Conference to Tackle Middle East Water Challenge

PMBF_Featured ImageThe UCF Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research and Studies (PMBF Program) is co-hosting a dialogue conference entitled The Water Energy Food Nexus: An Integrated Approach to the Middle East Water Challenge. The conference, which is part of the program’s ongoing Regional Resources Initiative, will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from May 18-22, 2016.

PMBFThe PMBF Program, which is supported by the Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University Annual Fund, was established in 2012. The program is administered by the Department of Political Science in the College of Sciences at UCF.

The upcoming conference will focus on water and food security, which is a growing regional and global concern. Today, the world faces a set of complex interrelated problems around the issues of water, energy, and food. Worldwide energy demands are expected to double by 2050, along with a 50 percent growth in demand for food and water. Understanding the dynamics and linkages between these three sectors is needed to understand potential opportunities, trade-offs, and synergies and to develop integrated solutions to the growing demand for resources. The PMBF Program and its partners are holding this dialogue to discuss the potential for utilizing the Water Energy Food nexus approach in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Middle East. In addition to examining strategies already employed by several nations, the conference will look at the roadblocks to reform, security, and cooperation challenges in the region.PMBF_3

The dialogue format of the conference will allow participating experts to contribute in each of the nine topics sessions. Participants include 25 experts from 14 nations, representing some of the most distinguished universities and research institutions in the region and beyond. In addition to UCF, academic participants include experts from Oxford University, American University Beirut, the German Jordanian University Georgetown University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of South Florida, and the University of Calgary.  The PMBF Program’s partnering Saudi university, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, will also be represented.

The Hollings Center for International Dialogue and the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington D.C. are the other co-sponsors of the event. The upcoming Abu Dhabi dialogue represents a follow up to an earlier UCF-Hollings Center Conference which focused exclusively on Middle East-North African water scarcity, which was held in Istanbul in May 2014.

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