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The UAE will host COP28 at Expo City Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023. ICBA prepared a draft comprehensive plan of initiatives tailored for the national and international priorities and aligned with the overarching themes/focuses (noted as draft as of 15 May 2023) announced by COP28:

  1. World climate action
  2. Health/relief, recovery, and peace
  3. Nature, land use and oceans
  4. Food and water systems
  5. Just energy transition/industry/trade
  6. Youth, education, and skills
  7. Finance/gender equality
  8. Cities, regions, and urbanization/transport

ICBA’s proposed initiatives aim to contribute to thematic programming on climate action, youth, education, gender equality, nature, and food systems.



This document provides a high-level overview of ICBA’s proposed initiatives for COP28. These initiatives aim to foster partnership and collaboration at national and international levels, mobilize resources for climate action and sustainable agricultural development, and raise awareness about sustainable development challenges, especially with regard to food security and nutrition, and youth and women.

Through these initiatives, ICBA aims to position itself as a global center of research excellence and showcase its achievements and efforts towards climate change mitigation and adaptation in agriculture. The center also hopes to inform the discourse on climate change mitigation and adaptation in agriculture through evidence-based policy recommendations.


ICBA designed six initiatives, two of which are focused specifically on the UAE and the other four have regional/international focuses.

Book “The UAE Farming Practices: Tradition and Science”

Thematic Day: Food and Water Systems

Delivery mode: Book launch and gifting to the UAE government representatives and high-level delegates.

Goal: The main goal of the initiative is to demonstrate traditional best practices in farming in the UAE. The book aims to showcase and promote local farmers’ traditional practices, techniques and strategies that are scientifically proven.


  • To showcase traditional farming practices in the UAE and understand their role in agriculture and environmental sustainability. 
  • Compare local farming practices to agricultural scientific research.
  • Identify science-based solutions that complement traditional farming practices.
  • Showcase local farmers’ knowledge through international visibility (the book will be translated into English).
  • Serve as a model for similar books in other countries.

Audience: The UAE government, farmers in the UAE and other countries, agricultural researchers and scientists, academia, other stakeholders.

Youth ICBATHON and Youth-led Conference “Putting Youth at the Heart of Climate Action”

Thematic Day: Youth, Education, and Skills

Delivery mode: A series of workshops, competitions, and events.

Overview: ICBATHON is a hackathon-style program designed and managed by ICBA. It aims to bring together young people to crowdsource and innovate solutions to a wide range of challenges related to agriculture, climate change, and food security. Participants get a chance to collaborate on building proofs of concept and minimum viable products for a specific challenge under the guidance of professional mentors.

ICBA also plans organize a youth conference alongside ICBATHON, creating a platform that combines innovation, collaboration, and youth engagement.

Partners: Zayed University, Plug and Play, AMITY University, Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), American University of Sharjah, American University of Beirut, Uzbekistan University, American University of Cairo, among other universities.

Audience: This initiative will bring together young individuals, researchers, activists, and climate enthusiasts. ICBATHON and the youth conference will serve as a forum for generating ideas, fostering collaboration, and mobilizing youth action towards sustainable development.

Research Twinning Program for OIC Countries

Thematic day: Food and Water Systems

Delivery mode: A panel discussion


  1. Director General of ICBA
  2. Heads of agricultural research organizations in OIC countries

Goal: The Research Twinning Program will provide a framework for knowledge and technology transfer between ICBA and agricultural research organizations in OIC countries. It aims to enhance the scientific and technological capabilities of participating institutions and facilitate research exchange and excellence.

The program will also support women scientists in OIC countries through capacity development and focus on young people by providing them with internship, training, and post-doctoral opportunities at ICBA.


  • Enhance the scientific and technological capabilities of participating institutions. 
  • Conduct gap analysis studies to identify the needs of each research organization and develop a tailored program accordingly.
  • Help raise participating organizations’ research profile through capacity development.
  • Complement and combine efforts in agricultural research for development.
  • Collaborate on joint research publications in areas of common interest between organizations.
  • Exchange expertise and experience.

Audience: Agricultural research organizations in OIC countries, regional agriculture stakeholders, agriculture researchers, universities, ministries of agriculture and environment, and national agricultural research centres, among others.

