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The League of Arab States, Arab Water Council, UNDP, UNEP-FI, UN-HABITAT, UNISDR, and WFP, convened a session at the 2nd SDW, at Conrad Cairo Hotel, on November 20th, to elaborate the new joint programme that supports climate action at regional and country levels through regional SDG Climate Facility project being initiated by LAS, AWC and partner UN agencies to build the resilience of climate vulnerable communities across the region.

The Session was convened in a Davos style discussion between the moderator Dr. Wadid Erian and panelists on ways in which climate change is reshaping prospects for achieving SDGs on poverty eradication, food security, water access, and peace.
A consultation meeting of the Arab Water Council was held in Cairo Marriott Hotel, Egypt, on the 18th of November 2018. It was held on occasion of the 14th Board of Governors meeting to discuss the triennial work plan of the Council for the next term (2019-2021). The aim of the meeting was to highlight coordination with the development partners and donors, meanwhile enhancing the cooperation and integration with all stakeholders to achieve the sustainable development goals in the Arab region.
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The Arab Water Council announced the launching of an expanded campaign at the Arab regional scale to raise awareness on the issue of water security, training and raising the capacities of young people on how to deal with the negative impacts of climate change on natural resources, especially water in Arab and African countries.

Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, President of the Arab Water Council, demonstrated that the campaign was a result of the youth serious concern about the water security issue, conveyed throughout the World Youth Forum held in Sharm El Sheikh in November 2018. It was also abstracted from an important call made by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi during the Forum’s second session which was to launch a propaganda campaign at political and media levels to be put on the agenda of the international community in order to complete the economic development plans for Egypt and the countries of the world.

Dr. Abu-Zeid added that the campaign comes in line with the keenness of the Arab Water Council to train young people in all areas related to water affairs and sustainable development plans and to create a generation capable of leadership, and to develop a trend of thinkers, innovators and researchers.

Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid also added that the campaign is being implemented with the partners of the Arab Water Council from various research centers, research institutes and international and regional organizations and that it focuses on the impact of water on the comprehensive development of peoples, the challenges faced by the water issue and the role of every citizen in this vital issue.

Dr. Hussein El-Atfy, Secretary General of the Arab Water Council and former Minister of Water Resources of the Egypt Irrigation stated that the training/rehabilitation courses and raising the capacities of young people are among the pillars and objectives of the Arab Water Council, pointing out to the organization of many courses for the youth as an advanced step towards serious scientific discussion on opportunities for cooperation and investment in water, to address common challenges and threats posed by climate change to water security.

In addition, the campaign seeks to develop the media discourse to ensure its success in raising public awareness about the dangers of water misuse and waste in non-useful aspects. It also aims at updating the database and information of all those dealing with water issues in order to raise the awareness of their communities by providing accurate and responsible reports on the importance of cross-border cooperation, especially as it is expected that the population of the Nile Basin countries will increase to one billion by 2050, putting great pressure on the water available now. We must also deal seriously with the negative impacts of the phenomenon of "climate change" in various countries of the world in general and in Africa in particular.

He pointed out that climate change has caused negative impacts on the Nile basin that would affect the daily lives of peoples, warning that half of the Nile Basin countries are threatened to will live below the water poverty threshold by 2030.

The Council has announced an international award for researchers and innovators in the water and related issues in Arab and Islamic countries.


Dr. Mahmoud Abu- Zeid, President of the Arab Water Council, indicated that the award aims at encouraging innovation, creativity and research in the field of water security, water use efficiency and productivity, water development and use of new technologies to face challenges of water scarcity and impacts of climate change in the Islamic world.


Dr. Abu- Zeid also stated that the value of the award will be determined at the next General Assembly of the Arab Water Council and will be awarded biannually. The topics and contestants’ conditions of the Award will be determined according to the priorities and interests of Islamic countries.

As part of fostering further cooperation between The Arab Water council (AWC) and the Institute of Water Management (IWMI). A Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed by AWC president, H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Abu Zeid and IWMI Director General, Ms. Claudia Sadoff.

