AFED Conference Calls on Arab Governments to Prioritize Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security

1 November 2011: The report of the fourth Annual Conference of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) has been released, calling on Arab governments to give higher priority to environmentally sustainable agriculture and rural development to achieve food security.

The Conference, held in Beirut, Lebanon, from 27-28 October 2011, addressed the transition to a green economy in the Arab world and adopted a report and associated findings and recommendations. The report highlights policies for making a transition to a green economy across key economic sectors to achieve economic growth, social development, and environmental protection. These included agriculture, water, energy, industry, transport, cities and buildings, and waste management.

Participants concluded that forward-looking Arab economic development models need to meet people's aspirations for economic security, social equity, resource efficiency, and environmental protection. They also agreed that, to achieve the transformation to a green economy, public and private investments should be directed at, among others, maximizing resource efficiency and productivity of energy and water.

In the recommendations, participants called on Arab governments to, inter alia: give higher priority to environmentally-sustainable agriculture and rural development as a strategic policy objective to achieve food security; introduce a policy shift towards water demand management; adopt national and regional strategies for energy efficiency; promote the development of private sector-led locally-based competitive green technology through economic incentives; and promote public awareness campaigns on green economy. [AFED News]