A Waterloo Sustainable Development Group (WaterlooSDG) team, which includes Chief Executive Officer Tarek AlFarra and Senior Sustainable Agriculture Consultant ‘Chief’ Ibrahim AlRashid, is on an extensive sustainable development technologies-promoting tour of several Middle Eastern countries including Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait.
In Jordan, the first stop of the tour, the team met with community leaders and high-profile businessmen and secured a strategic sustainable agriculture and local economic development-focused agreement with Envision Consulting Group (EnConsult), one of the leading growth facilitating consulting companies in Jordan, headed and founded by Dr. Yusuf Mansur, Former Minister of State for Economic Affairs.
The WaterlooSDG – EnConsult agreement paves the way for both parties to jointly collaborate in exploring, designing and implementing integrated sustainable development projects and training initiatives particularly in agriculture, water management, and sustainable energy in Jordan and the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region.
Founded over 14 years ago in Amman, Jordan, EnConsult provides business, non-governmental organizations and public policy decision makers with advisory services and practical solutions to assist them in facilitating growth. Their clients include private enterprises and national and regional public sector entities.
In his remarks on the agreement, Dr. Mansour said that “EnConsult will explore with WSDG the initiation of a number of sustainable development projects primarily in the field of sustainable agriculture. The ideas that were discussed center on promoting the best practices and technologies that the Waterloo Sustainable Development Group brings to the table, which would assist in advancing sustainable agriculture know-how and training in the Kingdom and the region, creating in the process a whole new array of job opportunities that did not exist before.”
EnConsult’s Managing partner, Jean Mulot and WaterlooSDG’s Senior Sustainable Agriculture Consultant AlRashed attended the signing of the agreement. AlRashed emphasized that “Jordan, being one of the poorest countries in the world in terms of water resources per capita, finds in sustainable agriculture technologies the perfect solution to grow food as these technologies and best practices save enormous amounts of water and provide quality and nutritious food”.
In Qatar, AlFarra met with a number of leading agricultural companies and pioneers and discussed various WaterlooSDG-led sustainable agriculture network solutions and economically attractive opportunities that can contribute to achieving an improved level of food security in the desert nation.
Given the country’s hot desert climate and average annual rainfall of less than 75 mm (3 inches), Qatar, like other neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, has to rely on outside food sources to supply its growing population (currently 2.7 million) with their dietary needs. Today, more than 85 percent of all food consumed in the country is imported from foreign markets. Because of this, WaterlooSDG is working with local stakeholders to reduce this reliance on outside food markets through increasing domestic food production capacity via utilizing certain advances in sustainable agriculture technologies and best practices.
“WaterlooSDG’s visit to Qatar has been very productive. We were met with great hospitality by our friends and partners there and we’re currently working closely with them to provide the agricultural solutions that are the most suitable for their needs. What we bring to the table can significantly reduce the country’s food security vulnerabilities and we’re very satisfied with the outcomes of our trip.” AlFarra stated.
In the country’s capital Doha, AlFarra also visited the headquarters of the internationally renowned Al Jazeera Media Network. There, he discussed with directors various opportunities for WaterlooSDG to collaborate in increasing awareness among the network’s worldwide viewers on the latest issues, best practices and technologies in sustainable development. WaterlooSDG is set to cooperate with the TV network in the production of a number of short features on sustainability with an emphasis on areas related to agriculture, water, renewable energy, waste management, as well as general United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) awareness.
WaterlooSDG is also taking part in a number of Middle Eastern Conferences including the Columbia Global Centers “Contemporary Amman and the Right to the City Conference” (November 3-5) exploring with Jordanian and international experts various means by which to achieve better and more inclusive urban development. Moreover, it is engaging with regional experts and joining panel discussions and workshops on matters such as protecting biodiversity and the environment in the Middle East.