The Near East and North Africa Region (NENA) faces the challenge of addressing a wide range of complex and intertwined issues associated with the management of natural resources, particularly land and water, and to securing food supply for a growing population.
To address these challenges, FAO has launched a regional “Initiative on Water Scarcity in the Near East”.
The overall goal of the initiative is to support Member Countries in streamlining priority areas of action in agriculture water management that can significantly contribute to boosting agriculture productivity, improving food security and sustaining water resources, by highlighting the specific areas that require action and building partnerships to move the process forward.
The initiative will inject fresh thinking into the process of finding sustainable solutions to water scarcity and food security problems through facilitating the implementation of cost-effective water investments and management practices, based on FAO’s publication “Coping with Water Scarcity: an Action Framework for Agriculture and Food Security”.
The initiative will enhance cooperation between member countries and between countries and international and regional partners associated with the initiative. It will focus on the policies, investments, approaches and practices that are necessary to ensure sustainable intensification of agricultural production under water scarcity conditions and utilize innovative assessment methodologies to analyse the costs associated with options to ensure national food supply, in combination with the accounting of the availability and use of fresh water resources.
The initiative will have two major outcomes: (i) a Regional Collaborative Strategy on sustainable agriculture water management for increasing the level of food security, and (ii) a Regional Partnership to support countries in the implementation of the collaborative strategy.
The findings and recommendations will be presented for endorsement to the 32nd FAO Regional Conference for the Near East in February 2014.