The signing ceremony of the MoU between AWC and IWMI took place on the 14th of October 2018 at AWC premises in Cairo, among the presence of AWC staff and the press.

During the ceremony speeches were delivered by H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Abu Zeid, AWC President; Ms. Claudia Sadoff, IWMI Director General; Dr. Amgad Elmahdi,IWMI Head of MENA Region; Prof. Walid A. Abderrahman, AWC Vice President; Dr Mohamed Raouf A. DARWISH, AWC Treasurer; Dr. Hussein El-Atfy, AWC Secretary General; Prof. Khaled Abu Zaid, AWC Technical Director and Eng. Heba Al-Hariry, AWC Deputy Technical Director.

With the signing of this MoU, AWC and IWMI launch a regular, wide-ranging cooperation in various water related areas including Water Resources Management, Water productivity, and Water accounting...etc.

Under this MOU, a research agenda and policy scenarios of interest will be conducted to assess the development of necessary evidence-based research and enhance the transfer of technologies towards achieving the SDGs in the MENA region. Additionally, partnerships will be established for co-organizing conferences, training workshops and capacity development activities in water and agriculture-related topics to enhance knowledge dissemination and awareness raising.

The Arab Water Council becomes part of the technical team for the preparation of LAS regional report on “Sustainable Development in Conflict-Affected Settings”

The Arab Water Council was honored to attend LAS preliminary meeting and to become part of their technical team for the development of LAS regional report on “Sustainable Development in Conflict-Affected Settings”. The meeting was held at LAS headquarter on September 20, 2018 and was attended by H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid - President of the Arab Water Council, H.E Dr. Hussein El-Atfy - Secretary General of the Arab Water Council, Eng. Heba Al-Hariry - Deputy Technical Director and a group of experts and representatives from different regional and international organizations (World Food Programme, Arab Women Organization, International Organization for Migration, UN-Habitat and others...).

The report –to be prepared by LAS sustainable development committee- will focus on the essential role that sustainable development plays in bringing peace and social stability and in achieving future wellbeing in the Arab region.

In light of the widespread conflict and terrorism in the region and fleeing of refugees, peace and stability have become a break point for achieving progress. According to the UN final report for the Millennium Development Goals “Conflict Remains the Greatest Threat to Human Development”. This points out the importance of addressing vulnerability and conflict, particularly knowing that 50% of fragile countries comprise 43% of the population living in extreme poverty, and that by 2030, this number would rise to 62%.

The proposed report will include several sections that conceptualize fragility, conflict and instability and their interrelation with the degradation of natural resources and climate change impacts.

During the report preparation process, a participatory approach will be followed through roundtable discussions and policy dialogues to ensure exchange of views among all stakeholders in selected countries and neighbouring host countries, hoping to create new partnerships in the Arab region to promote peace and development.

Under the patronage of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Arab Water Council was honored to participate in the first "End of Hunger" Sub-Committee meeting that was held between the 18-19 September, 2018.

The Meeting was organized by the Sustainable Development and International Cooperation Department and was chaired by His Excellency Engineer Hassab Al Naby Musa Mohamed, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Sudan. The "End of Hunger in the Arab Region" Sub-Committee is particularly responsible for following up and reporting on the progress towards achieving SDG 2 "Zero Hunger" in the Arab Region concerned with food security, improvement of nutrition and promoting of sustainable agriculture.

The first meeting of the Sub-Committee - called by Dr. Nada al-Agizi, Director of the Department of Sustainable Development and International Cooperation- identified the main work scope and directions of the Committee through specialized working groups.

At the beginning of the meeting, Prof. Wadid Erian, the Committee's Rapporteur, presented the main objectives of the committee's work, emphasizing on the role of the Committee in developing a common vision among all holders through the preparation of a "Zero Hunger Action Plan" for the Arab region with a clear focus on the inter-link between SDG2 and other related SDGs, particularly SDG 6 for Water and Sanitation.

The Arab Water Council has the honor to support “The Big 5 Construct Egypt” set to take place this September on 18-21 at Egypt’s International Exhibition Center and organized by DMG Company – organizer of Egypt Petroleum Show-EGYPS 2017.


