To further strengthen the existing partnership and collaborate more closely in sustainable agriculture and development, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE) joined forces today to work together on sustainability projects. The collaboration was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA, and Mr. Ivano Iannelli, Chief Executive Officer of DCCE.
Through this partnership, both organizations agreed to cooperate in technical research, knowledge sharing, capacity building and project development.
The collaboration includes reviewing technical aspects of research projects of mutual interest and support in equipment supply as appropriate, sharing content highlighting ICBA’s contributions and efforts under its mandate in different areas, including but not limited to green economy, sustainability, sustainable development, food security and nutrition and capacity development, to be featured in DCCE’s knowledge products such as national reports and The Sustainabilist magazine.
Moreover, the collaboration includes promoting joint initiatives through outreach activities and developing knowledge hubs to address current regional needs in agricultural sustainability.
The agreement also covers brainstorming and collaboration on studying the needs of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in agricultural sustainability and developing project concepts for implementation in collaboration with concerned government entities.
During the signing ceremony, which was held at the DCCE office in Dubai, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi said: “ICBA is delighted to partner with the Dubai Carbon Center of Excellence to work together on sustainability projects. Sustainability is one of the core areas addressed by ICBA research and development programs. Through partnerships with national, regional and international organizations, we have so far implemented our programs in over 30 countries. I am sure this new partnership with the Dubai Carbon Center of Excellence, will further boost our efforts to work towards sustainable agricultural production and a more food and nutrition secure world.”
For his part, Mr. Ivano Iannelli said: “ICBA is pivotal towards regional success stories in the food, water and energy nexus. Their work has created a tangible knowledge base that can enhance our soil and water management best practices amongst an array of other scalable initiatives linked to carbon emission mitigation and adaptation.”
As an applied agricultural research center, ICBA has been working to address current and future risks and problems in marginal areas. Since 1999, the center has been identifying, testing and piloting resource-efficient, climate-smart crops and technologies in salt-affected, water-scarce and drought-vulnerable regions around the world. As a result, ICBA has accumulated extensive applied experience and developed tailor-made solutions to the problems of salinity, water scarcity and drought. The center is uniquely positioned to introduce much-needed climate-smart crops and technologies in different parts of the world to alleviate projected food and water crises.
Moreover, ICBA stores one of the world’s largest collections of germplasm exclusively dedicated to heat- and salt-tolerant plant species. Its gene bank has over 14,000 accessions of around 240 plant species from more than 150 countries and territories of the world. The gene bank also preserves around 250 seed samples of 70 wild plant species from the UAE, the center’s host country.
ICBA targets some of the poorest communities in regions where agriculture is the main livelihood but is failing due to salinity, water scarcity and drought.