For the 3rd consecutive year, the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) will hold its annual conference and present its annual report on water, highlighting the need for more sustainable management of a scarce resource.

The conference, scheduled for 4-5 November 2010 at Habtoor Grand Hotel and Convention Center in Beirut, will discuss a ground-breaking report, prepared by AFED and edited by former head of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Dr. Mohamed El-Ashry. The report is designed to contribute to the discourse on sustainable management of water resources in the Arab world, stressing the urgent need for policy reforms. It states availability and needs, taking foremost facts into account: The Arab region is among the water-scarcest in the world. Due to increase in population growth and bad management, the average annual per capita share is declining from below 1000 cubic meters now, already below the level of water scarcity, to below 500 cubic meters as early as 2015, defined as severe water stress. World average is 6500 cubic meters. Major water sources are from outside Arab borders or shared, and most available water resources are already developed. As needs exceed availability, it is urgent to apply rational use of available water resources, and develop new sources, such as innovative desalination technologies.

More than 30 ministers and heads of international and regional organizations as well as top researchers and scientists have so far confirmed their participation in this year’s conference, including Minister of Environment of Jordan Hazem Malhas, Minister of Water Resources of Tunisia Abdelsalam Mansour, Minister of Energy and Water Resources of Lebanon Gebran Bassil, former Jordanian Prime Minister Dr. Adnan Badran, Director General of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) Dr. Shawki Barghouti, Director of the Arab Water Academy in Abu Dhabi Dr. Asma El-Kasmi, President of the Arab Water Council and former Minister of Water Resources of Egypt Dr. Mahmoud Abu Zeid.

A main feature of the conference will be a presentation by the Director of the Center of Remote Sensing at Boston University (CRS-BU) Dr. Farouk El-Baz, about locating possible ground-water sites in the desert by use of satellite images.

A special plenary session will be dedicated to discuss Arab participation in the upcoming Climate Change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, in December. During this session, high level participants will discuss a comprehensive note prepared by AFED to catalyze a constructive Arab contribution towards achieving practical results in Cancun.

AFED Secretary General, Najib Saab, disclosed that “AFED will also be releasing a ‘Water Efficiency Manual’, which includes practical methods for homes, offices and industry to use water efficiently. The manual, which is the first of its kind to be developed specifically for the Arab region, is being prepared by a group of renowned specialists”.

Participation in the conference is by registration through AFED only. For that purpose, you can check the special forms available at AFED website:

Supporters and Sponsors

In addition to the platinum sponsor, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), and the cooperation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), other corporate sponsors include Islamic Development Bank, Kharafi National, Petrofac, AES International, AMSI for educational solutions, General Electric, Crescent Petroleum, Averda, Aramex and Weber Shandwick.


* AFED: Amal Mosharrafieh, Tel.: +961-1-321800, Mobile: +961-3-974429, E-mail: