THE FUTURE OF ARAB ENVIRONMENT
THE FUTURE OF ARAB ENVIRONMENTTHE FUTURE OF ARAB ENVIRONMENTTHE FUTURE OF ARAB ENVIRONMENT
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November 2018

AFED Secretariat Annual Work Report 2018

 

Najib Saab, Secretary General

Board of Trustees Meeting, 8 November 2018, Beirut

 

Eleventh Annual Report and Conference

 

-          AFED produced its 11th annual report in the series of the State of Arab Environment, entitled: Financing Sustainable Development in Arab Countries. The report covers funding requirements for the transition into sustainable growth and the implementation of sustainable development goals in the context of the 2030 Agenda. It identifies financing needs, gaps, options and mechanisms, while focusing on sources and addressing enhancement of their roles. About 100 authors and reviewers worked on the report. Leaders from 14 regional and international institutions involved in development funding contributed to the report.

 

-          AFED 11th annual conference convenes on 8-9 November at the iconic Le Bristol Hotel in Beirut, where AFED founding meeting took place in 2006. The conference attracts top-notch speakers and delegates from the region and beyond, alongside civil society representatives and some 50 students from AFED-member universities, in the context of Future Environment Leaders Forum (FELF). OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS), Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), Bank Audi, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Aramex participated as sponsors. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and SwitchMed participated as organizing partners. Financial sponsorship level in 2018 dropped by 36% from 2017, and 80% compared to 10-year average.

 

-          The 10 previous AFED reports were used as key references in over 400 studies and publications. Parts of the reports were viewed online over 350,000 times.

 

Arab Environment in 10 Years- AFED 2017report

 

-          AFED 2017 report was presented at 7 major regional and international meetings.

 

-          800 hard copies of the report were distributed to: libraries of the world's 100 leading universities, Ministries of Environment and Planning, Government agencies and funds, embassies in Lebanon, The World Bank, UN agencies, and research centers, AFED institutional members for dissemination to local authorities and associates.

 

 

 

Regional and International Partners- Major Contributions to Meetings and Reports

 

-          AFED presented findings of the 2017 report to the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRA) in Cairo on 18 October 2017.

 

-          UNESCO conference in Paris adopted a global declaration on ethical aspects of climate change, drafted by 24-member experts, AFED among them.

 

-          AFED contributed to the second edition of the Blue Eco-Forum which tackled problems with regard to environmental governance in the Mediterranean, held in Barcelona.

 

-          AFED contributed to the Green Growth Knowledge Platform Annual Conference, which was held in Washington, DC, hosted by the World Bank. AFED highlighted the beginning of a transition to low-carbon economy in the Arab region, supported by adequate policies and regulations.

 

-          AFED contributed to the 3rd UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) held in Nairobi, under the slogan "Towards a Pollution-Free Planet".

 

-          Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation in Amman, an AFED institutional member, continued throughout 2018 the monthly environment lecture Series entitled "Environment Today", organized in cooperation with AFED. The series has been extended to 2019.

 

-          AFED participated in several roundtables and meetings held by ESCWA in Beirut. These included: roundtable was to launch "Arab Horizon 2030: Prospects for Enhancing Food Security in the Arab Region" a joint ESCWA-FAO report, the Arab meeting on energy and water-related issues, regional roundtable  on "What Role Fossil Fuel Holds in Achieving Sustainable Energy in the Arab Region". AFED participated as observer in the 30th Ministerial Session of ESCWA which convened in Beirut under the theme, "Technology for Sustainable Development in the Arab Region". The meeting was an opportunity to consult with government delegates the drafts of AFED 11th annual report.

 

-          AFED contributed to the production of the 6th edition of UNEP's flagship report, Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6), providing content and reviews in association with authors of its reports. AFED Secretary General participated in producing GEO's Summary for Policy Makers (SPM), in his capacity as member of the High Level Group, which met in 2018 in Singapore and Cancun, and held monthly tele-conferences. The SPM will be negotiated with Governments in January and presented to UN Environment Assembly in March 2019.

 

-          AFED prepared a chapter entitled: "Achieving Arab Sustainable Development Goals" as part of the 10th Arab Cultural Development Report, produced by Arab Thought Foundation. AFED participated also in the annual "Fikr 16" conference in Dubai at which the report was presented.

 

-          In cooperation with the University of Bahrain, AFED organized a conference on Arab Environment in 10 Years, with the participation of authors of AFED annual report, under the patronage of Dr Riyad Hamza, President of the University and AFED Founding Trustee.

 

-          AFED participated in the 4th Arab Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Forum in Kuwait. It recommended the development of cohesive programs to integrate Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs) into the Arab Strategy for Sustainable Energy.

 

-          AFED presented recommendations to the meeting of a group of Arab civil society organizations hosted by the League of Arab States (LAS) in Cairo, which prepared a document to the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals held at the UN Headquarters in New York in July 2018.

 

-          AFED participated in the conference of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) in Hurghada, Egypt in July 2018, and contributed to its Declaration endorsing Green Banking to Support Sustainable Development.

 

-          SwitchMed and AFED are collaborating to organize a session under the theme "Access to Finance for Green Economy Entrepreneurs" at AFED annual conference, hosting Green Economy Entrepreneurs. AFED also participates in SwitchMed Connect conference in Barcelona in November 2018.

 

Media, Education and Public Awareness

 

-          Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia Magazine Online: The monthly electronic version of Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia magazine which started in January 2017, continued throughout 2018. The internet portal, www.afedmag.com, also publishes daily news and commentaries, and hosts the complete archive of the magazine for 22 years, representing the biggest reference on environment in Arabic. The portal and its associated Facebook page are attracting on average over 3 million visits per month. Followers of the Facebook page surpassed 1,200,000.

 

-          Newspapers: selected material from the online edition continues to be published by leading Arab newspapers. Cooperation extended in 2018 to The National (UAE) and Arab News (Saudi Arabia).

 

-          Documentaries: 16 Educational documentaries produced by AFED have been used over 150 times on national and regional networks, and in schools and awareness campaigns across the region.

 

-          800 copies of AFED previous 10 annual reports and energy/water efficiency manuals were shipped in bulk to institutional members who helped distribute them to interested readers.

 

 

 

 

Membership

 

Only one institution joined in 2018, Azm University - Tripoli, Lebanon - as academic member.  On the other hand, a number of institutions did not pay their 2018 annual dues, many of them corporate members, due to financial difficulties. The 100-member campaign to increase corporate membership did not pick up.

 

Internship/Fellowships Program

 

The Future Environment Leaders Forum (FELF), AFED's short internship program in cooperation with member academic institutions, hosted more than 50 students in AFED 2017 annual conference. FELF is hosting 50 students at AFED's 11th annual conference in November 2018, who will hold a special session "Youth Messages" on Friday 9 November.

 

Board of Trustees

 

The term of office of 3 members of the Board of Trustees will expire on 31 December 2018:

 

  • Dr. Abdulkarim Sadik - was asked by the Chairman and accepted to renew his term.
  • Dr. Ali AlTokhais - was asked by the Chairman and accepted to renew his term.

 

  • Mr. Malek Sukkar, is not continuing due to other commitments.

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