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Improving sustainable management of natural resources and climate change adaptation


Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva and American University of Beirut - Rabi Mohtar, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences. ©FAO/Pier Paolo Cito

Partnership with the American University of Beirut will address issues of sustainable agriculture and water scarcity

14/06/2019 - 

Rome – FAO and the American University of Beirut (AUB) have agreed to work in partnership to promote food security and nutrition, particularly in Lebanon and the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region, through sustainable agriculture and improved management of natural resources.   

The American University of Beirut, a private teaching-centered research university, was founded in 1866 and is recognized as one of the leading universities in the region. FAO and AUB have a history of close collaboration, with AUB’s Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science contributing to a regional FAO project on enhancing the Mediterranean Diet. The formal partnership will enable better access and exchange of data between FAO and AUB, specifically in the areas of sustainable agriculture, management of natural resources, nutrition and food safety. 

The partnership will synergize activities to increase knowledge exchanges and communication initiatives to strengthen food security and nutrition approaches in local food production systems, focusing on rural-urban linkages benefitting national and regional communities.

“Together with AUB, we will address sustainable natural resources management in agriculture, drawing on synergies in water, soil, land and rural development to contribute to food and nutrition security in drylands,” said Sasha Koo-Oshima, Deputy Director of the Land and Water Division at FAO. “Our partnership will benefit small holders and family farmers in Lebanon in their increased capacity and knowledge in nutrition and climate adaptation as well as income generation.”

Signing on behalf of the university, Rabi Mohtar, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, spoke of the importance of the partnership: “There is an emerging understudying of the food system comprised of other systems including food production, water use and management, human nutrition, soil and environment. This system of systems requires a fresh look at a business model that allow us to address in a coherent way our targets towards achieving the SDGs. Such business model would be based on human security and environmental security. It involves a system level approach to old knowledge and creating new knowledge of analytics, connectivity, convergence and trade-offs. It requires new knowledge of dynamic soil characterization and mapping and creating synergy between these resources. These challenges are most critical in the heavily populated areas of the world. It is these issues that this partnership between AUB and FAO will explore, and we are all excited about these opportunities.’’