The Near East and North Africa (NENA) region, one of the most arid areas of the world, has been grappling with water scarcity for thousands of years. It was in this region that irrigation techniques were first introduced, and that some of the most fundamental crops for humanity were cultivated for the first time. Egypt, for example, was long the world’s breadbasket for of staple grains.
No other region has been as severely affected by desertification as the NENA region, mostly caused by unsustainable land use patterns, deforestation, and the overgrazing and rapid degradation of rangelands. Unless action is taken, the region may face heavy economic losses due to climate change-induced water scarcity.José Graziano da Silva