The opening of the training program for Arab local authorities to prepare for climate change

Within the project “Harnessing Professional Expertise and Localized Knowledge for Collaborative Climate Resilience in Shefa-‘Amr” led by the Galilee Society in partnership with the Shefa Amr Municipality and Haifa University, an inaugural workshop for local authorities entitled “Climate Change Preparedness” was held on Tuesday, 5.10.2021. In recognition of local authorities’ role in leading the process of preparing for climate change, this workshop is part of a series of workshops to build the capacity of the Shefa Amr municipality staff and the concerned Arab local authorities to deal with climate change.

The workshop opened with welcoming speeches by Mr. Omar Al-Malik, Director General of the Municipality, and Mr. Ahmed Al-Sheikh Muhammad, Director General of the Galilee Society. At the beginning of the workshop, the project manager, Ms. Alaa Obeid, presented the project’s objectives and its main activities. She also spoke about the climate crisis at the global and local scale and the effects of climate change on our country in general and our Arab towns in particular. Followed by Dr. Orly Ronen from Tel Aviv University, who spoke about cities at the forefront of climate change with a global view. Dr. Orwa Sweitat from the Technion presented his vision on evaluating structural plans in Arab towns from the point of view of sustainable development, touching on planning in Arab Towns, multi-use of land, housing and social diversity, accessibility, and preservation of the environment and public space. Mr. Aharon Azoulay, General Manager of the Local Authorities Cluster spoke about renewable energy from a regional perspective and the role of the cluster in enabling and facilitating the transition to renewable energy in the concerned towns. At the end of the workshop, Dr. Maya Negev from Haifa University, a partner in the project, gave a short presentation on the impact of climate change on public health.

The comprehensive training program is prepared to increase the capacity and meet the needs of the employees of Arab local authorities to prepare and plan for climate change adaptation, and this series of workshops will extend over several months.

From here, the Galilee Society invites the employees and members of the Arab local authorities to follow the news of the project through its pages and website, where the dates of the upcoming workshops will be published.

The project is funded by the European Union and Misereor.