The FAFS Food Security Program, in a fruitful collaboration with the University of Kassel, Germany, brought together leading water and food security scientists working to address a future with minimal water use for domestic food production in the MENA region. The two-day workshop, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), took place at the Michel and Sherine Bayoud Lecture Hall, FAFS on December 6-7.
Scientists and graduate students participated in discussions of timely questions on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Levant, including:
- What are socio-economic implications of these developments?
- What political and economic priorities should be set in order to address water scarcity?
- How can cities respond to water scarcity?
- What concepts are available to address water scarcity by emphasizing resource efficiency?
- What concepts and ideas of governance can help us manage such situations of water scarcity and what could be an appropriate scale for addressing them?
- How can innovations be fostered in this regard?
- What could a future food system look like in these countries and what lessons could be learnt from elsewhere and transferred there?
Several AUB faculty members from FAFS and the Faculty of Arts & Sciences (FAS) participated in panel discussions. Dr. Martin Keulertz, chair and assistant professor, Food Security Program, moderated the panel titled The Social Dimension of Water for Food Security: What impact does it have on farmers and consumers?, featuring Rami Zurayk (Chair, FAFS-LDEM) and Tariq Tell (Assistant Professor, Political Studies and Public Administration, FAS). In the panel Modelling the Future in the Levant: Water Availability, Land-use Change and Threat of Climate Change, Hadi Jaafar, assistant professor, Department of Agriculture, FAFS presented on remote sensing and GIS-based technologies used for assessing the impact of conflict on agricultural production, his chapter in the book Crisis and Conflicts in Agriculture. Yaser Abunasr (Associate Professor, FAFS-LDEM) shared his research experience in the panel Urbanization. Nadim Farajallah, research associate and director, climate change and environment program, Issam Fares Institute (IFI) presented in a panel discussion on “water and energy”.