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Fadi Georges COMAIR
Fadi Georges COMAIR
Président et fondateur
Fadi G. Comair graduated from renowned American and French Universities and holds a PhD in Civil Engineering, Hydraulics and Energy Resources, as well as a diploma from Harvard University’s executive program.
He started his career working with the French Government as the Head of the Industrial Technical Research Centers Department, and Member of the European Union Standardization Committee at the Ministry of Industry, and managed various European Technical Committees related to water and energy resources as well.
Comair was then nominated Chairman of Lebanon’s Litani River Authority in which he was in charge of managing development plans for the Litani River basin, including projects related to irrigation, hydropower, water quality control and hydrological data monitoring.
He was subsequently appointed Director General of Hydraulic and Electrical Resources at the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water, where his work was marked by the initiation and preparation of the National Ten-Year IWRM Strategic Plan aimed at assessing and implementing long-term actions towards satisfying the country’s water demand. In this context, Mr. Comair has asked the Water Directorate of the Ministry of the Environment in France and the International Water Board to carry out this far-reaching plan for Lebanon. Several French consultants such as BURGEAP, Lyonnaise des Eaux, SAFEGE and EDF were involved in the development of this plan, the majority of which was entrusted to French companies such as VINCI, SOGREA, SUEZ. Environment, ARTELIA... with AFD funding especially for the Jezzine region, being the first project funded by this agency in Lebanon. For this reason Mr. Comair has contributed closely with AFD to the success of this project as well as others in Lebanon such as the Centre for Information and Training for Water Professionals requested by Jean-Louis Borloo (CIFME...).
Fadi Comair contributed to the drafting of the Atlas of Sustainable Development and of France, as part of the UFM project advocated by the Presidency of the Republic.
As the president of the Lebanese Commission on Transboundary Waters he also played a major role in the resolution of conflicts over several transboundary watercourses in the Middle East such as the Orontes, Nahr El Kebir and Jordan River Basins, and published several articles and books on these subjects.
He initiated the “Water Code” as an institutional reform of the water sector in Lebanon in coordination with the French government. One of his other notable accomplishments was the establishment of a national water resources data base department in Lebanon using state of the art technological and modeling tools.
As part of other professional activities and achievements, he acted as the president of the Mediterranean Network of Basin Organizations (MENBO) from 2009 to 2011, developing important activities and partnerships to promote the integrated water resources management in Mediterranean water basins, including the sound governance of water resources.
As Chairman of the Lebanese Committee on Transboundary Waters, he has played a major role in resolving conflicts on several transboundary rivers in the Middle East such as the Orontes, Nahr El Kebir and Jordan basins. In the case of the 2002 crisis on the Hasbani Wazzani Affluent, mediation to this conflict with a special emissary - at the time of Mr. Jacques Chirac - was concluded.
As a member of the Water and Energy Steering Committee of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), he initiated and actively contributed to the Strategy for Water in the Mediterranean that includes actions related to enhancing effective governance for integrated water resources management, adapting to climate change, enhancing drought and flood management, promoting water demand management including non-conventional water resources, etc.
He also worked on the creation of a Training and Information Center for Water-Related Professions in collaboration with the International Office for Water and which is planned to be launched during 2018. Comair is also currently the vice president of the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector (EMWIS) since 2003.
Since 2015, he is a member of the UNESCO Advisory Committee of Experts on Water and Human Settlements. He also acts as a core partner in the envisioned UNESCO-IHP “ECOMED” Network initiative (Environmental Coastal Observatory for Mediterranean Eco-sustainable Development) which aims to monitor coastal ecosystem pollutions and effectively support local governance capacity building to alleviate environmental hazards and ensure eco-sustainable regional development. Since 2017, he is president of Med-durable, an association under which he organized yearly symposiums on ‘Hydrodiplomacy and Climate Change for Peace in the Middle East’ at the French Senate (Case of the Orontes Basin in 2015, case of the Jordan River Basin in 2016, case of the Nile Basin in 2017, and the case of the Tigris and Euphrates in 2018).
Other significant achievements include his active participation as an expert and as a leader in implementing national, regional and international activities related to informing, raising awareness and promoting the sound management of water resources. Namely, he was the Initiator of the “Beirut Water Week” series (a recurrent event held in 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2013), and through his strong commitment to professionalism through ethics he has intervened as a key expert and speaker in renowned events related to transboundary water resources and conflict resolution through hydrodiplomacy.
For instance, he was interviewed as key expert as part of the French national assembly’s official mission on the geopolitics of water in the Middle East.
He also studied and reported on the impact of conflicts, namely the Syrian conflict and migration on the management of water resources in Lebanon and at the regional level.
Moreover, he was involved in the preparation of studies and strategies related to the following themes: public private partnerships, water governance, water financing, climate change adaptation, the Mediterranean solar plan, the water-energy-food nexus, and non-conventional water resources. Recently, he was appointed as member of the jury of the King Hassan II great World Water Prize of 2018.
Since 2008, Comair has been an active member of the Institute for Economic Prospective of the Mediterranean World (IPEMED) in which, with the support of France, has launched several initiatives on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) in all sectors of hydraulics , including the BOT and DBOT projects.
Mr. Comair has initiated infrastructure projects such as large hydropower, dams and hill lakes. He has in his assets the design and execution of 20 hydraulic works (rock-fill, BCR as well as hydroelectric production stations...).
He developed the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) at the level of the Mediterranean Basin Organizations Network (MENBO) as well as the implementation of the water information system at the level of the hydro-geographical basins (potable water station, sewage and sanitation treatment plant...).
In November 2019, Comair was elected as the President of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), which is the only intergovernmental programme of the United Nations system dedicated to water research, water resource management, education and capacity building.
Fadi Comair has also launched the studies, design and construction of some thirty dams with the support of France (Artelia, Tractebel, EDF for the auscultation component etc...). He signed several agreements with EDF, to whom he entrusted the auscultation of the Chabrouh dam, Beqaata, Yammouné... and it is for this reason that Mr. Comair wanted to create in collaboration with EDF the School of Auscultation and Securing of Hydraulic Works.
At the academic professional level, he taught numerous courses related to IWRM, transboundary water resources, public-private partnerships and hydrodiplomacy. He also founded the Water, Energy and Environment Research Center (WEERC) at Notre Dame University and was a thesis supervisor and member of defense juries for a number of Master’s and PhD theses related to water resources management and sustainable development at the national and international level.
He has received numerous distinctions in his home country as well as internationally including that of the honorary title of Diplomat, Water Resources Engineer (DWRE) by the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE). He has been decorated with the awards of “Knight of the Legion of Honor " in France in 2016 and appointed as a member of the French Academy of Overseas Science in 2018. He is also the recipient of the Gaia Prize 2017 for environmental safeguarding and security in the Mediterranean, awarded by the Petrovitch Njegosh Foundation of Montenegro and he was awarded the Phenix Prize for Literature in 2018 for his book "Hydrodiplomatie et Nexus Eau-Energie-Alimentation".
Mr. Fadi Comair is very active in the field of dialogue of cultures between the monotheistic Religions Of Islamo-Christian and Judeo-Christian. In 2008, Mr. Comair recovered the Convent of Saint-Maron of the Orontes from the hands of the occupants who destroyed it and he was distinguished by Pope Benedict XVI who granted him the papal decoration "Pro Ecclesia and Pontifice" of the Vatican in 2011. Mr. Fadi Comair built the headquarters of the Maronite League and the Central Maronite Council in Beirut in 1997. He was appointed a member of the Executive Committee of the Holy Valley of Kadisha, for his efforts in preserving the environment and restoring access to the convents of the Patriarchs. He was later appointed a member of the Executive Committee of the Maronite Fund by His Eminence Cardinal Bechara Rai.
Mr. Comair also presented a series of lectures on Eastern Christians, under the patronage of the National Assembly's Eastern Christian Study Group, and drafted the Charter of the Right to Return of Eastern Christians which is part of his forecoming book on Christians. This charter calls for the security of Christian entities in the various countries of the East and the safeguarding of this security by the United Nations and the creation of a protection body called "yellow helmets" in order to ensure the optimal related conditions for the return of the religious minorities in question.
Fadi Comair has also surveyed several university students and PhD students in their theses (Master and Doctorate) at the University of Lille, Sorbonne and Toulouse among others.
Comair has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications including books and articles related to water resources management, sustainable development, transboundary water resources and hydrodiplomacy.
Authored or co-authored books:
Comair F.G., Berthelot P., « LA CRISE DE L'EAU AU MOYEN-ORIENT : Tensions, changement climatique et hydrodiplomatie » 2019, Editions l’Harmattan
Fadi Georges Comair, Hydrodiplomatie et Nexus «Eau-Energie-Alimentation » 2018, Editions Johanet
Ballabio, R., Comair, F.G., Scalet, M. Scoullos, M. (Editors). (2015). Science diplomacy and transboundary water management, the Orontes River case. Published by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Blue Gold of Lebanon. (2013). Published by Civic Influence Hub. Edition l'Orient-Le Jour.
Water Resources in Arab Occupied Territories. (2012). Published by League of Arab States. (in arabic)
L'atlas du développement durable et responsable. (2011). Editions Eyrolles. ISBN : 978-2-212-54690-3
Comair, F. (2009). Water Management and Hydrodiplomacy in Lebanon. Published by Notre Dame University Press. ISBN 978-9953-457-74-1
Comair, F. (2008). Gestion et Hydrodiplomatie de l’eau au Proche-Orient. Editions L’Orient Le Jour. ISBN 9953012202, 9789953012209.
Comair, F. (2005). Lebanon water, between losses and exploitation. (in arabic).
Authored or co-authored selected articles:
Comair, F. (2017). Hydro-diplomatie et Nouvelle masse d’eau pour la paix au Moyen-Orient. Annales des Mines - Responsabilité et environnement, 86, (2), 49-55.
Revue de l’Académie des sciences d'Outre-mer, Mondes et Cultures. (2014). Stratégie du réseau méditerranéen des organisations de bassins (REMOB), hydrodiplomatie et nouvelles masse d’eau (NME). Tome LXXIV.
Comair, F. Donzier, J.F., Lainé, H., Mino, E. (2010). Une «Agence méditerranéenne de l’eau» pour passer de la stratégie à l’action - Confier la coopération régionale aux professionnels des bassins hydrographiques. Projets pour la Méditerranée, Institut de Prospective Economique du Monde Méditerranéen (IPEMED).
Comair, F. (2009). Renewable Energy Profile for Lebanon. In: Mason M., Mor A. (eds) Renewable Energy in the Middle East. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security. Springer, Dordrecht
Comair, F. (2009). Quelle stratégie régionale pour l'eau au Proche-Orient ?. Sécurité globale, 9,(3), 43-54. doi:10.3917/secug.009.0043.
L’eau en Méditerranée: fonder une stratégie commune. (2008). Perspectives Stratégiques, Edition L’Harmattan. ISBN 978-2-296-10749-6.
Comair, F. (2005). La géopolitique de l’eau au Liban. In L’eau, nouvel enjeu géopolitique, Etudes géopolitiques, n.4. Published by Observatoire d’études géopolitiques.
Les Enjeux Méditerranéens: l’Eau entre Guerre et Paix. (2004). Les cahiers de la Convention Démocratique. Lead author: De Charrette, H. Edition L’Harmattan. ISBN : 2-7475-6091-0
Le Pacte de Paris pour la gestion des bassins nationaux et transfrontaliers Cop21 (2015). Paris.
Les bassins transfrontaliers au Proche-Orient. (2013). Diplomatie Magazine, July 2013
Comair, F. (2015). Hydrodiplomatie et changement climatique pour la paix au Moyen-Orient: Cas du bassin de l’Oronte. Conference proceedings, French Senate.
- L’après Cop 21: Politiques d’adaptation pour le Moyen-Orient (2016). Beirut.
- Comair, F. (2016). Hydrodiplomatie et changement climatique pour la paix au Moyen-Orient: Cas du bassin du Jourdain. Conference proceedings, French Senate.
- Comair, F. (2017). Hydrodiplomatie et changement climatique pour la paix au Moyen-Orient: Cas du bassin du Nil. Conference proceedings, French Senate.