A lecture delivered at the TRENDS Research & Advisory on 26 December, 2019, highlighted the significance of soft security issues among the challenges facing the Arab World and called water as the most critical issue.
In the lecture, Dr. Mohamed Abdelraouf distinguished the traditional challenges such as water, natural disasters, desertification and unemployment from emerging challenges such as political instability, climate change and energy security.
He also emphasized on the impact of climate change on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries equating it with both soft and hard security. Dr. Abdelraouf also talked about the economic impact of climate change.
Dr. Abdelraouf also shed light on the many agricultural constraints facing the region including the limited water resources and continuous deterioration in the quality. He said that the climate is unsuitable in most of the countries even as traditional irrigation systems demonstrate low irrigation efficiency (30-50 percent), high evaporation and water losses.
According to him, the region faces various environmental challenges and that the environment is getting less priority than economics, sports…etc.
“Environmental issue has been among the root causes of unrest in the region during the past nine years,” he said.
Dr. Abdelraouf also talked about unfair distribution of wealth from natural resources as one of the triggers for unrest in the region. “Regional cooperation and good environmental governance are key to sustainability and stability in the region,” he said.