On January 24th, 2023, the BONEX project held its first Stakeholders workshop at the American University of Beirut. Attendees included farmers, professionals in the water, energy, food, and environment sectors, agricultural engineers, representatives from non-governmental organizations, and entrepreneurs from various backgrounds. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the current issues affecting Lebanon regarding the WEFE Nexus.
The workshop commenced with a greeting from the Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Prof. Ammar Olabi. Then, Dr. Walid El Kayal and Mr. Joe Hawi gave a keynote speech in which they provided valuable information on the BONEX project and discussed the Agrivoltaics demonstration project conducted at the American University of Beirut’s Advancing Research Enabling Communities Centre (AREC). After the speeches, attendees had the chance to meet and interact with individuals and companies from various parts of Lebanon.
To achieve the objectives of the workshop, a wide range of stakeholders with different backgrounds came together to explore the challenges and concerns that Lebanon is encountering regarding the WEFE Nexus. Some of these challenges included high energy expenses, environmental degradation, and water contamination. The diverse mix of participants led to a dynamic and practical brainstorming session that yielded productive results.
During the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to inquire about and discuss their own experiences related to the WEFE Nexus. The workshop concluded with the creation of a shared problem statement and a causal loop diagram linking the primary challenges. This provided participants with valuable insights and knowledge, chances to connect with others, and exposure to a range of viewpoints regarding WEFE matters in Lebanon. Numerous key stakeholders expressed gratitude for their involvement in the BONEX project and expressed excitement about future workshops that unite different WEFE experts.