Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, April 1, 2019

Land and Water Days in the NENA Region 2019 (2)

31 March - 4 April 2019. Cairo. Land and Water Days in the NENA Region 2019 :

1 April: Session: Halting land degradation

Combating land degradation to promote sustainability, resilience and food security

Land degradation and desertification (LDD) are increasing with alarming effects in the Near East and North Africa (NENA region), and is impacting the livelihoods of communities, their food security and likelihood of migration. The process is influenced by the socio-economic dynamic and conflict and is aggravated by climate change. 

Desertification is nowhere more serious than in the NENA region. Soil erosion results in losses of soil nutrients, loss of soil organic carbon and declined productivity. Approximately 60% (135 million ha) of soil is eroded by wind, which can result in Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) under certain conditions, and causing loses of about USD 13 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year. 

Growing population and the increasing demand for red meat has led to significant increases in the numbers of livestock, leading to overgrazing and rapid degradation of rangelands. Primary and natural forests diminished by 13.8% over the period 1990–2015. Socio-economic and political dynamics can contrubute to land degradation. Land degradation interacts with other processes in ways that undermine the sustainability of household livelihoods and increases the likelihood of migration. 
  • Combating land and soil degradation to achieve the sustainable development goals: a global perspective (food security, climate change, SDG (LDN), Migration), Dr. Jacques Wery, Director of Research, ICARDA. 
  • Land degradation drivers, impact and opportunities for land restoration, Feras Ziadat 
  • Land and soil degradation in the NENA region: Challenges, impacts and drivers, Talal Darwish 
  • Opportunities to curb soil and land degradation from local to landscape scale, Iman Sahib Salman 
  • Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN): target setting and investment opportunities, Naeem Meslahi 
Presentation by Prof. Jacques Wery DDG-R ICARDA:


Key messages and recommendations : 
  • Analysis of the “land degradation – climate change – food security – migration” nexus to tackle the challenges and find sustainable options at different scales. 
  • Promote the scaling-out of sustainable management options supported by an appropriate enabling environment to combat land degradation, enhance productivity and livelihoods. 
  • Investing in “land”, accompanied with a need to provide knowledge on the costs and benefits of SLM to encourage investments by private and public sectors. 
  • Enhance the governance of land and water resources and support sustainable management, access and tenure. 
  • Support transformations from degradation and vulnerability to sustainability and resilience, tools and approaches should be promoted to assess, plan, manage, and monitor natural resources and to inform the decision-making process through a knowledge management and sharing platform. 
Related links

1 April: Session: Monitoring and assessment of climate change in the NENA and understanding its impact on land and water resources, agriculture and ecosystems


The Near East and North Africa (NENA) is one of the regions that will be most affected by the impacts of climate change. Small scale farmers in the region are among those most impacted by changing climate patterns and increased weather extremes, making them particularly vulnerable to natural hazards and changing climatic conditions and this is because, the majority of the agricultural areas in the Region are rain fed. Climate change thereby adds and intensifies existing challenges like population increase, water scarcity and increasing land degradation that leads to the rise in conflicts and distress migration; which requires coherence and convergence of humanitarian, development and peace actors blending short, medium and longer term interventions. 

See Live Stream

  • Session chair: Jacques Wery ICARDA
  • Roula Majdalani - ESCWA
  • Hussein El Atfy - AWC
  • Dr. Wadid Erian - AWC/AGIR: Regional and Local Assessments of CC Impacts of water sector in the NENA. 
  • Mr. Tarek Sadek and Ms. Marlene Ann Tomaszkiewicz - ESCWA/FAO: anchoring the science-policy interface in the RICCAR Regional Knowledge Hub (RKH) 
  • Dr. Ihab Jnad - ACSAD: Integrated assessments of climate change in selected agricultural sectors of NENA. 
  • Dr. Ajit Govind  (see presentation and picture) ICARDA: Climate Change in the NENA and its implications on agriculture and rangelands.  
    "Forage cactus is very promising as feed for small ruminants including sheep and goats"
Key messages and recommendations : 
  • Assessment of the impact of climate change on agriculture and livelihoods at regional, national and local levels. 
  • Identification and scaling-up of climate-proofed agricultural practices, policies and investments and promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation approaches such as nature-based solutions and climate-smart agriculture. 
  • Integration among the ministries of agriculture, water and environment in the countries of the region to ensure consideration of the agriculture and water sector concerns in climate change-related policy processes and strategies such as Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plans, and National Agriculture and Investment Plans. 
  • Enhance the capacity of national programs to address the challenges of climate change at the technical and institutional levels. 
Related links

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