As part of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Webinar series organized by FAO, in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the third session was co-organized with the American University of Beirut (AUB) and highlighted a Water-Energy-Food Nexus approach for evaluating the sustainability of the Mediterranean Diet in Lebanon.
The series introduces nexus concepts and gives examples of current efforts and best practices in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region and beyond. This series is developed under the regional project, "Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Water Efficiency/Productivity and Water Sustainability in NENA countries" (WEPS-NENA) under the FAO led regional Water Scarcity Initiative (WSI). This project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Dr. Sasha KooOshima, Deputy Director of Land and Water Division at FAO, introduced the partnership with AUB and described how this case study and other projects fit into the global strategy of FAO. The team from AUB, including Drs. Sandra Yanni, Roula Bachour and Bassel Daher, presented the case study describing the water-energy-food interconnectivity, scenarios, and results that show the potential and trade-offs for increasing Lebanon's self-sufficiency in a variety of crops from the Mediterranean diet. The study also assessed farmer preferences and willingness to change, which sets the stage for multi-sectorial stakeholder dialogues essential to move this work forward.
Dr. Rabi Mohtar, Dean of Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) at AUB, presented conclusions related to the potential of Lebanon to be more food and nutrition secure. The presentations were followed by a discussion moderated by Dr Rami Zurayk, expert in food security, who actively engaged with the more than 160 participants from several countries and organizations working in the NENA region.