities, existing vulnerabilities and practices to cope with on-going climate challenges, PDP developed a climate change adaptation strategy with 9 strategic approaches.
1. Architectural & Environmental Measures: changing physical conditions and retrofitting to reduce urban heat island effect and heat gain.
2. Awareness & Information Measures: raising the awareness of policy makers, local authorities, and residents about climate change impacts and adaptation.
3. Socio-economic Measures: strengthening local communities through increasing income generation, e.g. through urban agriculture projects.
4. Institutional Capacity Development: strengthening partners’ capacities in managing and implementing climate change adaptation activities.
5. Dialogue, Learning & Exchange: encouraging and facilitate exchange across stakeholders working on climate change, urban development and environmental planning.
6. Sectorial Approaches: embedding climate change in a sector of a high upgrading priority, in Egypt for example through improving health services.
7.Disaster Risk Response & Reduction: enhancing the link between data sources and executive entities in order to precautionary save community resources and protect most vulnerable population groups.
8. Mainstreaming Approach: integrating climate change in urban upgrading approaches of all kinds.
9. Formal Policies & Planning: supporting policy-making entities to integrate climate change adaptation into their agendas (national policies and local development plans).
Greener Cairo: Sustainability through Urban Agriculture
Egypt’s urban residents face a wide range of climate change related challenges, such as health problems due to heat stress in summer or socio-economic threats through droughts and food insecurity. To address such challenges, GIZ, commissioned by BMZ, developed a comprehensive set of adaptation measures. One successful approach to tackle heat stress and food insecurity and to even promote income generation is the approach of urban agriculture which is presented in the video below. Urban agriculture is a highly trending topic and was one major item during the 2015’s Cairo Climate Talks.
Cairo Climate Talk Link: http://cairoclimatetalks.net/events/greener-cairo-sustainability-through-urban-agriculture