The Expert Group Meeting on "Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Development in the Arab Region" is the third in a series of meetings aimed at implementing the Regional Initiative for the Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Vulnerability in the Arab Region. Previous meetings consolidated the approach and partnerships associated with the implementation of the Regional Initiative. Discussions related to the integrated assessment component are elaborated in a reference document prepared by ESCWA entitled Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Vulnerability in the Arab Region: A Methodological Framework for Pursuing an Integrated Assessment. The document builds upon previous expert group meetings and outlines the integrated assessment approach based on five components:
(a) global circulation modeling;
(b) regional climate modeling;
(c) regional hydrological modeling;
(d) socio-economic vulnerability assessment; and
(e) integrated mapping.
This expert group meeting will focus on the first three components of the methodological framework. As such, it will provide an opportunity to exchange experiences and coordinate approaches for global and regional climate modelling as it relates to the water sector in the Arab region. It is expected that the experiences of regional climate centres based in the Gulf and North Africa will be exchanged, as well as those of international organizations. This will be complemented by a discussion of different emissions scenarios that are being used by the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) as the basis for their next assessment report (AR-5).
In view of supporting the regional climate modelling component of the initiative, the sensitivity analysis undertaken to support the definition of an Arab Domain for framing regional climate modelling efforts in the region will be presented. It is expected that the Arab Domain once finalized will be introduced as a formal domain within the COrdinated Regional Climate Downscaling EXperiment (CORDEX) in view of encouraging additional work on regional climate modelling in the Arab region based on a common set of criteria and guidelines.
Preparations for the regional hydrological modelling component of the project will also be incorporated in this meeting through a discussion of metadata related to the monitoring, collection and management of hydrological information in Arab member countries that are used to support climate and hydrological modelling activities. This will not only help in drawing lessons learned to support the development of a regional knowledge platform, but will also assist in identifying resources available to support the validation of assumptions and projections from the climate and hydrological modelling components of the project by Arab member states.