The Exploring Water Patterns in the Middle East project addresses a problem that is particularly severe in the Middle Eastern region and has been key to its development, namely water resources. Moreover, it is of crucial importance for the region’s neighbors including Europe and the world as a whole, since water has – due to the specific conditions on the ground – become a subject of international relations with significant security, economic, social and humanitarian implications.
Dealing with the Middle Eastern water resources indeed requires a highly complex approach. The wide variety of aspects that must be addressed includes: demographic growth, food self-sufficiency, increasing consumption by industry and tourism, ineffectiveness of agriculture, consumption patterns, political tensions, existing conflicts, climate change, economic regulations of the water sector, lack of FDI, institutional framework, inter-state co-operation, religious and traditional repercussions concerning water, social impacts, environmental strains, and many others.
If there were no advances made in solving these issues and if the worst-case scenarios materialized, the region could face a large-scale humanitarian catastrophe eventually leading to open conflicts, economic breakdown and worldwide destabilization.
The project intends to help facilitate a peaceful and sustainable resolution of tensions over freshwater resources in the Middle East. Its methodology is based on the assumption that a great degree of synergy is necessary between the realms of science (technology), business (investment) and politics. Consideration must also be given to impacts of water sector changes on the environment and social systems of the respective countries. Each of these dimensions will be addressed individually before they are finally integrated into a unified approach.
The project in its entirety aims at collecting and exchanging know-how, experience and opinions among all stakeholders in order to create a situation of common understanding where a plan for concerted action becomes possible. The plan must be carried out through a joint effort of local governments, experts, international institutions, companies and civil society. Any resulting improvements will further support cooperation, stability and peace in the region.
Methods and Resources
Toward the above goals the project will apply an integrative and multi-dimensional approach. This comprises a series of workshops for different audiences with the participation of international (including Czech) experts. Due to the carefully determined sequence of the workshops, each one is able to build upon the results of the previous ones, gradually expanding the scope. The meetings take place in Prague except for (at least) one organized in a Middle Eastern country.
The Forum 2000 Foundation has initiated the project and is providing coordination and management support. Nevertheless, substantial support from partners including private companies is necessary in order to carry out the workshops and ensure the attendance of international participants. In return, diverse opportunities for the partners are provided. In terms of non-material resources, the project takes advantage of its inclusion in the Program for a Community of Energy, Water and Environment (EWE) that comprises a dozen scholars specializing in water issues, who represent institutions from European and Middle Eastern countries. The key partners in this framework are the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Jordanian Higher Council for Science and Technology. At the political level, two senior leaders have provided their support and auspices: President Václav Havel and H.R.H. Prince El-Hassan bin Talal of Jordan. The project also follows the recent activities of the European Union that are related to the topic in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.
Water in the Middle East Project runs a thematic library opened to public. The library is situated in the Forum 2000 Foundation office and gathers publications on water resources related issues in the Middle East.
Should you be interested in the publications, please contact us at email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 10, 2010 - October 12, 2010
September 21, 2009 - September 22, 2009
September 10, 2008 - September 11, 2008
October 8, 2007 - October 9, 2007
October 9, 2006 - October 10, 2006
September 10, 2005 - September 11, 2005