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United States Center at COP 22

7-18 November 2016 | Marrakech, Morocco

Highlights for Tuesday, 8 November 2016

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Alexandra C.M. Hadzi-Vidanovic, Middle East Regional Platform, US Agency for International Development (USAID), highlighted USAID’s work on reforestation and wildfire management in Lebanon.Middle East, noting the expansion of the currently

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How Morocco is Advancing Clean Energy and Climate Adaptation at Home Presented by the US Department of State


This session was moderated by Tomi Di Liberto, US Center.

Alexandra C.M. Hadzi-Vidanovic, Middle East Regional Platform, US Agency for International Development (USAID), presented a number of projects and partnerships USAID has initiated in North Africa and the Middle East, noting the expansion of the currently limited USAID climate change response actions in the region. She highlighted work on ground-water mapping to improve drought predictions and preparedness in Morocco, Tunisia and other countries. She also drew attention to education research grants to improve renewable energy efficiency, noting that the project includes renewable energy efficiency aspects for academic institutions as well as homes.

Hadzi-Vidanovic also described climate risks in the Middle East and North Africa, highlighting that extreme drought may have been a trigger of the Syrian conflict. She also noted the risk of urban flooding in Abu Dhabi, as well as dying coral reefs in the Red Sea, and threats to agricultural production in a 2°C scenario. She described drought as multiple dry years, and highlighted the Middle East Regional Drought Monitoring System as a partnership project working in Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia and Lebanon. She also introduced the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s ultra-low energy drip irrigation programme, which seeks to, inter alia, reduce the amount of energy used to pump water into irrigation schemes.

The ensuing discussion addressed, inter alia: how USAID prioritizes projects in the region; wind power in Morocco; the most likely renewable energy source for North Africa and the Middle East; the USAID application process for projects in the Middle East and North Africa region; USAID project funding priorities in Morocco, including economic growth, education, and democracy and governance; and the need for regional cooperation to address climate risk.

Throughout the presentation, participants watched several videos of USAID’s work in the region, depicting, among others, community partnerships to address climate change, reforestation in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, and the Strawberry King project. These videos can be found at: https://www.usaid.gov/ourhands


Jean Thomas, Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA)

A participant asks a question to Alexandra C.M. Hadzi-Vidanovic

John Furlow, Senior Climate Change Specialist, USAID


Participants during the session

Mousa Burayzat, National Center for Human Rights, Jordan



Participants during the event

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