GLD Policy Roundtable: Land Degradation and Water Scarcity in the MENA

Together with Alternative Policy Solutions (APS), GLD has hosted a special roundtable series during the summer and autumn of 2022 on climate change and environmental justice research. The third and final roundtable in this series tackled land degradation and water in the MENA. Recent findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have shown that The MENA region is highly susceptible to land degradation, which is exacerbated by the growing scarcity of water resources and high levels of aridity. The MENA region has been consistently described as “the world’s most water-stressed.” According to the United Nations Development Programme, water scarcity is a major issue in 19 of the 22 Arab countries, while desertification and land degradation affect 17 countries. Both land and water are seen as vital resources and integral parts of efforts aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 6 seeks to ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ while SDG 15 aims to ‘Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Panellists: Khalifa Al-Zeidi- The Center for Environmental Studies and Research, Sultan Qaboos University Prof. Yahia Gumaa- Institute of Environmental Studies (IES), University of Khartoum Dr. Mohamed Salih- Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum Dr. Nadim Farajalla - Issam Fares, Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University in Beirut

Chair: Thabit Jacobs - The Program on Governance and Local Development, University of Gothenburg