On May 18th–22nd, 2016 APN Board Member Razan Zuayter and Hassan Al Jaajaa attended a Regional Policy Dialogue: The Water Energy Food Nexus: An Integrated Approach to the Middle East Water Challenge at the Le Royal Meridien hotel in Abu Dhabi. Zuayter was invited to speak at the conference as part of the session on “Supply Management and Ecological Considerations”, during which she stressed the importance of focusing on distribution and utilization of natural resources as opposed to only the concept of resource scarcity which is usually at the center of the Nexus analysis. Zuayter’s recommendations included addressing the root causes of resource scarcity, such as occupation; integration of human rights and accountability to guide nexus dialogues; promote agroecology, renewable energy, and other environmentally friendly techniques; civil society ownership and partnership; promotion of Arab cooperation and integration to look at regional priorities; and to stop conflicts, wars, and occupations. Hassan Al Jaajaa of APN spoke about a fourth pillar in this nexus, which is ethics. He said that one should tackle scarcity and greed, apathy and empathy, selfishness and generosity, always address the human dimension beside the technical one.
The water issues in our region are interrelated; when we categorize Jordan as one of the poorest countries regarding water availability in the world, we should surely explain how Israel is stealing Jordan’s water from the Yarmouk River down to the Jordan River, as well as groundwater from the Wadi Araba basin.
This will exert enormous pressure on the Jordanian and Palestinian economies which might result in social disturbances and fall of the socioeconomic stability in both countries, which in turn will surely affect the stability of the 650 km Jordan-Israel borders and will further affect the stability in the West Bank and Gaza.