MENA Nexus Seminar: Regional Cooperation for Sharing Solutions

Adelphi University; Texas A&M University

This seminar explores a nexus approach to sustain water, food and energy security for the Arab States under the influence of climate change. Different from previous integrated approaches, the nexus approach starts from a balanced cross-sectoral perspective considering the biophysical, economic and institutional dimensions of natural resource management, analysing the ‘flow’ of these resources through different sectors, and detects entry points for reducing inefficiencies and exploiting synergies between sectors. As such the nexus approach can inform cross-sectoral policy and decision making.

In the Arab States, such a nexus approach is particularly relevant due to an already severe scarcity of arable land and water, exacerbated by population growth, environmental degradation, and the impacts of climate change. However, these countries have an abundant renewable energy potential, in particular with regard to solar power. Energy demand in the region is rapidly increasing, driven by the rising water demand of households, industry and agriculture which is met by more desalinization and pumping deeper groundwater.

This seminar will address the role of renewable energies within the water-food-energy nexus and how they can contribute to easing the resource squeeze. It will present and discuss the new nexus initiative for the Arab States and its communication platform.

14:00  Welcome and Opening Remarks
            Ms. Alice Nassar Jaraiseh, SIWI
            Ms.Tanja Rödiger-Vorwerk, Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

14:15 Theme: Nexus Solutions

  • ACCWaM, Solar Farming, Energy Smart Water Systems, Mr. Gerhard Lichtenthaeler and Mr. Bassam Hayek, GIZ
  • Water- and Energy-Smart Agriculture, Mr.  Christopher Napoli, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Saudi Arabia
  • Water-smart Renewable Energy, International Renewable Energy Agency (tbc)

14:45 Theme: Institutional Integration

  • Mr. Samir Bensaid, Office National de l'Electricite et de l'Eau Potable Maroc
  • Mr. Fadi Comair, Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water
  • Mr. Mohammad Al-Madfaei, Abo Dhabi Environment Agency
  • Ms. Roula Majdalani, UN ESCWA

15:30 Coffee Break and Poster Presentations

16:00 Theme: Data, Tools and Resource Platforms

  • Abu Dhabi Environmental Data Initiative, Mr. William Dougherty, Abu Dhabi Environment Agency
  • RICCAR Regional Knowledge Hub, Ms. Carol Chouchani Cherfane, UN ESCWA
  • MENA Nexus Resource Platform, Mr. Holger Hoff, SEI

16:30  Panel Discussion: Regional Cooperation

  • Ms. Shahira Wahbi, League of Arab States
  • Ms. Roula Majdalani, UNESCWA
  • Mr. Faraj El-Awar, GWOPA
  • Mr. Jean-Marc Faurès, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
  • Mr. Rabi Mohtar, TAMU

17:30 Close of Seminar

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