Practical Application of WEF Nexus: 2 Day MEDRC/KAS Workshop Kicks Off in Marrakech

MEDRC (Oman) and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung REMENA (Germany) have gathered the foremost experts in the region for a 2-day workshop in Marrakesh (Morocco) under the topic ‘Water-Energy-Food Nexus Implementation in MENA Cities’.

The workshop is the third in a series of three delivered by the partnership under the theme of Water-Energy-Food implementation across the MENA region with Rabat (Morocco) and Beirut (Lebanon) hosting previous editions in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The first two workshops offered an opportunity to assess the level of knowledge and understanding of nexus concepts and connections to Sustainable Development Goals, and to analyse current levels of implementation within the region. Drawing from the recommendations of the Beirut and Rabat editions, the Marrakesh workshop aims to target practical applications of the nexus approach on an urban city scale.

With approximately 70% of the world’s populations projected to live in cities by the year 2050 there is an urgent need to build the frameworks that can provide for increased demands on WEF systems, in a sustainable manner.

The objectives of this Workshop are to:

• Discuss concrete actions to implement the nexus in cities between the actors of the MENA region

• Identify needs in terms of capacity building and build on a customized training for key actors, authorities and decision makers at cities level

• Discuss the most appropriate and simple indicators to assess the WEF nexus in an urban setting in the MENA region based on sustainability aspects such as: access to water, sustainable use and management of water resources, resilience to water disasters, access to energy services, energy use efficiency, the share of renewables, food availability and access, stability of prices, etc

• Formulate a common understanding and a joint policy brief with clear and feasible recommendations

• Suggest demonstrations of the nexus that show its real added value in municipal services and national policies of the three sectors

• Prepare next steps with the regional nexus champions

Day One Session topic, moderators and contributors

Session 1:
Regional Efforts on Implementing the Nexus at Cities Level
Moderators: Jauad El Kharraz, (MEDRC) & Daniela Diegelmann, REMENA (KAS)

• What institutional frameworks could work at city level?
Hammou Laamrani, Senior Expert – League of Arab States, Cairo
• UN-ESCWA experience and lessons learnt.
Ziad Khayat, Economic Affairs Officer, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Beirut
• UfM Vision on WEF Nexus in the MENA: Opportunities and Cooperation
Almotaz Abadi, Senior Water Advisor, Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat, Barcelona

Session 2:
Water and Energy in The City of The Future: The Role of Technology Innovation and Smart Technologies
Moderator: Khalid Benhamou, Managing Director, Sahara Wind, Morocco
• Technology-Oriented Approach to WEF Nexus applied in Urban Areas
Ali Karnib, Professor, Lebanese University
• The Rural-Urban Interface of the WEF Nexus in Arab Countries
Rana El Hajj, American University of Beirut
• How Can Cities of the Future Reduce their Water-Energy Related Carbon Footprint?
Mounir Kabbara, Senior Sustainability Engineer, SEE NEXUS, Dubai, UAE (TBC)

Session 3:
WEF Nexus Examples from Arab Cities
Moderator: Firas Abdelhadi, Jordan
• WEF Nexus in GCC Cities: Perspectives and Lessons Learnt
Omar Saif, Senior Economic & Policy Officer, WEF Nexus Gulf Region – UAE
• WEF Nexus in Amman City, Jordan
Maha Al-Zu’bi, Nexus Expert, Jordan
• WEF Nexus Case in Gaza City, Palestine
Ahmed Yaqubi, Water Resources Specialist, Former PWA Senior Advisor, Gaza, Palestine
• Quantifying and Benchmarking Electricity Consumption in the Municipal Water Sector in Manama City
Waleed Zubari, Professor, Water Resources Management Program, Arabian Gulf University (AGU), Bahrain

Session 4:
Working groups discuss concrete actions to implement the nexus in MENA cities
Moderators: Hammou Laamrani (Arab League), Thameur Chaibi (Tunisia)
Rapporteurs: Mounir Kabbara (UAE), Nadjib Drouiche (Algeria)

Related News:
Rabat Workshop
Beirut Workshop