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Environmental Seminars at Casa Árabe: Looking ahead to COP-28

From November 20, 2023 until November 21, 2023Check dates, times and entry conditions for each activity.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62) and Casa Árabe's YouTube channel. Check dates, times and entry conditions for each activity.

On November 20 and 21, Casa Árabe is organizing a special series of activities at its headquarters in Madrid to celebrate the COP-28 climate summit being held in the United Arab Emirates. Take a look at the proposed activities below and sign up.

From November 30 through December 12, 2023 the United Arab Emirates will be hosting COP-28, with participation by various levels of government, youths, businesses, investors, civil society, indigenous peoples and others, to discuss specific solutions to be expanded upon throughout this decade in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, to build resilience and to mobilize financing at scale. 

Environmental threats are known to affect economies, politics and even the security of countries on both shores of the Mediterranean basin, with varying degrees of severity. In fact, environmental insecurity may affect the social contract between governments and populations, directly threatening people's livelihoods, health, and access to food and energy, as well as producing refugees and internally displaced persons. 

Countries in the Middle East, including the Gulf, are some of the states in the world most exposed to the accelerated impacts of manmade climate change, including spiraling heat waves, decreased rainfall, lengthy droughts, sandstorms and more intense flooding, along with rising sea levels. Spain, forming part of the Mediterranean, is experiencing a number of somewhat similar environmental threats. 

However, the consequences will be felt unevenly across the region. Long-term resilience, based on the distribution of hydrocarbon revenues to its citizens in the form of subsidies, jobs and social benefits, will be put to the test as a result of the fiscal stress caused by the global transition to green energy. That transition involves dealing with renewable energy, carbon capturing and exports of clean hydrogen head-on. But if there are no incentive structures or economic, regulatory and political reforms, the green transition's feasibility remains questionable. 

These conference days at Casa Árabe will invite us to reflect upon the biggest challenges existing within the context of COP28, but we will be going even further beyond the scope of this yearly summit by discussing the challenges entailed by the ecological transition, with a series of presentations by well-known speakers. Two innovative projects in the region will also be presented, a concert will raise the profile of indigenous communities and a call to action will be launched through the transmedia project Be a tree now!.
Environmental Seminars at Casa Árabe: Looking ahead to COP-28
  • Opening conference: Towards an energy transition?

    Opening conference: Towards an energy transition?

    November 20, 2023From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Casa Árabe headquarters (at Calle Alcalá, 62). From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Free entry after registering.
    The "Casa Árabe Environmental Conferences" will begin on Monday, November 20, and will be opened by Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Spain's Minister for Ecological Transition. Sign up here to attend!
    The schedule for the day will be as follows:

    9:00-10:00 a.m. OPENING EVENT

    Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the SPANISH Government and SPAIN'S Minister for Ecological Transition 
    Irene Lozano, the General Director of Casa Árabe 
    Opening talk on "Rethinking Degrowth," Fernando Valladares, CSIC.

    First demonstration of the transmedia action Be a Tree Now!


    10:00-10:20 a.m. “Changing the narrative in the media” Gemma Teso, coordinator of the Climate Change Communication Observatory. (20 min.)

    10:20-10:40 a.m. “Ecosocial education for the future,” Luis González Reyes, responsible for eco-social education at FUHEM. (20 min.)

    10:40-11:10 a.m. Colloquium (30 min.)

    + Break

    11:30-11:50 a.m. "Youth cooperation on water in the Mediterranean," Kholoud al-Ajarma, University of Edinburgh. (20 min.) (to be confirmed)

    11:50 a.m.-12:10 p.m. “Environmental challenges and responses by Arab cities" Karim Elgendy, Chatham House. (20 min.)

    12:10-12:40 p.m. Colloquium (30 min.)

    12:40- 1:00 p.m. Second demonstration of the transmedia activity Be a Tree Now!
  • Environmental Days: Project presentation

    Environmental Days: Project presentation

    November 20, 2023From 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.
    Casa Árabe headquarters (at Calle Alcalá, 62). From 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Free entry after registering.
    As part of the Environmental Conference organized by Casa Árabe on the occasion of COP-28 in the United Arab Emirates, the afternoon of November 20 will be devoted to presenting projects that have been carried out in Morocco and the Sahel region. You may now register to attend.
    The afternoon schedule is as follows:

    4:30-6:00 p.m.

    4:30-5:15 p.m."Capturing clouds in Morocco." Titouan Lampe, a consultant at Dar si Hamad and the president of Green Resistance Paris. (TO BE CONFIRMED)

    Rain may be a rarity in the Moroccan desert, but there is no shortage of fog. Because of the largest fog collector in North Africa, drinking water can be produced right out of the air. The Dar Si Hmad Foundation for Development, Education and Culture, of Morocco, established an innovative method to collect water from fog for Amazigh communities living near the edge of the desert in Aït Baamrane, one of Morocco's poorest regions. Using a unique technology, 600 square meters of fine webbed nets have been stretched across the region's largest mountain, Mt. Boutmezguida. Co-founded by anthropologist Dr. Jamila Bargach in 2000, the foundation has been active in bringing clean water to marginalized rural areas around the world, as well as creating meaningful cross-cultural exchanges. The innovative CloudFishers now have sister projects in Eritrea and Ghana. Other agricultural areas are also benefiting, in the form of an increased water supply for crops and an educational farm that teaches agro-ecology in dry regions. As a model for sustainable humanitarian development in regions majorly affected by water scarcity, the CloudFishers offer unprecedented opportunities.

