Middle East Awareness Campaign on Climate Change Launched in Yemen

British Council sponsors ZeroCarbonCity program in Yemen to raise regional awareness of the problems of climate change, and the measures which might be taken to counteract it in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, UAE and Yemen.

Published: 29-Jan-2006

’A - As part of its ZeroCarbonCity project, the British Council (BC) launched a campaign on Saturday September 21 to raise awareness and stimulate debate about climate change and the energy changes facing the world’s greatest cities.  The BC is working to reinforce the UK’s commitment to tackling climate change.

The event was launched in cooperation with the University of Technology and Science in Sana’a.  The ZeroCarbonCity campaigners are working on a three year regional project to raise awareness of the problems of climate change, and the measures which might be taken to counteract it in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, UAE and Yemen.   

The British organization’s program will roll out a series of debates in each country called “Café Scientifique”, a touring exhibition with supporting materials, including collection of fiction and non-fiction climate change books.  The meeting will include conversation and discussion between scientists and young people about the connection between science and society. The event will highlight how climate change will, if something is not done to prevent it, will in the next hundred years cause massive and potentially catastrophic changes to the world. In the first Café Scientifique, held last week in Sana’a on January 21-24, Dr Michele Clarke from Nottingham University in the UK, and Quentin Cooper from the BBC presented papers. 

The informal discussion with students was also linked by video-conference to a group of students in Oman. They were then expected to fly on to the UAE to deliver a presentation, linked to Kuwait and Bahrain via video-conference, according to the group’s newsletter. Later, in the second Café Scientifique held from February 3-7, British climate expert Andrew Chalinor is to deliver a presentation in Oman linked to Yemen via vide-conference. He is then planned to deliver a presentation in Bahrain, linked to Abu Dhabi and Kuwait via VC. 

The British Council is working in collaboration with the Climate Group to produce an international photographic touring exhibition called NorthSouthEastWest.  Ten of the world’s top photographic agencies were commissioned to capture images from ten countries around the world to illustrate not only the impacts of climate change, but also the solutions which are being implemented to reduce carbon emissions in the communities from the four corners of the globe.

The exhibition will be put on show in both Sana’a and Aden. At the first meeting, questions were asked relating to climate change and the country’s commitments to relieve the consequences and dangers resulting from climate change. Dr. Michele Clarke answered a question concerning the commitments of the UK and the USA, saying that she was disappointed by the stance of the governments.

Dr. Tawfiq Sufyan, vice rector of Sana’a University for Higher Studies and Researches, said that a number of the university students had conducted research into climate change and the negative effects it could have.  The program is funded by the British council.  Elizabeth Quentin, director of the British Council, said that they aimed to create dialogue, to exchange views and to encourage discussion on climate change. She added that the climate change is a key issue and affected everyone on the globe. “There is a big concern shown by schools in Sana’a that took part in the event,” she said.

“We hope to work on a number of activities related to climate change next year.” The awareness campaign was aimed mainly at university and school students as well as the academics who attended the discussion. Several journalists also attended.

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