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FAO in the Syrian Arab Republic to host a Zoominar on irrigation to strengthen social cohesion

16/09/2021

FAO in the Syrian Arab Republic will host a Zoominar entitled “Irrigation for agriculture and social cohesion” that will focus on the importance of water and agriculture as key elements in recovery and stability in rural communities. The event will coincide with the International Day of Peace on 21 September 2021 in which the theme is “recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. This Zoominar will highlight three points for discussion.

  • Farmers in the Syrian Arab Republic have returned to their lands and resumed agricultural activities thanks to increased water availability, which has contributed to peace-building in rural areas.
  • Restoring farmers’ access to water has not only improved food production, but has also enhanced social cohesion, as farmers meet and work together to manage their resources effectively and sustainably.
  • Water Users Associations play a key role in ensuring equity, underpinning this social cohesion.

Why irrigation and agriculture are vital for social cohesion 

Scarcity of water resources is a potential source of conflict, particularly in the context of a changing climate. Therefore, working together to ensure the sustainable availability of water for irrigation and food production at the local level, especially in countries that have suffered from conflicts, including the Syrian Arab Republic, can bring communities together, restoring agricultural livelihoods, reducing pressure to migrate from rural areas, and reducing the appeal to continue to engage in illegal or antisocial activity. 

FAO in the Syrian Arab Republic’s Zoominar will address the experiences and lessons learned from its technical discussions with local communities and observations from field projects over the past three years. This discussion will also involve FAO’s regional water and irrigation team as well as experts from international organizations, including ICARDA and the International Committee of the Red Cross