This Event is considered as one of the most successful and specialized construction events during the last 38 years that will bring considerable benefits to Egypt.

The Big 5 Construct Egypt will bring together influential decision-makers, innovators and suppliers from the region and beyond for four days of business and networking opportunities.

The country’s booming construction market has placed itself as the leading contributor to GDP growth in the region, with 473 billion dollars’ worth of active projects in North Africa and more than 366 billion dollars worth of projects lie in Egypt.

with this regards, the AWC will be glad to contribute with a session on " ADAPTING TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE AND URBAN RESILIENCE" Leaded by H.E. Dr. Mahmoud ABu Zeid, H.E. Dr. Hussein EL Atfy and Dr. Khaled ABu Zeid.

Come join us during the event and Check our booth to know more about the AWC activities.

Register now on the link below:
https://register.thebig5constructegypt.com/

The conference program consisted of 6 thematic sessions, in which 38 speakers participated including experts, researchers, investors and professors in water technology, management, water rationalization, desalination and water treatment. The aim of the conference is to eliminate the culture of water abundance meanwhile proposing new policies for the state and individuals including the private sector, Egyptian and foreign investors to mainstream the technology of rationalization, desalination and purification of water, as well as the harvesting of rainwater in Egypt. The Arab Water Council was honored to be part of the organizing committee and co-chaired the main sessions of the conference.


H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, Chairman of the Arab Water Council and former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, chaired a key session entitled "Supply Management Water Resources Development (Water Desalination Technology)”, during which he spoke about the importance of new technologies and strategic research programs globally, with focus on the Arab region as a priority for the use of Innovative Desalination Technologies.


Dr. Hussein Al-Atfi, Secretary-General of the Arab Water Council and former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, has also chaired the main session entitled "Investment, Banking and Finance for Water Technology" where he facilitated the session by interactive discussions between the participants and the speakers.

The Arab Water Council has been nominated by the World Bank to represent the Arab-African Countries at the Youth Leadership Program in Belt and Road / Agricultural Cooperation for Africa, among 30 young African leaders from around 20 African countries. The program was jointly launched by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, the Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture, and China Agricultural University on the 27th of August, 2018 in Beijing.

The program mainly focused on building and enhancing the understanding of young officials and professionals on new trends and models of South - South Cooperation in agriculture and rural development, sharing good practices of China in enabling agricultural development policy, developing capacities to conduct policy pilots and experiments that could be adapted to the local context.

The program featured study visits to relevant government ministries and technical agencies, as well as field trip to the northeast city of Shenyang.

Moreover, A China-Africa Youth Dialogue has been organized on the side lines of the China Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC) 2018.

 

https://www.unsouthsouth.org/2018/08/24/launch-of-youth-leadership-program-in-belt-and-road-agricultural-cooperation-for-africa/?fbclid=IwAR0TvhlRPyV2W2FBXmoNnibYz4ZjOlEkBwNXh5_qZHUtVFBZYfaq4wtS_Dk

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-08/29/c_137428465.htm?fbclid=IwAR1hc-FCcM5YCWdtYrWzrYqne_xYa3w0aVVmuS_b_EY06zETJuOinGqPaXo

H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, President of the Arab Water Council and former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt, has been unanimously elected as Egypt’s candidate to represent the Arab countries in the UNESCO International Hydrological Program (IHP) for the next two years. The election took place on the occasion of the 23rd Session of the IHP Intergovernmental Council held in Paris on June 11, 2018.

The International Hydrological Program is an intergovernmental body under the UNESCO that promotes international scientific cooperation focusing on water research, water resources management, education and capacity building.

The Ambassador of Egypt in Paris and Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Ehab Badawi, stated that Egypt has been actively involved in the work and activities of the International Hydrological Program, highlighting the importance it places on water-related issues and the achievement of Goal (6) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to “Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

The Ambassador said, “The UNESCO Egyptian delegation has submitted a draft resolution adopted during the last session of the General Conference to strengthen the role of the program at the international level, and on the basis of that resolution, the UNESCO Plan of Action for 2018 and 2019 was reviewed by giving greater attention to water issues.” He pointed out that Egypt will also present its vision and the steps it has taken towards implementation of Goal (6) of the SDGs and will participate in the discussions on the Great Rivers Initiative to ensure its consistency with national interests.
 

