In a landmark move at COP28, the EU and Egypt fortified their environmental alliance. Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, and Hany Sewilam, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, inked a Joint Declaration to forge a sustainable water partnership, signifying a major leap in their enduring environmental collaboration.
The declaration heralds the inception of High-Level Annual Meetings—a strategic forum for pivotal discussions and resolutions. It also announces the creation of a Joint Working Group to bolster cooperation with a methodical framework.
Additionally, it paves the way for a future Water Forum for Businesses, envisioned as a nexus for business leaders to unite and propel efforts toward water security.
This partnership is poised to enhance Egypt’s water security by sustainably managing its limited water resources. It aims to cultivate ongoing dialogues and policy exchanges, thereby augmenting technological, scientific, and managerial expertise in both territories. It sets a benchmark for analogous partnerships throughout Africa, with Egypt at the helm, exemplified by its Sustainable Development Strategy 2030.
EU Commissioner Sinkevičius emphasized: “With global water stress escalating, fortifying our water resilience is crucial to averting looming health, food, and energy crises. The EU-Egypt Water Partnership epitomizes our shared dedication to addressing this global imperative.”
This Joint Declaration builds upon the robust foundation of EU-Egypt environmental cooperation and is in sync with the Team Europe Initiative on Water and Food Security. The UN Water Conference in March highlighted the necessity of a holistic strategy to concurrently tackle climate change and the interconnected water, energy, food, and ecosystem crises.
Come 2024, the European Commission, under President Ursula von der Leyen’s directive, will launch an initiative on water resilience. This initiative aims to foster a collective understanding of the challenges posed by global water stress and to chart a course toward a water-resilient future.