Recife, the capital city of the northeaster Brazilian state of Pernambuco, is hosting a meeting between Arab and South American technicians and diplomats on water resources, the semiarid and desertification. The meeting that began on August 20 will end August 22 and will serve as preparation for a ministerial meeting between both regions to discuss the matter, scheduled to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 16 and 17.
Six Arab and three South American nations, as well as the League of Arab States are participating in the meeting in Pernambuco, according to information supplied by the Brazilian Foreign Office (Itamaraty).
Among the Arabs, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Yemen, Iraq, Qatar and Algeria will be represented. The South American countries represented are Brazil, Argentina and Peru, according to the secretary at the Summit Follow-up Division at the Ministry of Foreign Relations, André Rosa Bueno.
Research shows that up to 2050, half of the arable land in the world should no longer be producing due to desertification. And this is a concern both of the Arab countries and of South American ones like Brazil, which have arid and semiarid regions, kinds of land that suffer great danger of desertification.
Among the topics being discussed are the joint biennial executive program for the area. The Arab League is responsible for presenting the proposal, in a meeting. According to the Itamaraty, the League has presented a proposal of six technical meetings turned to themes like desertification, treatment of solid residues and agriculture.
Apart from that, the organization wants South America to form a network of technicians in the area, like the one that already exists in the Arab world. The proposal should be discussed by those present.
According to material disclosed by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the event is also focusing on recommendations for the meeting in Riyadh, the establishment of some commissions, the use of the ASPA-Science site and the discussion of suggestions by specialists, made at round table meetings, of priority areas for cooperation in water resources, the semiarid and desertification.
The League of Arab States, for example, should raise the matter of satellite monitoring of the expansion of desertification, an area in which Brazil may be a partner, according to the Itamaraty, as it already dominates this technology.
The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) should also participate in the event presenting its experience, for example, in the production of seeds for the semiarid. Apart from serving as preparation for the meeting in Riyadh, the event should also function as preparation for the next Summit, to take place in Doha, Qatar, early next year.