‘Food security, drought a risk’

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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 14: According to a report issued by the State Audit Bureau, most of the competencies of the “National Committee for Preparedness and Response to the Effects of Climate Change and Environmental Disasters on Health” have not been activated. This leads to a slowdown in the implementation of the measures included in the national adaptation plan to preserve health, in addition to the lack of qualification of the competent authorities to address the climate phenomena, reports Al-Rai daily. The report highlighted the lack of tangible progress in mitigating the concentration of greenhouse gases within the time frame of the development plan (2015/2016 – 2019/2020) as a result of the increase in the emissions of these gases and the long period of time involved in the completion of emissions mitigation projects.

It stressed the “lack of coordination between the concerned authorities, which are the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) and the Ministry of Public Works, with the oil sector to take the necessary measures to work on establishing windbreaks and increase afforestation along highways and oil installations to deal with sandstorms.” The report highlighted the increased risks of drought and food security due to high average temperatures, low annual precipitation, the frequency of suspended and raised dust and dust storms. It explained that most of the objectives of the strategic plan of the Meteorological Department for the period from 2017 to 2022 have not been achieved.

This increases the risk of losing historical climate data, as well as for its inability to monitor climate changes efficiently. The report stressed the importance of coordination between the Meteorological Department and the concerned authorities to take all preventive measures in dealing with the risks of current and future climate changes, and to support the administration with all material and human capabilities to develop its systems and to work according to the latest technology, as it is the first line of defense to warn of potential risks.

It called for the expansion of vegetation cover, in coordination with the relevant authorities in this regard, through the completion of afforestation projects and the establishment of a green belt around residential cities, vital facilities and highways to mitigate the negative effects resulting from high temperatures and dust storms. The report affirmed the importance of working on preparing a health emergency plan to deal with climate impacts in order to preserve the health and safety of society, and activating the work terms of reference of the National Committee for Preparedness and Response to the Effects of Climate Change and Environmental Disasters on Health in order to achieve the goal of sustainable development.

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