By: Fatima Ahouli and Hala Kilani
Despite the challenges with having a virtual meeting, CAN Arab World pulled off a very successful General Assembly (GA) on 7 and 8 November. Members from Sudan, Lebanon and Yemen shared their challenges in dealing with multiple emergencies including impacts, the pandemic and political and economic upheaval. These particular members sounded the alarm on the issues they are facing, particularly with impacts and food insecurity.
Sudan witnessed the worst floods on record since 100 years and Lebanon the worst fire season on record, which cost this small country the loss of 7,000 ha of forest land. Yemen is still struggling with a raging war and its population is facing serious hunger threats in addition to the exasperating climate crisis causing droughts, extreme floods and water scarcity.
Over 50 CANAW member organizations were able to join the virtual GA, including representatives from Ministries of Environment from Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan who participated in the opening session with updates from their respective countries on the efforts, accomplishment as well as challenges that the pandemic has imposed on the national efforts in fighting against climate change.
The opening session also saw the participation of CAN Executive Director Tasneem Essop who brought an international perspective to the room and what CAN International has been doing in bridging the national and regional efforts in a more member- and node-driven approach.
The two-day GA has brought into perspective the priorities that the node has lined up for its work, and also the achievements and developments that happened since the foundation of the node – it created a space for dialogue between civil society and government representatives. The node, which has grown stronger since its creation in 2015 and continuous support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, will be guided by the national efforts of its members to enhance its influence on the regional level.