Water is a critical resource everywhere, but in the Middle East, it is a defining issue. Changing demographics, poor management and climate change are pummelling the region’s already alarming water security situation. EcoPeace Middle East’s brand new report ‘A Green Blue Deal for the Middle East’ taps into water as a make-or-break issue for regional cooperation, economic development, and even for the future of peace negotiations.
This report seeks to inform Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian policy makers, and the understanding of international stakeholders, as they work to meet climate-related challenges in the Middle East. The authors’ assessment is that a deal that gives emphasis to the importance of water issues in the region is a feasible and effective policy approach to an urgent challenge, and one that can serve to address conflict drivers, advance a two state solution and promote trust-building and cooperation in a conflict-mired region.
Despite six years of crisis in Syria, agriculture remains a key part of the economy. The sector still accounts for an estimated 26 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and represents a critical safety net for the 6.7 million Syrians – including those internally displaced - who still remain in rural areas. However, agriculture and the livelihoods that depend on it have suffered massive loss. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has now conducted the first comprehensive nationwide assessment on the cost of the war to the agriculture sector.
Following last month’s United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, it is worth raising attention to the key challenges and opportunities that the urbanisation process imposes on peaceful development. In fragile contexts, such as urban areas which are already highly exposed to multiple risks (including climate change, disasters, chronic poverty, insecurity and population displacement), the converging effects of climate change and growing youth populations can severely affect security risks.
Water is being used as a weapon of war on one of Syria’s deadliest battlegrounds, says the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and its local affiliate, the Syrian Arab Crescent, in a new video.
Several high-profile reports in the last few months have suggested that climate change and natural resource scarcity contributed to the events that have rocked the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) since December 2010.