ADVANCING THE INITIATIVE ASSESSMENT AND THE NEXT STEPS
I am very pleased and impressed with the output that has been produced during the last couple of days, through the keynote sessions delivered by our distinguished keynote speakers, the workshop sessions which were delivered by very interactive instructors and the speakers who have shared their interesting work and views.
The work that has been presented during this conference is the culmination of all the scientific work that has been carried over the last two years, within the framework of the Cyprus Climate Change Initiative.
Once again, on behalf of the Government of Cyprus, I would like to thank all of you for sharing with us such important knowledge. Furthermore, I would like to thank all presenters and participants who have joined this conference from all over the world. Through your presentations and discussions, you substantially contributed to better understanding and addressing the Climate Change challenge in our own region.
Special thanks go to the Cyprus Institute for the remarkable coordination and the invaluable results they have produced in the framework of the Initiative. It is also extremely important to thank the 240 scientists who voluntarily participated in the 13 scientific task forces and ensured that the reports are focusing on the EMME region and take into consideration its specific characteristics. It is thanks to their dedication and work that now policy makers have concrete policy suggestions to pursue, without worrying about the validity, soundness and the effectiveness of what is proposed.
So, which are the next steps.
This is the final step of the scientific phase of our initiative. There are, however, still some more steps to be taken, in order to take our Initiative forward.
At this stage the national contact points appointed by the Governments of the countries of our region will utilise all the scientific information produced by the thematic Task Forces to develop a Regional Action Plan. The Action Plan will be actually a tool kit composed of measures that are scientifically sound, suitable for our region, applicable and economically feasible. The Action Plan will also include appropriate coordination and monitoring mechanisms, as well as possible funding sources for the proposed measures.
The Action Plan will be finalised at a Regional Ministerial Meeting, which will be held in Cyprus on the 2nd and 3rd of February 2022 and adopted at a Leaders Summit on Climate Change, which is tentatively scheduled for Autumn 2022.
What it is now abundantly evident to us, is that the work and contribution of the scientific community for the Initiative cannot stop now. The gaps in knowledge, in data sharing, as well as the incomplete observations make it imperative to intensify the paths of collaboration. The truly impressive know-how and resources that have been assembled so far need to be consolidated and further organized in order to pursue further the excellent work that has just started. Our aim is for the scientific work to continue in parallel with the political process. This coordination and close cooperation among scientists and policy makers, will ensure that the policy action plan is periodically reviewed, refined and made more relevant and more effective as we gain better knowledge.
Humanity is at a crossroad. We must either act now, and act collectively, scientists, policy makers and the society together, or for ever leave with the consequences of climate change. Scientists and policy makers have a responsibility towards society and towards the present and future generations. I am hopeful that we laid the foundations of a continuous collaboration that will effectively address this serious challenge for our region and our planer.