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Arab Preparatory Meeting on Environmental and Natural Resources Issues for the 2018 AFSD & HLPF

Cairo, Egypt

This year, the environmental component is strongly expressed across the theme and goals of the 2018 HLPF. This is of particular importance to the Arab region due to the pressing environmental challenges it witnesses, namely: water scarcity, desertification and land degradation, low natural resource use efficiency, and access to land resources. These challenges are exacerbated by high population growth rates, the wave of conflicts and political unrest facing some of the region’s countries leading to increased numbers of displaced and refugees, which contributes to increased pressure on natural resources in host countries/regions.
Based on the above, and in line with a resolution by the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE) calling for the organization of preparatory meetings on priority environmental and natural resources issues in the Arab region, to formulate CAMRE’s input to the 2018 Arab Forum on Sustainable Development (AFSD) and the 2018 High Level Political Forum (HLPF); ESCWA, in partnership with UN Environment and the League of Arab States’ Secretariat, is organizing the “Arab Preparatory Meeting on Environmental and Natural Resources Issues for the 2018 AFSD & HLPF”.
Laying the foundations for human dignity and well-being will require making societies sustainable and resilient. A clean environment and the sustainable management of natural resources contribute to enhancing resilience and sustainability of societies, ensuring the provision of ecological services which in turn contribute to income generation and poverty alleviation.
In order to best support the region’s contributions to the 2018 AFSD, this preparatory meeting will mirror in its scope the environmental topics of the 2018 HLPF, and will be thematically structured around the three major environmentally-related SDGs on the HLPF agenda for this year, namely SDGs: 11, 12 and 15; (recognizing that SDG 6 and SDG 7 will be elaborated in other focused preparatory meetings), while addressing the evident interlinkages and synergies between them and all other SDGs.
The meeting’s three major themes are as follows:
 - Theme 1: Sustainable Cities and Pollution
- Theme 2: Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)
- Theme 3: Combating Desertification and Halting Biodiversity Loss
The meeting will result in an outcome document that includes a set of key messages, conclusions and recommendations reflecting the participants’ views on the issues under consideration. The outcome document will be submitted to the 2018 Arab Forum on Sustainable Development (AFSD) as the contribution of CAMRE.