Today, 54% of the world's population lives in urban regions and is expected to increment 66% by 2050. Additionally, climate change will add pressures and uncertainties that will present challenges to the society, economy, and environment, requiring cooperation across the public and private sectors. In this situation, focusing on urban living impacts can affect basic urban services, such as water or energy supply, making the city capacity to function for most of the world's population continuously.
Cities are at the forefront of the climate challenge and the heart of the global economy (80% of the ' 'world's GDP, 78% of energy, and 80% of the greenhouse gases), so they are critical to implementing an integrated approach to meeting the sustainable development goals and building climate resilience. Moreover, adapting to climate change is imperative for cities.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put cities at the cutting edge of the emergency. It has underlined how governments and municipalities specifically need to plan to cope with all types of hazards, including epidemic risks, and address gaps in their preparedness and develop a capacity to respond. Cities are taking steps towards becoming more resilient and protecting their residents, their assets, and remaining functional during crises, particularly in terms of delivering water and energy services. However, many cities lack expertise, long-term vision, the ability to prioritize, and the right framework conditions to tackle the complex issues required for improving their resilience. Addressing such issues requires more significant amounts of financing and a broader set of technical and institutional expertise.
How can we implement policies to build climate change resilience in the local circumstances of Arab cities? How can we foster research, technology transfer, knowledge management, funding, capacity building, and reforming legislative and institutional framework, among others, as priority areas for intervention? Those are some of the questions that the online conference is going to address.
The aim of this virtual event is threefold:
- Discuss the development of the adjustment of public policies, strategies, and budgets to ensure the optimal resilience of their respective urban water-energy-climate nexus system and the quality of life for all citizens.
- Exchange relevant knowledge, best practices, information, and lessons learned and advance regional initiatives on resilient cities, particularly in ensuring sustainable water and energy supply.
- Discuss the challenges facing the region and what can be done to transform these challenges into different business and economic opportunities.
In this context, the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network and the Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT) are organising the online conference Innovative Cities in the context of Climate Change: Risk Management in Water and Energy Supply. The online conference will be held virtually on Monday 5 April 2021 at 10.00 CET / 12.00 GST with a duration of three hours.
Master of Ceremony: Dr. Mustapha Taoumi, Key Expert, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
- Mr. Frank Wouters, Director, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
- Mr. Khalid Mohammed Badri, Director of the Environmental Center for Arab Towns
Scene setting presentation
- Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, Convener, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Session 1: Building climate resilience in cities: Cities led actions
Moderator: Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, Convener, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
- Mr. Almotaz Abadi, Managing Director -UFM WATER, the UfM Secretariat, Spain
- Mr. Vangelis Constantianos, Executive Secretary, Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean (GWP-Med), Greece
- Dr. Nikos Dimitriou, Senior Research Associate, National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos," Greece
- Mr. Mounir Kabbara, Manager at PwC’' 'Cities and Local Government Sector advisory practice, UAE
Q&A moderated discussion
Session 2: How can clean energies influence resilience in cities?
