ICBA Foresight Symposium
At the Foresight Symposium Gala Dinner held on the 25 November in Dubai, His Excellency Dr. Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, stressed that the United Arab Emirates supports ICBA in its roles as an international center of excellence in the areas of integrated management of saline water and marginal degraded land in developing countries.
His Excellency acknowledged that since its inception in 1999, ICBA had attained regional and international prominence in the field of scientific research collaboration with many partners and expressed his confidence that the next ten years would strengthen ICBA’s role through the development of programs and services. He commended the participatory approach of the symposium involving so many representatives of research centers, academic and international institutions, regional and national donors and decision-makers in the development of a strategic plan which would strengthen the role of the center in alleviating water scarcity exacerbated by challenges such as climate change. In response, the ICBA Board Chair, Fawzi Al-Sultan, thanked the UAE Government for its generous support of the Center and praised the leadership role of the Minister of Environment and Water. Mr Al-Sultan acknowledged the importance of scientific expertise in the planning for sustainable development at all levels. The ICBA Director General, Dr Ismahane Elouafi, added her thanks to His Excellency for his sponsorship, attendance and consistent, ongoing support of the Center. The stakeholders at the Symposium comprised delegates including: four ICBA Board members and staff, UAE Government representatives (Dr Mariam Al Shenasi, Assistant Under Secretary, led the team from the Ministry of Environment and Water, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi; and Mr Rashid Al Shariqi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Food Control Agency), national and regional partners, donors, private sector, and eminent scientists from universities and international scientific institutions. Following the outline of the objectives presented by Dr Elouafi on the first day of the Symposium, the delegates worked together to look at the current and future issues influencing water and agriculture, the role of ICBA as an international center, the new scope of research focus and how research outcomes could be transformed into developmental projects to improve the livelihoods of farming communities. The creative results of the Symposium will identify strategic pathways including major initiatives for the next 5-10 years to frame a new research agenda and vision for ICBA in 2023. The Symposium was facilitated by Dr Sohail Inayatullah, who is a political scientist/futurist at the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies, Tamkang University, Taiwan; the Centre of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, Macquarie University, Sydney; and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs. Please click here to download ICBA Foresight Symposium Report January 01, 2013.