Global forum on marginal environments

  • 23rd November 2019
  • by secretary
20-21 November 2019. Over 300 experts and decision-makers from about 70 countries convened in Dubai at the Global Forum on Innovations for Marginal Environments (GFIME) to explore the latest advances in research, innovation, development and policy in agriculture and food production in the world’s marginal environments.

Dubbed as the Food Security and Innovation Day, the first day of the GFIME featured high-level panel discussions involving ministers, policymakers and innovators from around the world.

The GFIME is organized by the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in collaboration with the Food Security Office and the Advanced Sciences Office of the United Arab Emirates, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), and the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, and is supported by different partners, including the OCP Group, Morocco.

The forum is organized given the enormous impact of climate change, soil and water salinization on ecosystems, agriculture, livelihoods, and food security in the marginal environments.

The main aim of the GFIME, which also coincides with the 20th anniversary celebrations of the establishment of ICBA by the Government of the UAE and the IsDB, is to identify the right policies and develop innovative solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change and empower smallholder farmers who are on the frontlines of food production.

The second day of the forum focused on climate impact and sustainability.

As a global center of excellence focused on salinity and water scarcity issues in the marginal environments for about 20 years now, ICBA is committed to safeguarding the future of marginal environments, where about 70 percent of the people live in extreme poverty. These areas, where an estimated 1.7 billion people live, are most vulnerable to vagaries of climate change and face issues, including salinity and water scarcity. “As the scale and impact of climate change and other factors are increasing at an alarming speed, I would like to call upon all the policymakers and innovators gathered here today to let us work together to ensure a better future for people living in the marginal environments,” Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA

Extract of the programme:
INNOVATORS PANEL: Unlocking value – supporting agriculture and food innovation and the future of smart investments 
Can smart agriculture strategies mitigate climate risk, increase food production and save the planet, all at the same time? 

  • Ms. Hajbouha Zoubeir (see picture) President, Phosboucraa Foundation, Morocco 
  • Dr. José Graziano da Silva Eighth Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Brazil 
  • Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze Fifth President, International Fund for Agricultural Development Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, FAYODE, Nigeria 
  • Mr. Soud Ba’alawy Chairman, Enspire, UAE
GRASSROOTS SPOTLIGHT: Farming on the frontlines of marginal environments

Gauging the impact of farming in marginal environments in the face food security challenges

  • Mrs. Fatiha Charradi (see picture) Vice President of Agricultural Development – Domestic Market, OCP Group – Morocco 
  • Ms. Jane Ininda Associate Program Director, Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA), Kenya 
  • Ms. Rosemary Nenini Coordinator, Twala Women’s Group, Kenya 
  • Mr. Bektashev Jakhongir Rakhimovich Farm Manager, “Baxt Imkon Rivoj Chorvasi” farming entity, Uzbekistan 
  • Ms. Ejezie Juliet Farm Manager, Dozliet Anim Farms, Nigeria and Volunteer, Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network 
  • Mrs. Alem Greiling Founder and CEO, Nutri-Dense, Ethiopia

PANEL DISCUSSION: Are We All Destined To Become Climate Refugees? (see picture)
Can industry transparency and climate-smart strategies save us from water scarcity crises, sustainability failures and rising temperatures? 

  • H.E. Dr. Hussein Al Mahmoudi CEO, Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park), UAE 
  • Dr. Jacques Wery  Deputy Director General – Research, ICARDA – Egypt 
  • Ms. Kata Molnar Independent water risk and policy analyst, Hungary 
  • Mr. Joseph Lentunyoi  Director and Founder, Laikipia Permaculture Center, Kenya