Moderator: Dr. Mustapha Taoumi, Key Expert, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
- Mr. Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen city, President of the UCLG Forum of Intermediate Cities, Board Member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, Morocco
- Dr. Noara Kebir, Managing Director and Senior Consultant MicroEnergy International GmBH, , Germany
- Dr. Najib H Dandachi, Senior Energy Expert, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network, UAE
- Mr. Thomas Meijssen, Senior Energy Expert, Consult 2050, Oman
Q&A moderated discussion
Session 3: Resilience and sustainable water supply in cities
Moderator: Prof. Thomas Andersson, Chairman of the board, the International Organisation of Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development (IKED), Sweden/Oman
- Professor Khalid R. Temsamani, University Abdelmalek Essaâdi, Morocco
- Dr. Mohamed Abdel Hamyd Dawoud, Advisor - Water Resources - Environment Quality, Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Mr. Eric Mino, Director, Euro-Mediterranean Water Information System (EMWIS/SEMIDE) Technical Unit, France
- Dr. Amgad Elmahdi, Head of MENA Region, International Water Management Institute, Egypt
Q&A moderated discussion
Wrap Up & Closing
- Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, Convener, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
- Dr. Mustapha Taoumi, Key Expert, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Dr. Mustapha Taoumi, Key Expert, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Dr. Mustapha Taoumi is the Energy Technology Expert of the “EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network” project, since January 2016. Dr. Taoumi has been leading Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency projects and technology deployment for over 30 years. He has worked with US AID, GIZ (Germany), JICA (Japan) and EU (DGXII) as Project and Programme Manager. He has conducted numerous feasibility and planning studies, building programs and has implemented projects on the ground. He assisted local institutions to develop strategic plans in sustainable energy. He managed numerous seminars and training workshops concerning the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Dr. Taoumi was also involved in several initiatives and projects with a regional scope particularly in MENA and Mediterranean regions including the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP). As a Regional Programme Officer for North Africa and the Middle East region (MENA) within the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first global intergovernmental organisation dedicated to all renewables, Dr. Taoumi managed several projects and initiatives across MENA region including Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA), assessment of local manufacturing potential in the Arab region and recently the Pan Arab Clean Energy initiative (PACE). Dr. Taoumi held several key positions including Secretary General and Interim Executive Director within the National Renewable Energy Centre (CDER) in Morocco - now transformed on a National dedicated Agency (ADEREE) as well as Executive Secretary of the Mediterranean Association of the National Agencies for Energy Conservation (MEDENER- Network). Before joining IRENA in 2010, he was nominated by the Ministry of Energy in Morocco as IRENA’s focal point and member of the IRENA’s Headquarters Selection Committee. Among other positions, Dr. Taoumi is an active member on several organisations, conferences and networks around the world including the MENAREC Conference International Steering Committee. Dr. Taoumi holds a PhD in Electrochemistry from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (INPG) in France and master's degrees in Electrochemical Engineering and Management Science, he is fluent in English, French, Spanish as well as Arabic.
Frank Wouters, Director, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Mr. Frank Wouters has been leading renewable energy projects, transactions, and technology development for over 25 years. He has played a lead role in development of renewable generation projects valued at over $4.5 billion. These range from small scale PV solar electrification in Uganda to the 100MW Shams I Concentrated Solar Plant (CSP) in the UAE, and strategic equity investment in the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind project. His transactions have received multiple project finance “Deal of the Year” awards. As Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first global intergovernmental organisation dedicated to all renewables, he managed a US$350 million IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development project facility for RE. He appraised over 80 projects a year and recommended projects for funding, including solar PV projects in Africa. Furthermore, he coordinated with government ministers and other stakeholders to promote private sector investment for RE projects as part of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor Initiative. Mr. Wouters has served on the board of several energy companies, including Torresol Energy (Spain and USA), WinWind (Finland and India), Masdar cvua (Netherlands), NICE (Netherlands and The Gambia) and Gorestreet Capital (UK). Qualified with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University, he is fluent in English, German and Dutch.
Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, Convener, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Senior Water-Energy-Climate expert and Corporate Entrepreneur at INNOVO Innovation Ltd. He has been the R&D Director at the Middle East Desalination Research Center, Oman (2015-2020), in charge of research programs/ projects on sustainable desalination technologies, renewable energies for desalination, water-energy-food nexus, climate change, and science diplomacy. He launched the USD 700.000 Prize Oman Humanitarian Desalination Challenge with his colleagues in MEDRC on 2018 and took part of its judging committee panel as well as its parallel research pathway panel. He has been projects manager at the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector (EMWIS), France (2004-2015). Earlier he was research at the Global Change Unit, University of Valencia (Spain), and he is still a Visiting researcher. He also worked as senior consultant for Sud-Convergences (France), and Expert Evaluator of the EC DG Research & Innovation (currently evaluator for the EU Green Deal proposals). He got MSc & PhD degrees in Earth Sciences (Physics) from the University of Valencia, Spain. He also got a Diploma in Enterprises Management & Strategy from SKEMA Business School, France. He is Co-founder and Secretary General of Arab World Association of Young Scientists and member of the Society for the Advancement of Science and Technology in the Arab World (SASTA), and alumni of the Global Young Academy (GYA). He organized and launched an important number of scientific events and networks. He chaired the evaluation for national & regional programs, such as the Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Program on Water and the Euro-Mediterranean regional Program PRIMA. He joined recently the advisory board of the Norwegian company “Ocean Oasis” working on offshore desalination solutions, the COMSTECH Scientific Advisory Council (COMSTECH-SAC), the EMME-CCI Task Force on Water Resources, the International Desalination Association and the European Desalination Society where he was elected as a board member, and he is member many other international scientific boards and PhD thesis & competitions judging committees such the annual Omani water research awards, the Omani Energy Majlis and he joined the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technologies Network in Abu-Dhabi as convener. He was nominated in 2011 by the French Ministry of High Education & Research as representative at the Intergovernmental framework for EU Cooperation in Science & Technology (TN1301). He was also co-leader of water panel at the WANA Forum. Dr. Jauad was one of 40 scientists worldwide selected for the “World Economic Forum’ for New Champions” in Tianjin, 2012. He joined the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic in 2014 and became the founding curator of Nice’ hub (France). He has published and contributed to hundreds of conferences in more than 55 countries, journals and reports in the aforementioned fields. He co-authored UNESCO Science Report 2015. He has built a strong record of attaining progressively responsible managerial positions during his 20 years international career (MENA & Europe) in relation with sustainability, climate change impact and management of natural resources (water, energy, food, etc.) and agriculture. He demonstrated efficiency in diversifying the funding of his organizations through obtaining funds from the European Commission programs as a PI, coordinator and contributor (FP7, H2020, ENPI CBC Med, INCO MED, INCO NGOs, SMAP, LIFE, PRIMA, etc.) and also from international donors such as GIZ, USAID, and national ones such as the research council of Oman, and also through CSRs from embassies and private companies (e.g. oil and gas companies, water & energy utilities, etc.). Dr. Jauad is fluent in French, Arabic, Spanish and English.
Dr. Nikos Dimitriou, Senior Research Associate, Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos" Athens, Greece
Dr. Nikos Dimitriou is a senior Research Associate in the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications at the National Center of Scientific Research & Demokritos in Greece. He holds a Diploma in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, an M.Sc. with distinction in Mobile and Satellite communications from the University of Surrey, UK and a Ph.D. in Mobile Communications from the same university. Over the last 20 years he has been actively involved in more than 20 research projects in the area of Wireless Communications and Internet of Things via his collaborations with the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications at the National Center of Scientific Research "Demokritos as well as with the Institute of Accelerating Systems and Applications at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece, with European Dynamics S.A. in Belgium and with the Computer Science Department at the King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia. He has published more than 75 papers in scientific journals, books and conferences, has participated in the development of the IEEE 1900.4 standard for Heterogeneous Wireless Access Networks and holds a patent related to the management of Networks of Interconnected Objects. Additionally, he has actively participated in Task Force 10 “Sustainable Energy, Water, and Food Systems” of the Think20 engagement group, focusing on policy recommendations for the G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia on sustainable smart cities using IoT technologies.
Mr. Mounir Kabbara, Manager at PwC’' 'Cities and Local Government Sector advisory practice, UAE
Manager at PwC’s Cities and Local Government Sector advisory practice. Formerly, Senior Sustainability Engineer for SEE Nexus, consultants for The Sustainable City, Dubai responsible for Water, Waste, Mobility. Holds a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering and Master's of Engineering Design in Sustainable Infrastructure. 3 years of experience in water and wastewater treatment. From 2015-2018, worked in City Development & Operations at Emaar Economic City, master developers of King Abdullah Economic City responsible for strategic Water, Power, Transportation, Sustainability & Innovation projects and initiatives. Senior Advisor for Local Pathways Fellowship initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Global Shaper at Dubai hub and Former Curator of Jeddah Hub.
