Among northern-African countries, Tunisia has been a forerunner in terms of environmental awareness. During the Ben Ali era, it has been the first Arab state to set up a ministry for the environment (in 1991); after the 2010 revolution, the National Constituent Assembly inserted a reference to the commitment against climate change in the new 2014 Constitution.
Since the beginning of the 2011 revolution and the deposition of President Mubarak, Egypt has entered a new phase of political and social unrest. In 2014 Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won the general elections by an overwhelming majority yet without experiencing an internal social pacification. In this context Egypt participated in the 2015 COP21 and committed itself to both mitigation and adaptation efforts. To date, however, the country has not ratified the Paris Agreement.
A rentier state with a national GDP almost entirely dependent on hydrocarbons revenues, Algeria is a strategic geopolitical actor for the Mediterranean and Northern African area, and also a likely green energy exports leader in the near future, if policy pledges are to be fulfilled. The country’s economy mostly relies on revenues on the exports of oil and gas. In 2012 Algeria was considered the third largest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria and Libya, and the sixth largest natural gas producer in the world.
Morocco is hosting the second UNFCCC climate talks in the country’s history. With the Paris agreement already into force before the Marrakech conference, the Moroccan government has the opportunity to lead a COP focused on means and strategies to actually implement the agreement, rather than on the ratification process. Morocco is a strategic actor of the MENA and South-Mediterranean region, despite its status of of lower middle-income economy with a per-capita GDP among the lowest in North Africa.
In collaboration with the EU Maltese presidency, the MEP Water Group convened a successful public session on "Water Reuse - an effective tool to address water scarcity" on the 7th of March at the European Parliament. The session was chaired by Esther de Lange, President of the MEP Water Group and hosted five high-level panellists, who presented their own perspectives on why water-reuse is a valuable solution to address water scarcity, adaptation to climate change and implement circular economy.
The 11th General Assembly of the Mediterranean Network of Basin Organisations (MENBO) will take place 22-24 March 2017 in Malta, at the invitation of the Maltese authorities, and coinciding with the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Assembly will be organised around three thematic blocks on: Water and adaptation to climate change, Water and agriculture in the Mediterranean and Non-conventional water resources: reuse and desalination.
The WaterWorks 2015 Call, which is a joint ERA-NET Cofund between FACCE-JPI and Water JPI, has shortlisted and recommended for funding 21 top research projects for a total Grant amount of over 17 million euros, with the projects' total costs being over 21 million euros. The 21 projects are covering a wide range of disciplines from social and economic sciences to nature sciences, and addressing a range of societal challenges related to Water and Agriculture.
On February 14th, 2017, three proposals for H2020 funding were submitted to the European Commission, with strong involvement from FACCE-JPI. Among the proposals are a new FACCE-JPI joint action ERA-NET Cofund SusCrop; the Coordination of International Research Cooperation on soil Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture CIRCASA; and the FIT4FOOD2030 Coordination and Support Action proposal. All proposals address key thematic priorities in the FACCE-JPI Strategic Research Agenda.
The website of the annual conference of the Arab-Euro Organization for Environment, Water and Desert Researches has been created. The conference will be held in Aqba, Jordan, next April 3-6, 2017.
Read more: http://www.ewdr.org/ .
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Beirut, Lebanon, in cooperation with the National Oil and Gas Authority in Bahrain under the patronage of the Minister of Oil, will organize a regional capacity-building workshop on "Water-Energy Nexus: Resource Efficiency". The event will be under the auspices of the Minister of Oil in Bahrain, on 19-20 February 2017. The workshop will be followed by a regional workshop on Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) on 21 February.