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There is widespread agreement that the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern Region (EMME Region) can be considered a “climate change hot spot”. Anticipated heat waves, extended droughts and resulting consequences for water- energy- and food-security will exceed global averages. With about 400 Million inhabitants and diverse environmental, societal and economical conditions in the countries of the region, these impacts pose serious risks to vulnerable communities and ecosystems.
Addressing such risks calls for solid knowledge and understanding of the underlying drivers of climate change and their numerous linkages and interdependencies. Moreover, devising adequate and effective mitigation and adaptation strategies aimed to reduce adverse effects of climate change impacts on the countries of the EMME Region equally requires a sound scientific basis, on the one hand, and a close involvement of stakeholders and decision makers in the region, on the other.
Goals and objectives of the newly established Eastern Mediterranean Middle East – Climate and Atmosphere Research Centre (EMME-CARE) at the Cyprus Institute (CyI) in Nicosia, Cyprus, closely match such requirements. EMME-CARE has received substantial funding through the EU’s Horizon 2020 – TEAMING program, which is matched by funds from the government of the Republic of Cyprus and funds of the CyI.
The Public Launching Event for the program took place in Nicosia on October 8th, 2019 in the presence of the Cyprus Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Dr. Costas Kadis, members of the diplomatic corps from European and neighboring countries, various dignities and numerous colleagues from Cyprus and abroad.
Lead by the Energy, Environment and Water Research Center’s Director, Prof. Jean Sciare at CyI and in close cooperation with partners from the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany (MPIC), the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA), France and the University of Helsinki (Helsingin Yliopisto; UHEL), Finland, a center of excellence will be established at CyI. In this framework, a combination of activities in research, education, and innovation that will involve laboratory studies, instrument development, continuous comprehensive atmospheric observations, field experiments and computer modelling of the regional climate and chemical composition of the atmosphere will be carried out.
EMME-CARE will fully utilize Cyprus’ strategically enabling geopolitical location to create and foster a gateway between Europe and the Middle East. By building on a critical mass of top scientists and engineers, promoting innovation via regular staff exchanges, regional networking with partner organizations in the Middle East, Europe and globally, EMME-CARE will not only serve Cyprus but will provide urgently needed knowledge and expertise to countries and communities in the region.
The networking of the Future Earth MENA Regional Center, which is hosted by the CyI, will enhance disseminating and publicizing findings in research and technology of EMME-CARE.