Women’s Alliance for Climate Action in Agriculture (WACAA)

Thematic Day: Finance/Gender Equality

Delivery mode: A series of activities and events

Goal: Women’s Alliance for Climate Action in Agriculture (WACAA) aims to bring together women leaders, scientists, policymakers, farmers, and organizations working to address gender issues in agriculture. It will serve as a forum and voice for advocating gender equality in agriculture, providing support and resources for women in agriculture, promoting sustainable farming practices, and addressing specific issues that affect women’s engagement in and contribution to policy, science, and innovation.

While its primary focus is on women stakeholders, WACAA regards gender equality and inclusion as key principles for achieving its goals.


  • Address gender issues in agriculture. 
  • Enable the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in climate action.
  • Mobilize all stakeholders and efforts to support women-led climate action in agriculture, be it through policies, measures, programs, or incentives that empower women and help to make agriculture more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and resilient under climate change.
  • Facilitate unlocking climate finance at scale by engaging with various audiences and stakeholders.

Activities and events: In the lead-up to COP28, ICBA aims to raise awareness about the alliance and mobilize partners and resources to launch it through:

  • Capacity development (training programs, workshops, and mentoring opportunities).
  • Collaboration and networking (networking events, conferences, and platforms for collaboration).
  • Community outreach and awareness.
  • Research and policy output.

Audience: Entrepreneurs and agribusiness owners involved in various agricultural value chains; agricultural and financial institutions; women’s associations; researchers and scientists; agriculture professionals; policymakers and philanthropists.

Impact: The alliance will strive to contribute to:

  • Increased resilience: Women in agriculture are equipped with resources and skills to adapt to climate change.
  • Sustainable, climate-resilient agriculture: Women in agriculture adopt climate-smart agricultural practices.
  • Improved policy: better policies are adopted to support women in agriculture at local, national, and international levels.

Increased collaboration: Women in agriculture exchange knowledge and experience and support each other.

Save the Millets for Africa

Thematic Day: Food and Water Systems

Delivery mode: A series of activities and events

Goal: In line with the International Year of Millets, the “Save the Millets for Africa” campaign will focus on the importance of millets for food security and nutrition in Africa. The campaign aims to give further impetus to local and international initiatives to transform agrifood systems and promote dietary diversity in Africa.


  • Present the main achievements and outputs of ICBA’s research and development on millets.
  • Bring together partners from science, government, industry, and business to develop strategies for increasing production and consumption of millets on the continent.
  • Raise awareness about the challenges facing millet production and consumption in Africa and explore approaches to tackling them.

The campaign will produce several deliverables for key stakeholders and culminate with the main event at COP28, where the main achievements and outputs of the campaign and the way forward will be presented.

Activities and events: ICBA recently organized an open day for different stakeholders in line with the theme of the Year of Sustainability in the UAE “Today for Tomorrow”, the road to COP28 and the “International Year of Millets” to present some of ICBA’s latest research results on millets and raise awareness about their significance for food security, nutrition, and climate change adaptation globally.

Audience: The main event at COP28 will target primarily agricultural research, development, business, and government organizations from different countries to mobilize resources and efforts for developing and implementing strategies to improve millet production and consumption in Africa. It will bring together over 100 participants. A book on healthy millet-based recipes along with their nutritional facts will also be launched during this event, and a policy paper on the benefits of millets for climate change adaptation in Africa and other regions will be developed as part of the campaign.

Additional information:


Thematic day: Nature, land use and oceans

Delivery mode: A panel discussion

Speakers: Representatives from ICBA and the MENA-RDMS project stakeholders from Morocco, Tunisia, and Jordan.

Goal: The event will bring together policymakers, scientists, and other stakeholders to discuss strategies for mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change, including drought. Droughts are likely to increase in intensity, duration, extent, and frequency because of climate change.

ICBA has been actively involved in developing in-country capacities in drought monitoring and efficient management, utilizing remote sensing, geographic information systems, and climate change modeling.

Audience: Policymakers, decisionmakers, scientists and other stakeholders from the MENA region.

Additional information: MENA-RDMS is a web-based tool that provides up-to-date information on drought conditions in the MENA region, including maps and data on precipitation, soil moisture, vegetation health, and other key indicators of drought. MENA-RDMS also includes a modelling component that can simulate future drought scenarios based on climate projections. This can help policymakers and other stakeholders anticipate and plan for the impacts of drought on agriculture, water resources, and other critical sectors.

Our Delegation

Dr. Tarifa Al Zaabi
Dr. Tarifa Al Zaabi
Director General
Dr. Charbel Tarraf
Dr. Charbel Tarraf
Chief Operations and Development
Dr. Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle
Dr. Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle
Chief Scientist