Mr. Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen city, President of the UCLG Forum of Intermediate Cities, Board Member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, Morocco
Mohamed SEFIANI, engineer , Mayor of Chefchaouen since 2009. He is President of the UCLG Forum of Intermediary Cities, President of the Moroccan Association of Eco-cities. He is also board member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCOM), co-chair of the UCLG-Africa climate taskforce, member of the ICLEI-Africa executive committee, and Secretary General of the Federation of Moroccan and Andalusian Cities. He holds a training certificate in local governance from the University of Miami,and speaks four languages: Arabic, French, Spanish and English.He was appointed in 2019 by "Apolitical" among The World's Most Influantial People In Climate Policy.
Dr. Noara Kebir, Managing Director and Senior Consultant MicroEnergy International GmBH, Germany
Her professional background is in mechanics, energy and process engineering. Noara started her professional carrier at Siemens Corporation, after which she co-founded the MEI Group in 2001. MEI Group’s core mission is conceptualizing, developing and implementing technical and socioeconomic strategies for a Bottom-Up Global South Energy Transformation, through different vehicles: the academic think-tank Microenergy Research Systems is leading the scientific discourse with academic institutions across the world; MicroEnergy Consult consists of a multi- and trans-disciplinary team of experts specialized in assessing market potential, leading feasibility studies and supporting different stakeholders in linking financial inclusion with energy inclusions, for the ultimate achievement of SDG 7. In the innovation lab ME SOLdesign, engineers design open source soft- and hardware for a Global Energy Transfromation, which are then incubated into business models in the ME Venture Builder. Visit ME SOLshare’s website to learn more how about how this looks in practice. ME SOLshare was recently awarded UN DESA’s Powering the Future We Want Award, Elsevier’s Renewable Transformation Challenge, the Start Up Energy Transition Award and the Momentum of Change Award at COP22 in Marakesh. MicroEnergy International and its microfinance partners in Ethiopia recently won the Energy Globe Award Ethiopia and the Best Climate Practice Award. In February 2018, MicroEnergy International received the IKU Innovation Award.
Mr. Thomas Meijssen, Senior Energy Expert, Consult 2050, Oman
Thomas Meijssen MSc MBA – International expert in developing oil and gas fields worldwide, previously working for Shell. Graduated in Physics and Business Administration. He has been 32 years with Shell with numerous international assignments. He has been Chief Reservoir Engineer in Oman, Development Manager and Non-Operated Ventures Manager in Nigeria, and Country Chair and General Manager for Shell in Jordan. More recently he has been Consultant at the Ministry of Oil & Gas in Oman, advising the Ministry on regulations for the Oil & Gas industry in Oman. Thomas Meijssen is currently CEO of Consult 2050, connecting organizations with a wide range of consultants all around the world.
Prof. Thomas Andersson, Chairman of the board, the International Organisation of Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development (IKED), Sweden/Oman
Thomas Andersson, earned his Ph.D. in economics at Stockholm School of Economics, where he became associate professor. He was appointed full professor with specialisation in industrial organisation and international economics at Jönköping International Business School and was the president of Jönköping University, Sweden, 2004-2009. Currently the Director of the Organisation for Quality and Innovation Strategies (Qualies) he chairs “Water and Humanity”, an action-oriented multistakeholder platform promoting cross-border collaboration for realizing untapped opportunities, operating out of Muscat, Oman. Also, he is the president of the International Origanisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development (IKED), Sweden, and responsible for digital enablers, the Community of Practice (CoP) and non-EU partners in URBiNAT, a 5-year Horizon 2020 project on co-creation of Nature-based Solutions (NBS) and Healthy Corridors in the urban environment. Previously, he served on four high level EU expert groups, “Scientific Data e-Infrastructures“, “The Role of Community Research Policy in the Knowledge-based Economy”, “World Class Research Infrastructures”, and “Prioritisation Procedure for New Research Infrastructure”. In the EU-funded inconet-GCC project on capacity building in research and innovation, he led work package I on bi-regional policy dialogue and collaboration through Phase 1 (2010-2013), while in Phase 2 (2014-2017) which focused on health innovation and smart city development, he was responsible for the continuity plan. Among other assignments, he has been Deputy Director of Science, Technology and Industry at the OECD secretariat, Paris, He served as under-secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Sweden, and as director of international research at the Industrial Institute for Economic and Social Research (IUI) in Stockholm. A frequent speaker at international conferences, he has published widely, and been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University, the Bank of Japan, Hitotsubashi University, and the University of Sao Paulo. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).
