Land and Water Days in the NENA Region 2019

  • 30th March 2019
  • by secretary
31 March – 4 April 2019. Cairo. Land and Water Days in the NENA Region 2019
It is five years since the first Near East and North Africa Land and Water Days took place in Amman, Jordan, 15-18 December 2013. At this event, FAO and its partners established the Water Scarcity Initiative along with its Regional Collaborative Strategy and Partnership.

The Near East and North Africa Land and Water Days will review the progress made in addressing water scarcity in the region, foster exchange of knowledge and experience among countries and partners and chart the way forward taking into account the lessons learned.

Thematic areas:

  1. Pathways to sustainable scarce-water-resources management
  2. Halting land degradation
  3. Land and Water Governance to achieve the SDGs in fragile systems
  4. Impacts of climate change on regional development and prospects for increased resilience
  5. Outlook and prospects: scaling-up investments in water for agriculture

31 March. Plenary Session 1: Water Scarcity 

See Live Stream

The Water Scarcity Initiative (WSI), launched in 2013, is a comprehensive approach led by FAO to facilitate sustainable management of water resources in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Region, which is designed to better implement efforts in member countries by broadly demonstrating, communicating and transferring successes that may solve water scarcity problems in WSI-countries. WSI accomplishments reveal that remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and modelling are skill sets possessed by national programs that can be in part attributed to the WSI.

These decision-support tools are designed to simplify and optimize a complex set of options. Capacity development is key so that decision-makers can understand and trust the advice they get from staff.

  • Moderator: Pasquale Steduto
  • Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative of the FAO – The Water Scarcity Initiative: Achievements and Prospects
  • Don Blackmore Chair of eWater Ltd, former Chair of the International Water Management Institute IWMI board and former Chief Executive of the Murray Darling

    Commission, AustraliaThe Australian Water Reform Journey 

  • Ali Subah Secretary General, Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MoWI), Jordan – The Jordanian Water Reform Journey 
  • TBC – The Moroccan Water Reform Journey 

Future efforts should emphasize building up of human resources capacity in partner countries and FAO so that the big advances can be shared and scaled out. Having the Ministries of Agriculture and Ministries of Water Resources to plan together for investment projects at the end of the Land and Water Days (LWDs) is a significant step forward. Two good examples from Egypt are abstracted in the paper for the reader to see how research moves through appropriate steps to policy formulation and scaling out: i.e., (a) the modernization of irrigation and (b) the mechanized raised bed technology.

  • Ms Eman Sayed Head of the Planning Sector, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt 
  • Mr Aly AbuSabaa  (see picture) Director General, ICARDA 
  • Ms Roula Majdalani Director, Sustainable Development Policies Division, ESCWA 
  • M Elias Fereres Senior Scientist, University of Cordoba, Spain

31 March. Launch of Soil Policy Brief

Presentation of the publication “The holistic role of soil in the Near East and North Africa Region” 

The priorities of the Near East and North Africa Soil Partnership (NENA) are:

  • Promote the Sustainable Soil Management at all the levels in all land use types; restoration/rehabilitation of degraded soils.
  • Enhance the soil information by using state of the art methods of Digital Soil Mapping and advocating for having National Soil Information Systems.
  • Encourage the investment on the promotion of Sustainable Soil Management.

The secretariat of the NENA Soil Partnership is hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Amman, Jordan.

SSM in NENA Region : Challenges and Perspectives

  • Moderator Mr. Maki Abdourahman, FAO-SNE
  • Ms. Iman Sahib Salman, NENA Soil Partnership Chair
  • Dr. Saéb Khresat – ITPS Member 
  • Claudio Zucca  (see picture) ICARDA Partner 
  • Attia Rafla Tunisia 
  • Elmobarak or Ghanma Sudan or Palestine  

1 April: Monitoring and assessment of climate change in the NENA and

understanding its impact on land and water resources, agriculture and ecosystems 

See Live Stream

  • Session chair: Jacques Wery  (see picture) – ICARDA, Roula Majdalani – ESCWA, Hussein El Atfy – AWC
  • Dr. Wadid Erian – AWC/AGIR: Regional and Local Assessments of CC Impacts of water sector in the NENA. 
  • Mr. Tarek Sadek and Ms. Marlene Ann Tomaszkiewicz – ESCWA/FAO: anchoring the science-policy interface in the RICCAR Regional Knowledge Hub (RKH) 
  • Dr. Ajit Govind  (see picture) – ICARDA: Climate Change in the NENA and its implications on agriculture and rangelands.  
  • Dr. Ihab Jnad – ACSAD: Integrated assessments of climate change in selected agricultural sectors of NENA. 

2 April: Technical Session: Land Degradation (LS) Monitoring across scales 

See Live Stream

  • Chair and Rapporteur: Stefan Strohmeier  (see picture) ICARDA, Mekki Omer – ARC/FAO, Ihab Jomaa – LARI Lebanon
  • Raed Bani Hani – Jordan MoE: Jordan’s LDN scope, targets and commitments
  • Fawad Raza – WFP: Assessment of Ecological Degradation of Land: A methodology to support WFP’s Integrated Context Analysis
  • Mira Haddad (see picture) – ICARDA: Community participatory watershed restoration and monitoring

3 April: Technical Session:  Water Scarcity from options to actions what does it takes?: Collective intelligence, information and research

  • Session chair: Atef Swelam  – ICARDA, Nina (IOM)
  • Awni Kloub, Ministry of Water Resources, Jordan: Smart applications to manage water resources in light of the scarcity of water in Jordan
  • Olga Aymerich Iraq mission – IOM – Assessing Displacement Risk related to water crisis in Southern and Central Iraq
  • Chandrashekhar BiradarICARDA : Big Data and Big picture in water management
  • Jippe Hoogeveen FAO : Monitoring land and water productivity by remote sensing
  • Nina Stuurman, IOM – Discussant
  • Rachid Moussadek (Morocco) – Discussant
  • Dr Mohamed Rami (Egypt) – Discussant
  • Dr Bezaiet Dessalegn – ICARDA – Discussant
The aim of Land and Water Days is to increase awareness of the role of sustainable land and water management in improving local livelihoods.

  • FAO organizes Land and Water Days in coordination with IFAD and the WFP
  • Land and Water Days are opportunities for exchanging innovative approaches and lessons learned on sustainable land, soil and water management among practitioners, country representatives and other stakeholders and for promoting the uptake of best practices.