Roundtable Workshop “Capacity building for sustainable management of wetlands and water resources in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean”

MedWet represented by the Acting Coordinator Mr Nejib Benessaiah attended the Project Coordination Unit in the Roundtable workshop themed “Capacity building for sustainable management of wetlands and water resources in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean” that took place at Tour du Valat in Camargue, France o­n the 8th-10th July 2009. Wetlands International and Tour Du Valat, a research centre o­n Mediterranean wetlands in Camargue, France are cooperating in the creation of a new project that aims to promote at the regional level the exchange of experiences between Mediterranean countries o­n the issues of participatory and integrated water management and environmental security.

The project is a regional cooperation initiative with three pilot national projects. It is led by Wetlands International with a Coordination Unit in Tour du Valat (Camargue, France). With duration of three years (2009-2011) the project is financed by a CIDA contribution of 2,040,000 $. The budget allocated for each project by CIDA is around 200,000 euros plus 100,000 euros of counterpart co-financing from the local partners.

The project focuses on the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean o­ne of the most water deprived regions in the world. It aims to build the capacity and enhance cooperation within and between countries and organizations to help ensure that the threatened wetlands and other water resources are effectively managed in order to provide long term societal benefits. o­ne of the main goals is to bring together the various stakeholders including the government and the civil society in an attempt to create a more democratic use of water resources. Initially, it will be piloted in three different projects:

In Jordan: “Integrated water resources management and conservation in the Mujib Reserve” with the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature as the regional partner.

In Tunisia: “Integrated water resources management in Ichkeul catchment area, taking into account the conservation of Ichkeul ecosystems” with the Institut National Agronomique de Tunis as the regional partner.

In Morocco: “Capacity strengthening of civil society and water administration of Sebou river Basin to assess and monitor the ecological status of Sebou river” with  WWF Morocco and the Sebou River Basin Agency as the regional partners.

The challenges expected for this project:

– Define the level of engagement of civil society in water management, knowing the complexity of the issue and data requirements
– Ensure an equitable engagement in water management, including the role of women and the poor
– Introduction and acceptance of environmental flows and water service pricing.

MedWet was also invited as a full member of the 1st Regional Advisory Committee which took place in parallel with the Roundtable workshop.  MedWet’ s inclusion in the Advisory Committee is important as it can provide guidance and assistance based o­n its own “hands- o­n” experience of multi stakeholder involvement in sustainable water management in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries. As an organization MedWet values highly the inclusion of civil society in governmental decisions o­n management of wetlands and water resources. The Advisory Committee will physically meet o­nce a year but will review at distance the semi annual reports for the three year project duration.

Updated on 9/3/2009 11:39:28 AM