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Land and Water Days 2019 – Near East and North Africa

Innovation for Food and Water Security in the Near East and North Africa Region










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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    أيام الأراضي والمياة 2019 - الشرق الأدنى وشمال افريقيا
    الابتكار من أجل الأمن الغذائي والمائي في منطقة الشرق الأدنى وشمال افريقيا
    2019
    Also available in:

    Five years have passed since the first Near East and North Africa (NENA) Land and Water Days in Amman, Jordan, 15-18 December 2013. At this event, FAO and its partners established the Water Scarcity Regional Initiative along with its Regional Collaborative Strategy and Partnership. The initiative was endorsed by the ministers of agriculture at the 32nd session of FAO regional conference for the Near East in February 2014 in Rome and by the Arab Ministerial Water Council of the League of Arab States in May 2015. Positive developments include the prioritization of sustainable water management; dialogue around water issues and policies; innovative investments; and implementation of many new projects throughout the region. The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created a comprehensive framework for countries, donors and international organizations to prioritize water management and sustainable food security in the region. At the same time, many challenges facing the NENA region have intensified. Conflicts and protracted crises, and their spillover, are taking a heavy toll on people’s lives; on food security and nutrition; on water and agriculture infrastructure; all of which are delaying or slowing the implementation of development strategies and plans. Climate change and droughts are dramatically impacting rural populations, further compounding the impacts of conflicts and leading to migration and refugee movements. In this context the NENA Land and Water Days are being convened in Cairo during 31 March - 4 April 2019, to 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 lessons, new challenges and opportunities for sustainable development. The event will focus on the NENA region but will link to the global experiences through the participation of countries and experts from other regions (Asia, Africa and Latin America) for insights and knowledge sharing.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Document
    Near East and North Africa Land and Water Days
    Amman, Jordan, 15-18 December, 2013
    2013
    Also available in:
    No results found.

    For many centuries, the people of the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Region were able to cope, and even flourish, under conditions of water scarcity. However, with decades of relentless high rate of population growth, rapid urbanization, and uncharacteristically excessive consumption patterns, the region is now facing unprecedented levels of pressure on its natural resources. Adding the looming threat of climate change to these pressures, the achievement of effective management of land and wa ter that ensures efficient utilization of the resources and leads to sustainable food security, has become a necessity. Though the region has accumulated a wealth of knowledge on management systems that can support its pursue of sound and sustainable land and water productivity, unfortunately, many of the successful experiences are limited in scope and space, or not well documented or disseminated. This situation has resulted in a significant knowledge gap. The Near East and North Africa Land an d Water Days (NENA-LWD), which are in line with the 2013 UN-International year for water cooperation and are closely linked to FAO Initiative on Water Scarcity in the Near East (2013), had the aim of filling, the above mentioned, land and water management knowledge gap. These days, which took place from 15-18 December 2013 at Amman, Jordan, built on the FAO global Land and Water Days held in May 2012 in Rome in cooperation with IFAD and WFP. Twelve technical sessions that addressed critical issu es related to Land and Water management were conducted during the NENA LWD. The sessions, which had around fifty keynote speakers and high caliber Experts, were designed to allow for long and detailed discussions around carefully selected case studies from around the Region. The main aim is to identify the success and failure of the applied approaches, tools, or methods and discuss the potential of up-scaling the success stories. The output of these sessions will feed into the Regional Collabora tive Strategy. Numerous recommendations came out of these sessions; the following are some of the most frequent: pilot applications; full and comprehensive involvement of stakholders; harmonizing policies and creating synergies among various initiatives; need for Regional Strategy for the utilization of shared aquifers; importance of conflict resolution mechanism among stakeholders, establishment of incentive systems for adoption of research findings.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Book (series)
    Negotiated territorial development in a multi-stakeholders participatory Resource Planning approach: an initial sustainable framework for the Near east Region 2016
    Also available in:
    No results found.

