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News IFAD and the United Arab Emirates to enhance cooperation in the field of water scarcity and technology transfer

IFAD and the United Arab Emirates have pledged to enhance their cooperation in tackling the impact of climate change and the degradation of the natural resource base in the Near East and North Africa region (NENA) and beyond. The pledge was made during talks between Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi, the United Arab Emirates Minister for Environment and Water, and IFAD President Lennart Båge at the Fund’s headquarters in Rome on 21 November 2007.

The Minister expressed his Government’s determination to increase investments to counter the negative impact of drought and water scarcity, the result of global warming stress in the country, the region and other developing countries. IFAD’s knowledge and expertise are important assets for developing effective mitigation and adaptation programmes in these areas, he said. Moreover, the resources generated through his ministry and channelled through the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) enable affected countries to initiate programmes and projects responding to the challenges posed by climate change. He invited IFAD to work closer with OFID and other development organizations and financial institutions in developing and implementing such interventions. President Båge underlined the importance of strengthening cooperation between IFAD and the Ministry of Environment and Water through greater interaction between officials and experts of the two sides.

The President and Minister also discussed the progress made by a number of IFAD-supported programmes under implementation by the Dubai-based International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA). These programmes benefit the entire region including the United Arab Emirates. Among them is a pioneering intervention to address water scarcity, the Programme for Saving Freshwater Resources with Salt-Tolerant Forage Production in Marginal Areas of the West Asia and North Africa Region. Launched in 2005, the programme is introducing improved technologies for the use of saline water in the mass cultivation of salt-tolerant forage crops and horticulture in the region. Also discussed was the Integrated Pest Management Programme for the Control of the Date Palm Red Weevil, Stem Borer and Grubs in the Near East and South Asia, which has made a significant contribution to averting a deadly threat to traditional Arab date production.

The President informed the Minister of the progress made in establishing an IFAD regional representation aimed at fostering greater cooperation between IFAD and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The talks also touched upon the special contributions provided by a number of IFAD Member States, including GCC members, to sponsor conference facilities in IFAD’s new headquarters building in Rome.

Water to combat rural poverty

Contact information A. Abdouli (email:
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information IFAD
Keyword(s) water scarcity, technology transfer
Geographical coverage United Arab Emirates
News date 11/02/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH