جامعة النجاح الوطنية
An-Najah National University

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A Palestinian delegation, headed by His Excellency the Minister of Local Government Eng. Majdi al-Saleh, participated in the first 'European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR) Roadmap 2020-2030' action-oriented dialogue on 'Inclusive and Collaborative Systems for Heat and Wildfire Risks Governance', which was co-organized by the Government of Greece with the support of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Offices for Europe and Arab States. The event was held on 21 Oct 2022 in Athens, Greece.


The Palestinian delegation included Prof. Jalal Al-Debik, Director of the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Center at An-Najah National University, Mr. Hassan Abu Al-Aila, Head of the National Center for Disaster Risk Management in Palestine, and Mr. Yousef Abu Asad, Director General at Palestinian Meteorological Office.

Prof. Al-Debik spoke about risk reduction procedures and mechanisms required at international, national and local levels to strengthen capacities for disaster risk reduction and their inclusion in the governance framework. He also talked about the risk reduction procedures and mechanisms that support the implementation of the 'Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030' and Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, he discussed with the attendees the ten essentials for making cities resilient.

The Ministerial Roundtable focused on sharing experiences, identifying solutions, and enhancing the political momentum and commitments to address the risks and impacts of extreme temperatures, heatwaves and wildfires, whilst accelerating the implementation of the Sendai Framework in the region.

The participants discussed adaptation to extreme temperatures, including the adoption of nature-based solutions, particularly in urban areas, as well as the need to shift from a focus on fire suppression to prevention to address the increasingly violent and rapidly spreading wildfires. They discussed cross-border compatibility and use of data for climate projections, forecasting and early warning systems. More than 150 participants, including ministers, experts, and stakeholders from the region, attended four sessions of the hybrid event.

The event included three sessions that focused on the role of technology in tackling climate issues; empowering local authorities and local partnerships to address climate change, develop local resilience plans, adapt to the extreme temperatures and heat waves; and the implementation of a whole of society approach to resilience-building, which ensures that groups at risk are included in disaster risk reduction processes. These sessions exchanged on lessons learnt and gathered recommendations on the way to advance regional cooperation on the respective topics, which fed into the outcome document presented at the Ministerial Roundtable.

It is worth mentioning that a number of meetings were held by the Palestinian delegation with Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean.


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