H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, President of the Arab Water Council and former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt, has been unanimously elected as Egypt’s candidate to represent the Arab countries in the UNESCO International Hydrological Program (IHP) for the next two years. The election took place on the occasion of the 23rd Session of the IHP Intergovernmental Council held in Paris on June 11, 2018.

The International Hydrological Program is an intergovernmental body under the UNESCO that promotes international scientific cooperation focusing on water research, water resources management, education and capacity building.

The Ambassador of Egypt in Paris and Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Ehab Badawi, stated that Egypt has been actively involved in the work and activities of the International Hydrological Program, highlighting the importance it places on water-related issues and the achievement of Goal (6) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to “Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

The Ambassador said, “The UNESCO Egyptian delegation has submitted a draft resolution adopted during the last session of the General Conference to strengthen the role of the program at the international level, and on the basis of that resolution, the UNESCO Plan of Action for 2018 and 2019 was reviewed by giving greater attention to water issues.” He pointed out that Egypt will also present its vision and the steps it has taken towards implementation of Goal (6) of the SDGs and will participate in the discussions on the Great Rivers Initiative to ensure its consistency with national interests.

The Arab Water Council and The Arab Water Council Youth Network had the pleasure to be invited to the closing ceremony of the "Model of League of Arab States" at the French University in Egypt (Université Française d'Egypte)

The Arab Water Council Youth Network presented the AWC during the event and highlighted to the students and attendees the Council's main areas of work, strategy and Mission as well as highlighting the main activities done in partnership with the League of Arab States.

The AWC Youth Network is very glad to have joined such event and witness the remarkable efforts done by the University students and management and it was an honor to meet the university president Dr. Hassan Nadeer and Dr. Lamiaa Marmouche the Academic Coordinator for the Model of League of Arab States who shared with us their thoughts and possible areas of cooperation between the AWC youth Network & the University.

Highlights on the 2nd Technical Meeting of LAS "SDG-Climate Nexus Facility" which took place at the Arab Water Council’s Premises.

AWC organized the 2nd Technical Meeting of LAS “SDG-Climate Nexus Facility" on the 10th of May,2018.The meeting gathered regional partners from UNDP, UNISDR, WFP, CEDARE, ICARDA and AWC to discuss several proposed concept notes and areas of work to be implemented under the 1st phase of the “SDG-Climate Nexus Facility” in 2018. The Facility is considered a multi-phased program that aims at supporting countries in integrating climate measures into broader SDG affiliated policies and plans while developing national capacities in accessing climate finance towards building resilience to risks and enhancing adaptive capacities in the Arab region to climate risks and natural hazards.

H.E. Dr. Hussein El Atfy, Arab Water Council (AWC) Secretary General at the 8th World Water Forum (WWF) in Brasilia, Brazil Representing AWC in a couple of sessions including "Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation" organized by CEDARE on March 20th and joined with speakers from CEDARE, Monaco, France, Spain and Palestine, "Water, Energy and Food Nexus" Session which was organized and held on March 21st, the session included representatives from Sudan, Lebanon, Kuwait and the league of Arab States who shared their views and recommendations regarding the WEF nexus which is considered one of the most important emerging topics in the MENA Region and a session about "Ecosystems, Wetlands and Sustainable Development in the Arab Region" which took place in March 22nd with speakers from Egypt, Iraq, the League of Arab States, RAED and CEDARE

Arab Water Council, President, H.E. Prof. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid gives a presentation on Global Irrigation and Drainage Trends and speaks on Water Sustainability for Food at the Nobel Prize Dialogue "Water, Disasters & Food", marking the devastating Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami that happened in Japan on that same day several years ago, claiming the lives, and properties of thousands of people, at the meeting of the Japanese National Committee for Irrigation & Drainage in Japan, March 9-11, 2018. 

