Introduction

EWACC2012 – Building Bridges

Energy, Water and Climate Change – Building Bridges between Europe and MENA

Dates: 10-12 December 2012

Venue: Hilton Hotel, Nicosia, Cyprus

The region encompassing the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, with a combined population of approximately 500 million people, is characterized by strong environmental gradients, climate extremes and diverse economic, social and cultural identities. From a global perspective, the region is a climate change “hot spot”. Adverse impacts of climate change throughout the 21st century are expected, and major challenges in energy and food security, threats to environmental integrity, as well as decreasing availability of fresh water are anticipated.

Science and technology are key determinants for economic growth and societal well-being. In addressing the many and growing challenges for humanity, scientific research is crucial to help find sustainable solutions in a region with limited resources. A true European-MENA partnership on science and technology is needed, to be developed by co-operations between international research and educational institutions.

The conference will bring together a broad range of expertise – distinguished scientists from various research fields and communities, the private (energy) sector, primary stakeholders, policy makers and high-level officials- to foster sustainable development by broadening and deepening the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue.

The conference builds on two preceding events: the EWACC2010 and the Solar Energy for Science/Building Bridges conference in 2011. The first two days of the conference will address climate change, fresh water availability and in particular energy security in the region. The third day will be devoted to seeking partnerships and ways to “Build Bridges”, between the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

The final conference of the FP7 EU project CLICO (http://www.clico.org) will also take place in the framework of EWACC2012. CLICO aims at clarifying the complex and context-specific inter-dependencies between environmental, social and political-economic factors call for inter-disciplinary, cross-comparative research covering a variety of geographical and historical contexts. There will be a number of plenary talks as well as two days of parallel sessions on the CLICO project during EWACC2012.

The EWACC2012-Building Bridges conference will also include a dedicated programme to involve the next generation of scientists and educators, particularly from MENA countries. Prior to the conference a “Young Scholars Forum” will be organized with topical lectures by established academicians on advanced topics such as energy, water and climate change. This pre-event will bring together young researchers from MENA and Europe to raise awareness on global challenges, to prepare the scientific grounds and to stimulate scientific exchanges and cooperation

The planned outcome of the conference is a “Cyprus Declaration” with recommendations on how to promote and implement an effective Euro-Mediterranean science and technology collaboration that addresses regional aspects of the grand challenges.

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