MME-Qeeri strategic drive on implications of Covid-19 on food security
May 10 2020 07:18 PM
The meeting in progress.
The meeting in progress.

The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and Qatar Energy and Environment Research institute (Qeeri) participated in a video conference in the fifth meeting of the joint Qatari-European-American global research team for food- water- energy (FWE) nexus project (Sunex).

This meeting was attended by Dr Mohamed bin Saif al-Kuwari, director of the Centre for Environmental and Municipal Studies, representing the MME, and Dr Abdulkarem Amhamed, energy efficiency programme director, representing Qeeri at Hamad Bin Khalifa University.

Sunex offers an integrated systems approach to support decision-making processes used in formulating inclusive urban Food Water Energy (FEW – strategies). The applied nexus-approach relies on important urban data, stakeholder’s dialogue and consistent development scenarios to address and understand the complex interlinkages between the three systems to maximise their synergies.

Sunex will be applied for Berlin, Bristol, Doha and Vienna to learn from different consumption patterns and resource use. The Sunex project is jointly funded by the Belmont Forum and the Qatar National Research Fund QNRF.

This meeting was held to discuss the project progress activities, and to reprioritise the research elements within the project to support Qatar and other countries to face the global Covid-19 pandemic. Scientists shared the results obtained from three analytical models developed, which showed promising data with useful outcomes.

These models (food, water and energy) were designed to include strategies and scenarios to predict food, water and energy consumption until 2050 for the four cities mentioned above. The systems will take into account the type of energy consumption, the population and its rate of growth, urban planning and the living patterns of the population. The business as usual and projected scenarios for food, water and energy consumptions were applied.

The scientific team added a new scenario due to global outbreak of Covid-19 and assess its implications on GDP. This scenario shows some positive indicators to achieve sustainable FWE during Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr al-Kuwari and Dr Amhamed stated that, in the near future, the team will have a food database that will benefit decision makers to strengthen food security system and address any emergency situation such as Covid-19 pandemic.

The food security strategy in Qatar is based on expanding the local production of agricultural and food commodities such as fresh vegetables, dairy, dates, red meat, eggs, fish, etc; storage of agricultural and other basic food commodities that cannot be cultivated locally such as wheat, sugar, rice, etc.

The National Strategy for Food Security 2019-2023 came up with objectives to unify the efforts of the authorities in the country for optimal use of natural resources to fortify the food security system against emergencies. In addition, the policymakers in Qatar will be strengthened to address crisis like Covid-19 and other unforeseen crises or emergencies in the future.

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