Muscat The Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) will host an international symposium on environmental problems in the Arab World, from February 26-28, with a special focus on meeting challenges of sustainable development. The Arab Human Development Report published in 2009 by the United Nations gives a detailed assessment of the most significant environmental aspects which pose serious challenges and threats to the future development and human security in the Arab countries. The report emphasizes the need to minimize particularly the threats of water shortages, desertification, pollution, and climate change as key priority and called for the need for more conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Dr. Salim Mubarak Al Hatrushi, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Symposium and Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at SQU, said that analysis of these environmental challenges and search for their underlying causes and the mechanisms and dynamism inherent in them cannot be carried out without scientific research that guides policy and decision makers. “With this goal in mind, the forthcoming symposium would provide a forum for discussion,” he said. The objectives of the event are to bring together scientists and professionals from the Arab World and their counterparts to communicate and exchange knowledge on environmental issues; and to develop and provide a platform to discuss future plans for environmental management, conservation of natural resources and sustainable development in the Arab World. The themes to be discussed include adaptation to climate change; sustainable fresh water utilization; waste management and wastewater treatment; conservation and sustainable use of marine ecosystem; environmental governance in the Arab world; tourism activities and sustainable development; renewable energy and green economy; and environmental education and awareness. Prof. Ruud Schotting, who holds the Sultan Qaboos Chair for Water Management in Utrecht University, the Netherlands is the invited speaker for the symposium. In addition, there are four keynote speakers who will present their latest findings on various environmental problems in the Arab World.