    Throughout the Near East, land and water shortages, land degradation, out of date land tenure systems and food insecurity are compounded by asymmetries in gender roles and power, by severe imbalances in the political-military structures within and between countries, by flagrant deficiencies in land and water management and control systems, and by the incessant increases in demand driven by high rates of population growth and urbanization. This interplay of forces and dynamics form a complex hydr o socio-political web that governs the allocation land and water and who benefits from their availability and their ultimate sustainability. The current allocation arrangements of the region's three major river basins - the Nile, the Euphrates-Tigris and the Jordan - are nascent sources of tension, and potential sources of conflict and violence. Political instability that characterizes the Near East continues to intensify scarcity, suppresses growth and engenders poverty and is being increasingl y exacerbated by the impending consequences of climate change. The Middle East is one of the most water poor and water stressed regions of the globe. While the region is home to 5.1% of the people of the world, it has about only 1% of the world renewable fresh water. Today's annual per capita availability of fresh water in the region is only one seventh of its 1960 level, falling from 3,300 cubic metres per person in 1960 to less than 500 cubic metres in 2015. This is the lowest per capita wat er availability in the world. The current land tenure systems are failing to address long-standing problems that include smallholder farmers, landless households and most marginalized groups such as women continue to compete for shrinking natural recourses, while pastoralists are losing control of their traditional grazing areas. Use, management and access to land and water are becoming extremely sensitive matters as the number of users grows. Governments and local actors have often perceived these major issues differently. This requires effort to be made to ensure a participatory approach to decision-making that effectively involves all the local actors concerned in an equitable and balanced manner. About 90% of the land area in this Region is subject to land degradation in different forms and over 45% of land suitable to farming is exposed to various types of land degradation which include soil nutrient depletion, salinity and wind and water erosion. Per capita arable land availa bility in the region is among the lowest in the world where many countries in the region show levels that are exceptionally low (on average less than 0.123 hectares per person) and the range varies between 0.01 hectares per person (Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Kuwait and Bahrain) to 0.34 hectares in the Sudan in 2015. Arable land as a percentage of land area in the region is very low ranging between 0.1% in Oman to 18.4% in Tunisia in 2013. Most of the countries in the region show shares below 10%. O nly Morocco, Tunisia, and Iraq sow percentages above 10%. Irrigated land areas in the region also represent a small share of total arable land areas. In many of the countries in the region these shares are way below the world average. Only Iran (17.4%) and the UAE (12.5%) show high relative shares in the period 2011-2015. The Region’s critical shortage of water and cultivable land, including the increasing pressure on these resources and their degradation makes their efficient management a pa ramount task. It will be necessary in this regard to promote the engagement of all concerned stakeholders in planning and managing land, water and agrobiodiversity. Actual physical scarcity of land and water, even in the Middle East region, is not the only key issue. Conditions of economic scarcity seem to be equally pressing; there is perhaps enough land and water to meet society's need, but there are few incentives for wise, efficient and egalitarian use of these critical resources. Climate change will impinge on this region’s fragile water balances, suitable land for cultivation, grazing land and food production capacities and will exacerbate the problems and issues of food security. Measures, policies, strategies and institutional capacities to mitigate the impending catastrophic consequences of climate change and to improve the societies’ resilience and adaptation to its consequences are needed now. The sooner the regulatory and institutional setups are put in place the easier the task to deal with climate and other risks. It is necessary and vital to rise up to this challenge by enlisting the stakeholders in the initiatives to promote sustainability and efficiency of land and water use and the management of food security issues. An active engagement of concerned stakeholders in planning and managing water, land and agrobiodiversity necessitates first and foremost the engagement of and participation of particularly women and girls and marginalized groups in all wate r and food aspects as they constitute the main agricultural labour force and the most deprived segments of society. Gender and the water and land nexus in the Arab region is an area where there is still relative little information. There is little systematic knowledge about the many means by which women and men manage water and land in the region. Evidence shows that while women in Egypt have a significant role to play in water use in the process of food production by controlling and managi ng water flows in the fields and supervising workers during irrigation, they rarely own the land they cultivate. Rural women in Yemen spend huge amounts of time collecting and transporting water, often up and down steep slopes and coordinate water allocation and distribution for the various needs of the family and the household but they are rarely involved in decision making and management councils that govern land and water uses. Women everywhere in the Middle East evaluate water quantity and q uality and prioritize water for drinking and health and sanitation purposes but they rarely share equally in the benefits of their labor or in the ownership of the land and water resources. This is why an integrated water and land management system anchored on a genuine participation of stakeholders will be crucial in determining whether the Arab world achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aspirations for reducing poverty and enhancing shared prosperity. Water and land are the c ommon currency which links nearly every SDG, and it will be a critical determinant of success. Abundant water supplies and cultivable land are vital for the production of food and will be essential to attaining SDG 2 on food security; clean and safe drinking water and sanitation systems are necessary for health as called for in SDGs 3 and 6; and water is needed for powering industries and creating the new jobs identified in SDGs 7 and 8. None of this is achievable without adequate and safe water and sufficient suitable land to nourish the planet’s life-sustaining ecosystem services identified in SDGs 13, 14 and 15.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    أيام الأراضي والمياة 2019 - الشرق الأدنى وشمال افريقيا
    الابتكار من أجل الأمن الغذائي والمائي في منطقة الشرق الأدنى وشمال افريقيا
    2019
    Also available in:

