ICARDA at Cairo Water Week 2022
ICARDA’s high-level participation at Cairo Water Week 2022 reflected the organization’s commitment to strengthening partnerships for developing climate-adapted and resilient agri-solutions for smallholder farmers in water-scarce Egypt and beyond.
Cairo, Egypt, October 16-19, 2022 – ICARDA, alongside CGIAR and other partners, engaged in a week of events at Cairo Water Week alongside ministers, NARS, the private sector, and national, regional, and international organizations, presenting and discussing key issues, plans, and actions for to respond to the challenges of water scarcity, climate change, and related food and nutritional insecurity in Egypt and beyond.
ICARDA’s Director General and CGIAR Regional Director, Mr. Aly Abousabaa, and Dr. Vinay Nangia, Team Lead of ICARDA’s Soil, Water, and Agronomy Team, led and intervened in several high-level events and technical sessions.
"Our current agri-food food systems are a major contributor to ineffiecient water consumption. Without bold innovation and transformation to water-smart approaches, water scarcity in MENA will worsen significantly" - Mr. Aly Abousabaa
Discussions throughout the conference centered around the adoption of climate-smart technologies to achieve sustainable management of water resources and agriculture, along with discourse on the importance of applied research, institutional capacity-building, and training that focuses on evidence-based technologies for building climate resilience in the agriculture sector, especially targeting women and youth as agents of change.
"If we are to attain a water-secure future, the priority is optimum water resource management, supported by cutting edge digital research tools" - Mr. Mahmoud Abu Zeid, President of the Arab Water Council.
"The Arab region is not naturally blessed with large water resources. ICARDA has a portfolio of water-smart solutions including protected agriculture, precision farming for dryland farmers & digital solutions, which are increasingly affordable," - Dr. Vinay Nangia, Team Lead of ICARDA’s Soil, Water, and Agronomy Team
Over the course of the conference, Mr. Abousabaa, Dr. Nangia, and fellow scientists from ICARDA’s Soil, Water, and Agronomy Team also Chaired, led, and co-led five technical sessions that brought together CGIAR and partners to present solutions and expertise to deliver resilient water productivity approaches under the climate crisis.
"The challenges we are addressing with our partners are how to build early warning systems at all levels from farmers to national institutions," - Kamel Mostafa El Sayed, Chairman Director, AOAD
"What we are facing is an alarming rate of global hunger. If we don't act, more than 75m people in the Arab region will suffer from severe hunger by 2030," - Ms. Jacquelyn Pinat, Programme Officer, FA
Key methodologies and proven technologies presented were digital solutions for better agriculture water management, water-energy-food nexus for climate-proofing MENA agriculture, tools and analytics for improving water productivity, and potential challenges to rainwater harvesting as a source of alternate water source for agriculture.
ICARDA and partners ICID, FAO, UN ESCWA, and GWP-Med also held the “5th African Young Water Professional Forum Training” at the nearby Ramses Hilton Hotel as a Cairo Water Week-sponsored event. Over fourteen young scientists received their course certificates at the end of the week
On Cairo Water Weeks' last day, the gorundbreaking CGIAR MENA Climate Report was launched by Mr. Aly Abousabaa. The paper examines these climate-related security risks using a human security lens, asking three core questions: 1) what are the systemic risks in an already fragile region to which the climate crisis is contributing? 2) How are people and institutions at all levels currently responding? and 3) How can future policy actions help ameliorate risk and enhance regional capacity to achieve key sustainable development goals?
The report is expected to be a key informer for climate policy in the near future.