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Addressing Societal and Environmental Challenges Through Research and Eco-Innovations: A Symposium

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Our world, being increasingly connected and intertwined, is experiencing a multitude of societal and environmental challenges that endanger the integrity and wellbeing of communities and countries as well as of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Addressing the availability and security of water, energy and food for all, recently coined as the “Water-Energy-Food Nexus”, represents an issue of utmost importance, particularly in light of anticipated changes in climatic conditions. Moreover, a growing demand for these commodities as a result of an ever increasing world population requires innovative solutions that are environmentally sound and enable a sustainable utilization of natural resources.

On November 17 and 18, some 60 international scientists, practitioners and decision makers attended a Symposium on “Eco-Innovation for the Water-Energy-Food Nexus” at the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus. They discussed new pathways to environmentally save sustainable management of water, energy and food with a particular spatial focus on the MENA Region.

The MENA region is comprised of Arab, Middle-Eastern and North African (Maghreb) countries alongside Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, Iran and nations of the Arabian Peninsula. This region is characterized by strong environmental and climatic gradients but with common bio-geographical characteristics. It is home to around 350 to 500 Million people. The region faces significant environmental challenges and is expected to experience significantly larger than mean global climate changes in the foreseeable future. It has also seen dramatic societal and political transitions and is experiencing fierce armed conflicts, forced migration and a growing flood of refugees.

c montalvoThe discussions at the Symposium centered around three major themes: (i) “The Nexus and Urban Development”, (ii) “Addressing Nexus Challenges in the MENA Region” and (iii) “Eco-Innovation for Better Access to Water, Energy and Food” and resulted in comprehensive propositions for research and development that need to be implemented in order to enable progress in solving some of the major challenges facing our world today.

The Symposium was jointly organized through the EU-funded and the Future Earth Program through its Global Hub office in Paris and the Future Earth MENA Regional Center at the Cyprus Institute.


Future Earth MENA Regional Center at the Cyprus Institute •
Athalassa Campus • P.O. Box 27456 • CY-1645 Nicosia, Cyprus
Tel.: +357 22 208621 • Fax: +357 22 208621
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