A report issued by the State Audit Bureau revealed the “National Committee for Preparedness and Response to the Effects of Climate Change and Environmental Disasters on Health” has not activated its work, which 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 climate phenomena.
The report noted the lack of tangible progress in mitigating the concentration of greenhouse gases within the time frame of the development plan (2015/ 2016 and 2019/2020) as a result of the increase in emissions of these gases and the long period of time involved in the completion of emissions mitigation projects, noting the “lack of coordination between the concerned authorities such as the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources and the Ministry of Works with the oil sector to take the necessary measures to increase afforestation around highways and oil installations to address the issue of sandstorms, reports a local Arabic daily.
The report pointed to the increased risks of drought and food security due to high average temperatures, low annual precipitation, the frequency of suspended dust in the atmosphere and dust storms, noting that most of the objectives of the strategic plan of the Meteorological Department for 2017 to 2022 period have not been achieved, which increases the risk of losing historical climate data, as well as the inability to monitor climate changes efficiently.
The report stressed on 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 work according to the latest technology, as it is the first line of defense to warn of potential risks.
The report called for the expansion of vegetation cover through 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.