    Five years have passed since the first Near East and North Africa (NENA) Land and Water Days in Amman, Jordan, 15-18 December 2013. At this event, FAO and its partners established the Water Scarcity Regional Initiative along with its Regional Collaborative Strategy and Partnership. The initiative was endorsed by the ministers of agriculture at the 32nd session of FAO regional conference for the Near East in February 2014 in Rome and by the Arab Ministerial Water Council of the League of Arab States in May 2015. Positive developments include the prioritization of sustainable water management; dialogue around water issues and policies; innovative investments; and implementation of many new projects throughout the region. The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created a comprehensive framework for countries, donors and international organizations to prioritize water management and sustainable food security in the region. At the same time, many challenges facing the NENA region have intensified. Conflicts and protracted crises, and their spillover, are taking a heavy toll on people’s lives; on food security and nutrition; on water and agriculture infrastructure; all of which are delaying or slowing the implementation of development strategies and plans. Climate change and droughts are dramatically impacting rural populations, further compounding the impacts of conflicts and leading to migration and refugee movements. In this context the NENA Land and Water Days are being convened in Cairo during 31 March - 4 April 2019, to 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 lessons, new challenges and opportunities for sustainable development. The event will focus on the NENA region but will link to the global experiences through the participation of countries and experts from other regions (Asia, Africa and Latin America) for insights and knowledge sharing.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Document
    Near East and North Africa Land and Water Days
    Amman, Jordan, 15-18 December, 2013
    2013
    Also available in:
    No results found.

    For many centuries, the people of the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Region were able to cope, and even flourish, under conditions of water scarcity. However, with decades of relentless high rate of population growth, rapid urbanization, and uncharacteristically excessive consumption patterns, the region is now facing unprecedented levels of pressure on its natural resources. Adding the looming threat of climate change to these pressures, the achievement of effective management of land and wa ter that ensures efficient utilization of the resources and leads to sustainable food security, has become a necessity. Though the region has accumulated a wealth of knowledge on management systems that can support its pursue of sound and sustainable land and water productivity, unfortunately, many of the successful experiences are limited in scope and space, or not well documented or disseminated. This situation has resulted in a significant knowledge gap. The Near East and North Africa Land an d Water Days (NENA-LWD), which are in line with the 2013 UN-International year for water cooperation and are closely linked to FAO Initiative on Water Scarcity in the Near East (2013), had the aim of filling, the above mentioned, land and water management knowledge gap. These days, which took place from 15-18 December 2013 at Amman, Jordan, built on the FAO global Land and Water Days held in May 2012 in Rome in cooperation with IFAD and WFP. Twelve technical sessions that addressed critical issu es related to Land and Water management were conducted during the NENA LWD. The sessions, which had around fifty keynote speakers and high caliber Experts, were designed to allow for long and detailed discussions around carefully selected case studies from around the Region. The main aim is to identify the success and failure of the applied approaches, tools, or methods and discuss the potential of up-scaling the success stories. The output of these sessions will feed into the Regional Collabora tive Strategy. Numerous recommendations came out of these sessions; the following are some of the most frequent: pilot applications; full and comprehensive involvement of stakholders; harmonizing policies and creating synergies among various initiatives; need for Regional Strategy for the utilization of shared aquifers; importance of conflict resolution mechanism among stakeholders, establishment of incentive systems for adoption of research findings.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Book (series)
    Negotiated territorial development in a multi-stakeholders participatory Resource Planning approach: an initial sustainable framework for the Near east Region 2016
    Also available in:
    No results found.

