Beirut, 27 October 2016

The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) will hold its ninth annual conference on November 10-11, to discuss the challenges and potential for achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs) in a turbulent Arab world. The conference will be hosted by the American University of Beirut, academic member of AFED, as part of its 150th anniversary program of events.

AFED’s 2016 annual report on the state of Arab environment, entitled Sustainable Development in a Changing Arab Climate, will be launched and discussed at the conference. Prepared by some 100 experts, the report focuses on the water-energy-food nexus and explores viable routes to finance development and enabling conditions required to achieve the 17 goals set for 2030.

AFED secretary general Najib Saab explained that “the conference will attempt to draw a roadmap for the implementation of the SDGs in Arab countries in view of the Paris Climate Agreement, while taking into account the present security, economic and social challenges in the region.”

Participants in this high-level conference include ministers, policy-makers, heads of organizations, experts and business leaders. Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, senior vice president of the World Bank, will give a keynote address on financing SDGs in Arab countries. A special panel will discuss sustainable development challenges in post conflict countries, with participation of officials and opinion leaders from Arab countries. The conference sessions will tackle vital topics in Agenda 2030, such as achieving “zero hunger” in a changing climate, achieving health for all, education for sustainability, and a high-level debate on appropriate policies to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals by 2030.

50 students from Arab universities will participate in AFED’s Future Environment Leaders Forum (FELF) program, which enables university students to contribute to AFED work and express their views on issues related to their future.

AFED annual reports on the state of Arab environment, published since 2008, have become leading sources on their topics. They provide solid scientific data and analysis, which assisted in taking informed policy options across the Arab countries. AFED’s annual conference has developed into the prime environmental event in the region, gathering over 500 decision makers and academics, alongside business and community leaders and media outlets from Arab countries and beyond.

For updates and more information on the conference:

For inquiries, please contact AFED Secretariat:
Ms. Amal Al Mosharrafieh, Tel.: +961-1-321800, Fax: +961-1-321900, E-mail: