AFED News in a Monthly E-Bulletin
∙ AFED at IRENA Fifth Assembly, Abu Dhabi 17-18 January
An AFED delegation participated in the meetings and deliberations of the Fifth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi, attended by 170 member countries. AFED corporate member ACWA Power was praised for its new project of a 200 megawatt solar electricity plant in Dubai, which will sell electricity at 5.8 cents/KwH. There was agreement that renewable energy was there to stay, as major part of the energy mix, alongside cleaner and more efficient use of fossil energy.
∙ AFED at MASDAR's International Energy and Water Summits 2015 in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi 19-22 January
AFED presented its report on food security in the Arab countries at the International Water Summit 2015 (IWS), which was hosted by Masdar between 19 and 22 January in Abu Dhabi. Senior experts who contributed to AFED reports were panelists at a session organized by AFED entitled "The Nexus of Water and Energy in Food". The panelists were Dr. Abdul-Karim Sadik, co-editor of the report and chief economist of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), Dr. Aziz Ouled Belgacem, regional coordinator at the international center agricultural research in the dry areas (ICARDA), Dr. Thani Al-Zeyoudi, director of energy and climate change at the ministry of foreign affairs in the UAE, Dr. Nahla Hwalla, dean of the faculty of agricultural and food sciences at the American university of Beirut (AUB), Dr. Kamil Abdullah CEO of Exeed Group, Abu Dhabi, and Dr. Ibrahim Abdul Gelil, director of the energy and climate change program at AFED. The session was moderated by AFED Secretary General Najib Saab, who also chaired another session on the first day of the summit entitled "regional cooperation to achieve sustainability of water". The Secretary General was also panelist in the joint closing session of energy and water summits. AFED panelists were guests in live television interviews on Skynews Arabia, Al-Hurra and Al-Arab, and in a special program on Radio Dubai on the main findings of AFED report.
∙ AFED Meets with EAD Secretary General, Abu Dhabi 21 January
AFED Secretary General Najib Saab met H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) in Abu Dhabi to discuss the logistics for holding AFED 2015 Annual Conference in October, which EAD offered to host. A committee has been set at EAD to present proposals before AFED's Executive Committee meeting in Manama on 10 February. AFED accepted EAD's request to support the EcoCity conference which EAD will be host in Abu Dhabi on 11-13 October, by contributing regional content and promoting the event among AFED network.
∙ GGKP Third Annual Conference and Second Knowledge Partners Workshop, Venice 29-30 January
AFED Senior Advisor Hussein Abaza represented AFED at the Third Annual Conference of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform that convened in Venice from 29-30 January. The conference was attended by about 200 participants representing governments, academia, civil society, and research institutions. It had two main high- level panels. The first one was on fiscal instruments for green growth, going beyond environmental taxation. The second one was on complementary structural policies for effective fiscal reform. It was acknowledged that main impediments for transitioning to green economy included political economy, environmentally harmful subsidies, and lack of integrated policy making, alongside lack of awareness to the benefits resulting from transiting to green economy.
∙ AFED shares with AWARNET the Water Efficiency Handbook, January
The WATER EFFICIENCY HANDBOOK produced by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) in cooperation with ACWA Power has been circulated as E-Book to all members of the Arab Integrated Water Resources Management Network (AWARENET). AWARNET is a regional network of training and research institutes, NGOs, government authorities and experts in the field of Water Resources Management (IWRM) policies and practices, supported by UNDP. Handbook can be downloaded the through the following links:
∙ APN joins AFED, January
The Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (APN), based in Amman, joined AFED as a member in the Non-Governmental Organizations category. APN seeks to strengthen the capacities of Arab peoples to sustain and control their natural resources, especially those living under occupation and armed conflicts, and to mobilize efforts of civil society organizations towards promoting and advocating regional and global environmental issues.
∙ AFED Public Opinion Survey, January
In preparation for AFED 2015 annual report on the subject of Sustainable Consumption in the Arab countries, AFED launched a wide-ranging public opinion survey, covering 22 countries across the Arab region, alongside Arabs living abroad. The survey aims to collect data on Arab consumption habits, concentrating on water, energy and food. 14 media organizations across the region will promote the survey among readers and viewers.
∙ AFEDmag Facebook and Portal: Close to 675,000 Followers, January
AFED Magazine Facebook page continues to attract more followers, exceeding 674,000 in January. Afedmag is the most popular page in Arabic on environment themes, both as portal and on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/afedmag
∙ AFED Online Video Competition, January
AFED, in cooperation with Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia magazine, launched the second phase of its online Environmental Video Competitio, on the theme of Sustainable Energy. The competition is open to young individuals from all Arab countries, especially students, between 13-18 years old. Entries to the competition can be in the form of a short film, a short documentary or a song. Awards for the first phase on Water were distributed to winners in Lebanon and Jordan.
∙ AFED at UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan Conference, Malta, 17-18 February
AFED Secretary General Najib Saab has been invited to deliver a keynote speech representing Eastern Mediterranean at a conference on the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD).
The conference is organized by the Coordination Unit of the Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) and Plan Bleu.
∙ AFED participation at the Forum on Sustainable Lifestyles, Dubai, 25-26 February
Project Manager Charbel Mahfoud will represent AFED at the First Dubai International Forum on Sustainable Lifestyles, taking place in Dubai, on 25-26 February. AFED will present its public opinion survey on Sustainable Consumption. The Forum is organized by UNEP and the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment.
∙ Regional Cooperation with CIHEAM, March-April
The International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) and AFED agreed on series of initiatives covering food security and sustainability. AFED is cooperating with CIHEAM to produce a publication on "Innovative indicators and initiatives for food security in the Mediterranean" due in April. AFED Secretary General has been invited to present summary of AFED report on Food Security to CIHEAM meeting in Barcelona on 18 March. CIHEAM will contribute to AFED 2015 annual report on Sustainable Consumption. CIHEAM is an intergovernmental organization composed of thirteen member states: Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey. http://www.ciheam.org/