Bank of Palestine is the main sponsor for the Palestine International Water Forum
11 | 7 | 2018
Bank of Palestine provided the main sponsorship for the activities for the first Palestine International Forum, alongside several international and local organizations. The Forum is organized through an initiative from the Water Authority, under the slogan "modern technologies and practices for the application of comprehensive management of water resources." Over a period of two days, the Forum activities featured scientific sessions with the participation of experts in the state of the water sector globally, in addition to several relevant officials and representatives from the public and private sectors., and experts and delegations from over 20 Arab and international countries. Parallel to the Forum, an exhibition was held with the participation of over 25 local and international companies.
Mr. Mazen Ghneim, the President of the Water Authority, delivered a speech during the opening ceremony of the Forum, where he praised the true partnership with the companies and stakeholders concerned with the issue of water. Ghneim stressed the importance of focusing on the state of the water sector, and finding solutions that contribute to the promotion of international cooperation in the field. He also stressed the importance of international participation in the activities of the Forum, demonstrating the Water Authority's anticipation to become an international platform that gathers all influential partners and experts who are able to lead the development of the state of water worldwide, and become a forum for strategic solutions for contemporary water issues. Ghneim also mentioned the rising international interest in the concept of water security: "we are confident that the Forum is not the end, and certainly not the last of its kind. It will be the starting point for many international forums and conferences that will promote Palestine in international forums." The Forum sessions featured enriching discussions on ideal technologies and sound and comprehensive management of water resources; means to develop the managerial, technical, technological and institutional aspects of this vital sector; focus on identifying strategic solutions for existing challenges, mainly political challenges and issues concerning climate change; issues pertaining to deficiency, trespasses on water resources, and substances used in water networks; management, connection and communication; and consolidating relations and opening prospects for suppliers.
The Forum sessions addressed several issues regarding untraditional water resources, issues on water treatment and reuse for agricultural purposes, the importance of drawing sustainable plans for managing water in Palestinian cities taking into consideration access to water resources, population, available networks and the percentage of deficiency. Experts from Arab countries shared their national experiences in the treatment of water supply and sewage, mainly desalinization, and the obstacles they were confronted with. Working papers addressed the issue of water usage after treatment by focusing on several projects in this domain.
Bank of Palestine's sponsorship for this Forum is part of its corporate responsibility towards society and in harmony with its belief in the importance of working with local and international organizations to come up with solutions for the issue of water scarcity in Palestine. Considering that many factors led to water shortage in Palestine for many years, mainly due to a decrease in the level of rainfall and a decrease in the share of water for the Palestinian individual below the globally recommended rates to achieve water security, the bank's sponsorship aims to enhance local expertise with global information and experiences in the field of capacity development in Palestine, and identify the ideal uses of water resources.
It is important to mention that Bank of Palestine is one of the signatories on the United Nations Global Convention, which is committed to the protection of human rights, the environment, workers' rights, etc. The bank encourages and promotes projects that protect and preserve the environment and water, and it is committed to setting standards in the process of granting loans, ensuring that funded projects comply with environmental standards and water conservation. The bank also designed a facilitations program to encourage clients to implement environmentally friendly projects.