Professor Khalid R. Temsamani, University Abdelmalek Essaâdi, Morocco
Khalid R. Temsamani is Professor of Analytical chemistry at the University Abdelmalek Essaâdi, Morocco since 1989. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) in 1988. In June 2005, he was appointed by the Moroccan Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research as National Coordinator in Materials Science and Representative of Morocco to the US NSF. In October 2010, he was appointed by the Moroccan Ministry of Environment as Director of the Regional Observatory for Environment and Sustainable Development, and Climate Change Advisor to the same Ministry. In 2018 he was elected Secretary General of the Mediterranean Climate House Foundation. Member of FAO’s TWG on Agriculture, Food security and Land Use, and member of the African Group of Negotiator’s Expert Support (AGNES). Temsamani is a senior advisor in Water Adaptation to Climate Change with the UfM.
Dr. Mohamed Abdel Hamyd Dawoud, Advisor - Water Resources - Environment Quality, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Prof. Dawoud is a professor at National Water Research Center (on leave) and he is currently Water Resources Advisor with the Environment Agency - ABU DHABI, UAE. He has graduated in civil engineering with honor degree and got his Master and Ph.D. from Ain Shams University through joint program with Colorado State University, USA. Since 1991, he has maintained an active program of research and consulting activities, with particular emphasis on Groundwater aquifers artificial recharge with desalinated water, Reuse of TSE, desalination technology, and water resources management. His current research includes water supply and demand, solar desalination, groundwater management, aquifer storage and recovery, and Reuse of TSE in many countries such as Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Oman, KSA, and UAE. He is an editor in three international journals and reviewer for other 7. He has 5 published books and more than 75 published research papers in international peer-reviewed journals, and international conferences. He got the 2009 Abu Dhabi Excellence Award and 2011 HH Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Award. In 2011 he was awarded by the National Academies-USA as one of best four young Arab water scientists.
Mr. Eric Mino, Director, Euro-Mediterranean Water Information System (EMWIS/SEMIDE) Technical Unit, France
Mr Eric Mino has 25 years of international experience with more than 15 years on water and environment. He is the manager of the Technical Unit of the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the water sector (EMWIS) since its launch in October 1999. EMWIS is a network of Water Authorities from the European Union and its Mediterranean Partner countries (i.e. the members of the Union for the Mediterranean). Before he was working for Eurocities, where he launched in 1994 a network of European cities network focusing on Digital Cities applications. He is conducting Innovation actions within large transnational projects focusing on the water challenges of the Mediterranean region around the adaptation to climate change, circular economy approaches, non-regret measures, nature based solutions and transforming tools to support the adoption of these solutions and transition towards a more sustainable society.
Dr. Amgad Elmahdi, Director of MENA Region-IWMI
Dr. Amgad Elmahdi is a Regional Water Solutions Specialist. He has over 25 years of working experience in the fields of hydrology, natural resource management, water accounting and assessment and water information management in operational, research, and academic institutions in many countries. His experiences involved providing evidence-based science and low-cost solutions to sustainably manage water and land resources for water and food security, people’s livelihoods and the environment. He is also a recognized International Water and Natural Resources Management Expert and the Australian representative for several international agencies- such as ICID- International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. He has received several awards nationally and internationally for his Science Impact for Landscape Water modelling in Australia and Strategic Excellence Award for Partnership and Watsaving award-ICID.
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