    Throughout the Near East, land and water shortages, land degradation, out of date land tenure systems and food insecurity are compounded by asymmetries in gender roles and power, by severe imbalances in the political-military structures within and between countries, by flagrant deficiencies in land and water management and control systems, and by the incessant increases in demand driven by high rates of population growth and urbanization. This interplay of forces and dynamics form a complex hydr o socio-political web that governs the allocation land and water and who benefits from their availability and their ultimate sustainability. The current allocation arrangements of the region's three major river basins - the Nile, the Euphrates-Tigris and the Jordan - are nascent sources of tension, and potential sources of conflict and violence. Political instability that characterizes the Near East continues to intensify scarcity, suppresses growth and engenders poverty and is being increasingl y exacerbated by the impending consequences of climate change. The Middle East is one of the most water poor and water stressed regions of the globe. While the region is home to 5.1% of the people of the world, it has about only 1% of the world renewable fresh water. Today's annual per capita availability of fresh water in the region is only one seventh of its 1960 level, falling from 3,300 cubic metres per person in 1960 to less than 500 cubic metres in 2015. This is the lowest per capita wat er availability in the world. The current land tenure systems are failing to address long-standing problems that include smallholder farmers, landless households and most marginalized groups such as women continue to compete for shrinking natural recourses, while pastoralists are losing control of their traditional grazing areas. Use, management and access to land and water are becoming extremely sensitive matters as the number of users grows. Governments and local actors have often perceived these major issues differently. This requires effort to be made to ensure a participatory approach to decision-making that effectively involves all the local actors concerned in an equitable and balanced manner. About 90% of the land area in this Region is subject to land degradation in different forms and over 45% of land suitable to farming is exposed to various types of land degradation which include soil nutrient depletion, salinity and wind and water erosion. Per capita arable land availa bility in the region is among the lowest in the world where many countries in the region show levels that are exceptionally low (on average less than 0.123 hectares per person) and the range varies between 0.01 hectares per person (Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Kuwait and Bahrain) to 0.34 hectares in the Sudan in 2015. Arable land as a percentage of land area in the region is very low ranging between 0.1% in Oman to 18.4% in Tunisia in 2013. Most of the countries in the region show shares below 10%. O nly Morocco, Tunisia, and Iraq sow percentages above 10%. Irrigated land areas in the region also represent a small share of total arable land areas. In many of the countries in the region these shares are way below the world average. Only Iran (17.4%) and the UAE (12.5%) show high relative shares in the period 2011-2015. The Region’s critical shortage of water and cultivable land, including the increasing pressure on these resources and their degradation makes their efficient management a pa ramount task. It will be necessary in this regard to promote the engagement of all concerned stakeholders in planning and managing land, water and agrobiodiversity. Actual physical scarcity of land and water, even in the Middle East region, is not the only key issue. Conditions of economic scarcity seem to be equally pressing; there is perhaps enough land and water to meet society's need, but there are few incentives for wise, efficient and egalitarian use of these critical resources. Climate change will impinge on this region’s fragile water balances, suitable land for cultivation, grazing land and food production capacities and will exacerbate the problems and issues of food security. Measures, policies, strategies and institutional capacities to mitigate the impending catastrophic consequences of climate change and to improve the societies’ resilience and adaptation to its consequences are needed now. The sooner the regulatory and institutional setups are put in place the easier the task to deal with climate and other risks. It is necessary and vital to rise up to this challenge by enlisting the stakeholders in the initiatives to promote sustainability and efficiency of land and water use and the management of food security issues. An active engagement of concerned stakeholders in planning and managing water, land and agrobiodiversity necessitates first and foremost the engagement of and participation of particularly women and girls and marginalized groups in all wate r and food aspects as they constitute the main agricultural labour force and the most deprived segments of society. Gender and the water and land nexus in the Arab region is an area where there is still relative little information. There is little systematic knowledge about the many means by which women and men manage water and land in the region. Evidence shows that while women in Egypt have a significant role to play in water use in the process of food production by controlling and managi ng water flows in the fields and supervising workers during irrigation, they rarely own the land they cultivate. Rural women in Yemen spend huge amounts of time collecting and transporting water, often up and down steep slopes and coordinate water allocation and distribution for the various needs of the family and the household but they are rarely involved in decision making and management councils that govern land and water uses. Women everywhere in the Middle East evaluate water quantity and q uality and prioritize water for drinking and health and sanitation purposes but they rarely share equally in the benefits of their labor or in the ownership of the land and water resources. This is why an integrated water and land management system anchored on a genuine participation of stakeholders will be crucial in determining whether the Arab world achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aspirations for reducing poverty and enhancing shared prosperity. Water and land are the c ommon currency which links nearly every SDG, and it will be a critical determinant of success. Abundant water supplies and cultivable land are vital for the production of food and will be essential to attaining SDG 2 on food security; clean and safe drinking water and sanitation systems are necessary for health as called for in SDGs 3 and 6; and water is needed for powering industries and creating the new jobs identified in SDGs 7 and 8. None of this is achievable without adequate and safe water and sufficient suitable land to nourish the planet’s life-sustaining ecosystem services identified in SDGs 13, 14 and 15.

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