Qatar’s efforts to promote the sustainable adoption of water, energy and food (WEF) technologies provided the backdrop for a recent experts’ workshop by the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
The two-day event also sought to strengthen collaboration between WEF nexus researchers in Qatar and the United Kingdom.
Organised in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Birmingham, the workshop, themed “Localising Water-Energy-Food Nexus Innovation in Qatar”, examined the legal and governance aspects of WEF nexus discourse. The event also provided a platform for sharing information on how to ensure that WEF technologies are properly absorbed and adapted to local circumstances in Qatar.
Discussions considered enablers and obstacles facing Qatar’s WEF adaptation activities, as well as innovative legal tools, resources and other best practices that can help advance the country’s application of relevant technologies and solutions.
Localising Water-Energy-Food Nexus Innovation in Qatar was co-developed by the College of Law’s Dr Damilola S Olawuyi and Dr Walters Nsoh, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s Law School. Their collaboration in turn stimulated discussions regarding further multidisciplinary and institutional research between British and Qatari WEF researchers.
The workshop also provided opportunities for senior participants in government, private sector and academia to offer their perspectives on the adoption, diffusion and assimilation of WEF technologies in Qatar. The workshop also featured collaborators from the Kahramaa, Baladna QPSC, Education City Gulf Club, and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies amongst others.
Susan L Karamanian, dean of the College of Law, said, “Holding this event was important for several reasons. First, like many countries in the Arab region, Qatar faces the three-pronged challenge of water shortage, food insecurity, and extreme vulnerability of critical national infrastructure to climate change. Second, Qatar National Vision 2030 acknowledges the importance of a legal system that offers maximum protection for the country’s environment. Consequently, Qatar’s efforts to make full use of sustainable WEF technologies must never lose sight of the need to balance innovation with pragmatism.”
“Integrated and multi-system thinking is required to address the full range of challenges that may hinder the full deployment of innovative technologies that advance energy, water and food security in Qatar and the UK. This workshop has provided significant opportunities for us to unpack law and governance innovations that can help address grand challenges on WEF in both countries. We hope to build on the successes of this workshop to strengthen our high impact research and collaboration in partnership with our colleagues from the University of Birmingham,” Dr Olawuyi added.