 

AWC Participating in World Bank S-S Knowledge Exchange Study Tour.
AWC has recently attended several CWPF S-S cooperation events, including the Remote Sensing Technology Training Workshop in Beijing, China (Jan 15 - Feb 5) and the S-S Knowledge Exchange Study Tour to China (Jan 29 - Feb 5), arranged under the MENA Regional Coordination on Improved Agriculture Water Management Project, financed by the China-World Bank Group Partnership Facility. The main objective of the study tour is to share the advanced Chinese Remote Sensing technical tools, practices and experiences of its application on China’s agriculture and water management. While also also foster technical and professional cooperation between China and MENA countries and support technical and institutional capacity building on improved agriculture water resources management in the respective project countries in MENA region.
Participants included high-ranking officials and experts from the project countries, including the Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Lebanon and Arab Water Council (AWC) in MENA Region.

In the framework of the "MENA Aquifer Storage & Recovery" Project, AWC in coordination with the USGS, has organized the 1st Supervision mission that took place on 4th –7th of December, 2017 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The mission objective was to review the current progress of the project and follow up on the latest updates in each of the implementing countries. It was also an excellent opportunity to improve communication and regional coordination between project partners, and to discuss technical challenges aiming for a successful and smooth implementation of the project.

The mission also included an advanced GIS & Remote Sensing training that covered several topics related to the technical aspect of the project, these topics included: using R software for analyzing station-based rainfall data, Understanding systematic bias and random error in satellite-based precipitation data as well as using advanced functions in ArcGIS for the spatial analysis of precipitation data.
The training also included an introduction to Python high level programming language and utilizing python scripts in controlling ArcGIS, as well as using Model builder for building geo-processing work flows to be used in spatial analysis & data management.

Sandy Dunes Field Trip
As part of "MENA Aquifer Storage & Recovery" Project Supervision mission, a field trip to Amsterdam Water Supply, Water Infiltration and Recovery Area was organized by Hydrologynl.In, in coordination with WATERNET for all project partners and national stakeholders. The field trip started with an introductory presentation on the drinking water cleaning system in the Netherlands which is located in the sandy coastal dunes west from Amsterdam, followed by several site visits to the different stages of the water system.

AWC organized the 1st supervision of the China-World Bank partnership Facility (CWPF) project on the “Regional Coordination on Improved Agriculture Water Management by Applying ET Monitoring and Management System” which includes 5 partner countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia) aiming to Establish the national and regional ET measurement, monitoring, and management system, by transferring the advanced Chinese ET-Watch System to the beneficiary countries as well as help the countries to better manage local and regional agriculture water resources and reduce the threat of climate change to vulnerable agricultural production systems within and across the region.

The Mission took place at the Intercontinental Cairo City Stars Hotel during the event of the 4th Arab Water Forum back in November 26-28, 2017. The Mission continued till the 29th of November with the objective of following up on the latest progress of the project as well as attending the results dissemination session of the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS) under the “Regional Coordination on Improved Water Resources Management and Capacity Building program” in which the implementing agencies of the CWPF project were partners for its first phase.

The mission was a good chance for all the project management units from the 5 countries to discuss the current situation and agree on the next steps for the project implementation.

The 4th Arab Water Forum (AWF) held 23 sessions, 2 plenaries, 3 meetings and 18 special sessions, which all had the same key messages:
Water challenges facing the Arab Region:
• Increasing water demand and sectoral competition causing more stress on water resources;
• Climate change and extreme events;
• Lack of knowledge and technical capacities;
• Deterioration of peace and security in the Region and its implications on water and food security;
• Water terrorism and upstream hegemony in shared river basins in addition to the so called cyber war over water.
These challenges are threatening the achievement of the SDGs especially SDG6 on water.
Here’s the link for all of the presentations held during the forum: http://arabwatercouncil.org/4thAWF/Presentations.html

Thanks to your cooperation in the above activities, the Forum was a real success story. Looking forward to further future joint activities en route to Sustainable Development of the Arab region.