    5:15-6:00 p.m. "Regenerating the Sahel with satellites, AI and blockchain." Norman Martín Casas, Programming and Advocacy Advisor on Climate Change and Resilience for Oxfam Intermón.

    JESAC is an initiative which lies at the crossroads between community participation, scientific expertise and cutting-edge technology. Funded by the EU Delegation to the African Union and operating under the AU-EU Youth Cooperation Center instrument, JESAC is a cooperative effort led by Oxfam, Lobelia Earth and Caelum Labs in a partnership with communities in Niger and Burkina Faso. JESAC's mission is clear: to offset CO₂ emissions transparently and accurately and to engage youth and women actively in land regeneration. By implementing Assisted Natural Regeneration methods, youth and women are revitalizing more than 200 hectares of dry lands in Burkina Faso and Niger. This is not only leading to carbon storage and increased biodiversity, but also bolsters rural livelihoods.
  • The universal tribe: a sound experience with Guedra Guedra

    The universal tribe: a sound experience with Guedra Guedra

    November 20, 20238:00 p.m.
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 8:00 p.m. 7 euros: general tickets at the box office.
    6 euros if purchased online. Tickets sold on this website up to the day of the event at 2:00 p.m., or until sold out. Those tickets which have not been sold online will be sold as of one hour before the event at the entrance to Casa Árabe’s premises (in cash or by credit card) for the price of 6 euros (5 euros for officially unemployed persons, students of Casa Árabe’s Language Center and Youth Card holders. You must demonstrate this status by showing the proper document in order to receive the discount). Assigned seating with tickets.
    We will be bringing the Environmental Day event to a close on Monday, November 20 with this musical experience put on by Moroccan DJ and producer Guedra Guedra. Buy your tickets online now.
    Abdellah M. Hassak is the name behind DJ and producer Guedra Guedra, A Moroccan performer who is a self-declared nomad that channels the vital experience of being integrated in a multitude of cultures in his music.The African sounds he explores dive deep into the rhythms of his surrounding environment, creating a unique approach that cannot be defined within one single genre. It is a project based on electronics, beats and a fine-tuned bass line with no lack of sounds inspired by the African continent, and especially the identity of the desert. He plays with vocals from Berber communities, claps, dances and rhythms found all over the continent, thus creating a new kind of sound experience. Guedra Guedra's music ends up sounding like no other: the body, the rhythm and the idea that history repeats itself all form an integral part of his sound. Influenced in large part by Africa's rich history, Guedra Guedra is basically a product of its past, which he carries over into his works today.
  • Be a Tree Now!: A transmedia activity for climate justice

    Be a Tree Now!: A transmedia activity for climate justice

    From November 20, 2023 until November 21, 2023November 20-21, 2023 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Casa Árabe headquarters (at Calle Alcalá, 62). November 20-21, 2023 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
    During the Environmental Days being held at Casa Árabe in Madrid on November 20 and 21, the public attending the event will get the chance to take part in this transmedia activity to seek climate justice. Record a video of yourself dancing and share it on your social media!
    The climate emergency is the biggest problem we face as a species, and it is essential that we take action to make the urgent need to seek climate justice more visible. Be a Tree Now! is an open-ended activity for mobilization that uses dance to get people to see themselves as a tree and portray themselves as one.

    "Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order." Samuel Beckett

    For 48 hours, Casa Árabe's garden will be putting up an installation containing a green-screen* in order to carry out this transmedia activity, which consists of dancing and recording yourself and then having the project's app turn the person into a tree, more specifically a palm tree. It is an original proposal by Eugenio Ampudia, created with the cooperation of Spain's National Dance Company.

    *an audiovisual technique widely used in film, television and photography, which consists of extracting one color from an image or video (usually green) and replacing the area occupied by that color with another image or video.
  • The environmental legacy of the U.S.-led war against Iraq

    The environmental legacy of the U.S.-led war against Iraq

    November 21, 20237:00 p.m.
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62) and Casa Árabe's YouTube channel. 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
    In English and Spanish, with simultaneous translation.
    To bring the Environmental Days to a close, on Tuesday, November 21, Iraqi writer and political activist Haifa Zangana will be giving this conference in Madrid. The talk also forms part of the Aula Árabe Universitaria 5 event series.
    Coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of Iraq's invasion in 2003, a conference by Iraqi writer, painter and political activist Haifa Zangana (Baghdad, 1950), known for her novel Women on a Journey: Between Baghdad and London about political repression, violence and exile, is being presented. She has written novels, short stories and non-fiction, mainly about current political events related with Iraq, Palestine and Tunisia.

    Further information about the conference