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Near East and North Africa Land and water days 2019

Background

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 water scarcity regional Initiative was endorsed by the Ministers of Agriculture at the FAO regional conference in February 2014 in Rome and by the Council of Ministers of Water of the League of Arab States in May 2015. There have been considerable developments in the region since the launch of the initiative five years ago. On the positive side, sustainable water management has become the utmost priority of the countries in the region. Dialogue around water issues and policies has intensified. Innovative investments and institutions are being implemented in several countries in the region. The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda and the SDGs has provided a strong framework for countries, donors and international organizations to prioritize water management and sustainable food security in the region. At the same, many of the challenges facing the NENA region have deepened. Conflicts and protracted crisis and their spillover are taking a heavy toll on people lives, on food security and nutrition, on water and Agriculture infrastructure and are delaying or slowing the implementation of development strategies and plans. Climate change and droughts are dramatically impacting rural population and further compounding the impacts of conflicts fueling migration and refugees’ movements.

It is in this context, that The Near East and North Africa Land and Water Days are being convened on 31 March-4 April 2019 in Cairo, 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 the lessons learned, the new challenges to and opportunities for sustainable development. The event will focus on the NENA region but will link to the global perspective through the participation of countries and experts from other regions (Asia, Africa and Latin America) to provide for inter-regional insights and knowledge sharing.

The LWDs will consist of two segments: The technical and high level expert meeting from 31 March-3 April and the Ministerial Meeting on 4 April led by the League of Arab States.

Expected results

  • Achievements, innovations and case studies documented on sustainable management and good governance of water and land resources for food and water security.
  • Recommendations developed for policies and investments in sustainable land and water resources management and presented to decision makers and stakeholders.
  • Partnerships strengthened between countries of the region and with other regions to address key challenges in land and water management.
  • Joint statement of ministers of water and agriculture on policies and investments for sustainable agricultural water management.