Near East and North Africa Land and water days 2019

Land and Water Governance to achieve the SDGs in fragile systems

It is not possible to underestimate the importance of land and water issues in the NENA region: along with conflict, poor management and governance of natural resources can be one of the most profound threats to the region’s future. The challenge is not limited to water scarcity or land degradation, exacerbated by climate change, but it is also linked to long-term unsustainable surface and groundwater abstraction, leading to the depletion of underground aquifers on which the NENA region depends heavily.

Often incomplete or deficient policies and regulatory frameworks that lack to address the interconnectedness and the complexity around land and water resources governance and management can be cited as one of the culprits of the growing stress on natural resources in the region. Effective land and water governance can promote measures to protect and ensure the sustainability of water resources and to optimize the services and benefits obtained from those resources, thus, supporting economic growth, food security, poverty reduction and environmental protection.

This Theme will address the institutional, legal and policy frameworks which provide the enabling conditions for sustainable land and water management across sectors, with a special focus on agriculture. The conference will showcase tools and solutions to water governance challenges and will debate the effectiveness and impact of various tools in strengthening the water governance framework in the NENA. It will also encompass responsible governance of tenure of land and water resources, and good practices in land use planning and water governance, including the application of innovative diagnostic and decision support tools. The role of incentives for ecosystem services as an instrument for improved governance of natural resources will also be highlighted and the implementation of approaches to intersectoral coordination in water resources governance using a nexus approach will be discussed.