Upon an invitation from the President of Beirut Arab University Professor Amr Galal El Adawi, a lecture was delivered by the Engineer Aly Abousabaa Director General of The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) who gave a lecture on "Food and Water Scarcity in the Light of Climate Change".
After the Lebanese and BAU Anthems, Colleague Ms. Nadine Koleilat opened the lecture saying, "The majority of the adverse effects of climate change are experienced by poor and low-income communities around the world as they are significantly exposed to environmental factors affecting health and wealth among many others as well as low levels of available aptitude to adapt to climate change."
BAU President Professor Amr Galal El-Adawi spoke about the importance of this lecture as “it addresses the climatic changes represented by the lack of rainfall and high temperatures which constitute a major challenge that will have repercussions on Arab food security.”
El-Adawi also praised the lecturer and his researches to find available solutions and proposed expectations in order to help countries and people face this painful reality.
Engineer Aly Abousabaa explained that "scarcity of water is a global issue. A large number of countries will be affected by climate change. Water scarcity will persist faster than we think, particularly in North Africa and the Gulf Region because they are most affected by water scarcity whether through rain or rivers. The shortage of water resources will be accompanied by severe desertification and deterioration in land quality, which will have a serious impact on the region's ability to produce food.
Therefore, the solution is multifold, including intensifying the search for water sources, and increasing the efficiency of its use by converting the current irrigation systems to modern and sophisticated irrigation such as sprinkler and drip irrigation instead of drenching the soil with water.”
He continued, “In the next phase, the focus will be on the development of crop species and varieties capable of providing food in light of the challenges of water scarcity and climate change that threaten food security,” pointing out that “the coming years require a change in the dates of agriculture together with the development of irrigation systems, the adoption of a new agricultural policy and the necessity to change the food style."
Abousabaa also maintained that “ICARDA is exerting a concerted effort to deal with the impacts of climate change on the region, including the production of seeds that tolerate high temperatures, the development of irrigation methods and the introduction of some plants into the animal diet.”
The lecture ended with a series of questions and interventions from the attendees followed by presenting him the BAU Shield of Appreciation by the President.