United Nations' Participation in the Middle East Green Initiative Workshop
19 September 2022
The presentations made by FAO, UNCCD, UNEP and World Bank, highlighted the state of land degradation and impacts, and responses to land degradation.
FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Near East and North Africa Dr. Abdulhakim Elwaer, together with other senior FAO experts: Ayman Omer, Officer in Charge FAO KSA; Feras Ziadat, NSL Technical Officer; and Jeremiah Njeru, NRM CTA FAO KSA, attended the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) technical workshop organized by the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MoEWA) at the Riyadh Hilton Hotel on 19th September 2022.
The workshop was attended by MGI participating countries and International Organizations and focused on the state of land degradation and its impacts on environment, climate, biodiversity, food security and social and economic systems. The presentations, made by MoEWA, FAO, UNCCD, UNEP, World Bank, and Islamic Development Bank highlighted the state of land degradation and impacts, responses to combat land degradation, best practices and success stories, role of regional alliances, and modalities for financing environmental initiatives.
FAO presentation addressed the impacts of land degradation on food security and social well-being with a special focus on Middle East and neighboring countries. The presentation showcased FAO areas of action in combating land degradation including its role in the Decade for Ecosystem Restoration; Regional projects, initiatives, and activities; and FAO capacities and assets related to land degradation. The talk was highly appreciated triggering active engagement following the presentation. Among the issues discussed was the link between land degradation and water scarcity in the region, need for countries to collaborate to better address common regional challenges such as sand and dust storms, need to closely coordinate actions of the 3 Rio conventions in the region, need for capacity building, and need to address lack of data at country and regional level hindering effective responses.
The technical workshop was followed by drafting of the MGI charter by the participating countries on 20th and 21st September 2022. The drafting process involved discussion on each article of the charter with international organizations providing technical guidance and inputs where necessary. Each article was discussed in detail and the text was drafted after consensus by the countries.
The charter articulates the role of international organizations in the MGI and details how the international organizations in the MGI and details on how they will support the MGI by providing technical and advisory support, assisting capacity building and knowledge sharing activities, and supporting project selection, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting.
FAO continues to engage with the MGI through various avenues including engagement with MoEWA to provide technical support to the initiative and through its policy and technical leadership and involvement in land restoration national, regional, and global initiatives and projects.
UN entities involved in this initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations