Media information
Issued on
PAM contributes to the UNECE – WGEO High-Level Side-Event “Trees in dry cities” at COP28

On 6 December 2023, Dubai (UAE), the Parliamentary Assembly of Mediterranean (PAM) attended the COP28 High-Level Side-Event on: “Trees in dry cities: luxury or a fundamental climate and SDG solution?” organized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the World Green Economic Organization (WGEO) on the sidelines of COP28.  Hon. Pedro Roque (Portugal), PAM Vice President and President of the PAM 3rd Standing Committee, represented the Assembly and intervened during the panel titled “Trees in Dry Cities for climate resilience – planning and mobilizing action and finance at local, national and international levels.”


The event aimed to shed light on urban forestry, as a crucial nature-based solution for climate adaptation and mitigation,


Participants included Ministers and high-level representatives from countries such as Brazil, Jordan, Morocco, and Uzbekistan, Mayors from the municipalities of Dubai and Braga, and representatives from Multilateral Development Banks, including the Islamic Development Bank (ISdB), and representatives from UN Agencies, such as the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), with which PAM has also recently reinforced its collaboration.


Hon. Roque started his intervention underlining the importance of bringing the urban forestry issues at the COP28, and clearly stated that “it is nearly impossible to tackle the human dimension of climate change without rethinking our strategies for urban development”.


In the Mediterranean, Hon. Roque continued, where temperatures are increasing 20% faster than the world average, promoting urban forestry can significantly contribute to mitigation and adaptation strategies, while a more sustainable urban management can help proceeding in at least 15 of the 17 SGDs.  Hon. Roque recalled that parliaments can and must play a central role to this end, as they are responsible for keeping the executive power in check, in designing and ensuring correct implementation of sustainable legislative measures, and in raising awareness on urban forestry and management.


At the end of the event, participants launched the idea of establishing a “Trees in Dry Cities Coalition”, seeking to support and inform national policy makers, and provide recommendations for a more sustainable management of urban trees and forests.


Hon. Roque concluded his speech stating that “promoting sustainable urban development requires a multifaceted approach, where Parliaments and MPs can play a primary role, especially at the international level, as tailored and concrete actions can bring about a much-needed change in our urban development and cities”. //