Workship focuses on water, energy security in the Middle East and North Africa

May 7, 2007
Environmental Security has in recent years received increasing recognition for being a decisive component of Human Security. Many countries in the MENA region are already among the most water scarce countries in the world and natural water resources are already now exploited beyond their sustainable yield. However, the demand for water in the MENA countries will increase from the current 300 billion cubic meters per year to more than 500 billion m3/y in 2050. Most of this increased demand...

United Nations University - International Leadership Institute
27-28 June 2007
Amman, Jordan

Environmental Security has in recent years received increasing recognition for being a decisive component of Human Security. Many countries in the MENA region are already among the most water scarce countries in the world and natural water resources are already now exploited beyond their sustainable yield. However, the demand for water in the MENA countries will increase from the current 300 billion cubic meters per year to more than 500 billion m3/y in 2050. Most of this increased demand will result from the strong growth in the domestic and industrial sectors.

Many of the countries in the region have to share their primary surface and underground water resources. The UNDP-HDR states that Iraq and Syria get 50% - 75% of their water from rivers outside of their national borders, and Egypt gets 75% of its water from outside their borders. "Managing shared water can be a force for peace or for conflict, but it is politics that will decide which course is chosen." (UNDP HDR 2006).
Therefore conflicts over water are likely to increase in the future. Already there are several conflicts over mostly surface water in the region:
• Syria - Turkey - Iraq (Euphrates, Tigris)
• Israel - Jordan - Palestine (Jordan, Dead Sea)
• Jordan - Saudi Arabia (Aquafer DiCe)
• Syria - Jordan (Yarmouk, Damming)
• Egypt - Sudan - Ethiopia (Nile)

Although the population growth rate will decrease over time in the region, the actual increase in population is still significantly high putting additional strain on already scarce resources of water and increasing the demand for energy. By 2050, the MENA countries will achieve an electricity demand in the same order of magnitude as Europe (3500 TWh/y). In some of the countries, electricity demand will almost triple from almost 1500 TWh/y today to 4100 TWh/y in 2050.

At the same time as the effects of Climate Change become more severe and more obvious. More and longer periods of droughts and missing rainfalls compound already existing threats to human security.

The Course will look at energy and water conflicts and investigate the leadership challenges behind solving those conflicts. It will raise awareness and tackle the leadership challenges arising from the threats to energy and water security in the region. It will further raise awareness on treating water and energy issues as security parameters and give them adequate attention in policy making and implementation. It will also explore how the Kyoto Protocol and its mechanisms can be used to increase water and energy security and could possibly act as a peace building mechanism.

The course will also look at alternatives in energy and water provision, such as renewable energy, decentralization in water and energy management and provision and their political framework conditions.

WORKSHOP AIMS:
• Investigate the leadership challenges behind arising and current conflicts over energy and water in the MENA region.
• Raise awareness with regards to the importance of tackling water and energy conflicts as security issues.
• Look at the possible contributions the Kyoto Protocol can make to environmental security in the region.
• Look at possible solutions and alternatives to water and energy shortages.

TARGET GROUP:
The target group of the workshop are existing and emerging leaders in renewable energy in developing countries, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe who have an interest in advancing renewable energy for desalination projects in the region. These leaders could come from
• Governments
• Scientific Institutions
• NGOs

For more Information, please contact: Kirsten Neumann, Programme Officer - United Nations University, International Leadership Institute, Tel: +962-6-533-7075 ext. 314, [email protected] or [email protected]
The language of the conference is English.

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