Webinar: ICBA’s Contribution to Food Security and Environmental Sustainability

4 February 2022, 10:00


Every year 4 February is celebrated as the National Environment Day in the UAE. The day is a testament to the nation’s commitment to sustainable development and environmental conservation.

Since it was announced in 1997, the National Environment Day has served as an occasion to bring together public- and private-sector organizations and civil society to rally around environmental causes. It is also a reminder that we all have a part in protecting the environment and how our choices and actions have an impact on nature. This ethos is captured well in this year’s theme for the day “Climate Action Now”.

While almost every sector has an environmental footprint to a varying degree, agriculture and food production are by far the largest users of natural resources and major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. This means sustainable approaches to agriculture and food production are crucial for conserving natural resources and reducing the carbon footprint.

As the UAE forges ahead with its efforts to increase food self-sufficiency, it is important to balance the demand on natural resources with environmental sustainability.

The country has a wide range of policies, strategies, and programs to ensure a proper balance between the requirements of socioeconomic growth and environmental conservation.

However, climate change and other challenges will make agriculture and food production more resource-intensive and place additional pressure on natural resources.

Against this backdrop, it is necessary to develop and adopt solutions that are both environmentally friendly and future-proof.

This is the idea behind a webinar organized by the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) on the occasion of the National Environment Day.

The webinar will feature presentations by ICBA’s scientists and experts who will share their insights on how ICBA’s solutions and innovations can help to support food security and environmental sustainability efforts in the UAE and how capacity development and knowledge transfer are integrated into all of ICBA’s activities, projects, and programs.


Environmental sustainability and climate resilience go hand in hand with sustainable farming. The UAE has scarce natural resources such as fresh water and arable land. Therefore, it is important to make sure that agriculture and food production do not cause a major reduction or degradation of these resources.

As food security and self-sufficiency are at the top of the government’s agenda, it is necessary to make the most of freshwater and other resources and reduce the environmental impact of such activities as desalination. At the same time, it is important to utilize unconventional soil and water resources for agriculture and food production.

For more than two decades, ICBA has developed and tested in the UAE a variety of solutions and approaches that help to improve soil fertility, rehabilitate degraded land, and save water and energy while maximizing yields. And environmental sustainability and suitability have always underpinned these solutions and approaches. More importantly, capacity development and knowledge transfer have been an integral part of all of the center’s activities, projects, and programs.

This webinar will showcase some of these solutions and approaches and discuss how environmental sustainability and climate resilience should be built into every effort aimed at food security. It will also present examples of ICBA’s research and capacity development work towards supporting sustainable agriculture and food security in the UAE.

Dr. Tarifa Alzaabi

Acting Director General, ICBA

Dr. Charbel Tarraf
Dr. Charbel Tarraf

Senior Manager - Corporate Services and Development, ICBA, UAE

Dr. Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle
Dr. Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle

Chief Scientist, ICBA, UAE

Dr. RK Singh
Dr. R. K. Singh

Program Leader on Crop Diversification and Genetics, ICBA, UAE

Dr. Khalil Ammar
Dr. Khalil Ammar

Program Leader on Sustainable Natural Resources Management, ICBA, UAE



Opening remarks - Dr. Tarifa Alzaabi, Acting Director General, ICBA, UAE


Crop diversification as a nature-positive strategy – Dr. RK Singh, Program Leader on Crop Diversification and Genetics, ICBA, UAE


Adapting to climate change through sustainable water management – Dr. Khalil Ammar, Program Leader on Sustainable Natural Resources Management, ICBA, UAE


Developing capacities for food security, climate resilience and environmental sustainability – Dr. Charbel Tarraf, Senior Manager - Corporate Services and Development, ICBA, UAE




Concluding remarks – Dr. Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle, Chief Scientist, ICBA, UAE


The webinar is open to the public. It will also be livestreamed on YouTube.

How to participate

If you would like to attend this webinar, please register here. You can also watch a livestream on YouTube.