The Mediterranean and Middle East, with a combined total population of more than 400 million people, are characterized by strong environmental gradients, climate extremes and diverse economic, social and cultural identities. It is expected that throughout the 21st century the region will experience substantial adverse climate changes and face major challenges in energy demand and supply, threats to environmental integrity, as well as a decreasing availability of potable water. It is essential to address the undesirable economical and societal consequences and manage them cooperatively. Rethinking energy, environmental well-being and water policies and adopting new concepts to respond to these challenges are increasingly recognized as a high priority, both regionally and internationally.
This conference has brought together distinguished scientists, primary stakeholders, policy makers and high-level officials who discussed the present and the emerging challenges posed by climate change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In particular, the conference aimed to stimulate the discussion on adaptation strategies through new technologies and management methods to minimize adverse climate change impacts. There is a continued need for cooperative management and publically acceptable strategies in order to address the economical and societal consequences of climate change. The conference contributed to these efforts by having:
- discussed the state-of-knowledge of climate change and its challenges;
- set the stage for cooperative strategies to cope with climate change impacts;
- discussed energy and water policies and evaluating new concepts;
- considered sustainable strategies and effective decision making.
Based on the outcome of the conference, the Program Committee has formulated recommendations in "The Cyprus Declaration on Climate Change".