1st Regional Conference on Financing and Governance of Water in the Mediterranean

The MedWet Coordinator is visiting Greece to participate in the 1st Regional Conference on Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector, a project labelled under the Union for the Mediterranean and organized by the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean, to be held in Athens on 28-30 October.


Photos credit Marlagoutsos

The Conference was opened on 28 October by Michael Scoullos, President of the Global Water Partnership Mediterranean (GWP-Med), Naser Tahboub, Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, and Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP-MAP). The project reports for the work done on the subject in Jordan and Tunisia were presented and discussed.

In his intervention as member of one of the panel discussions, the MedWet Coordinator pleaded in favour of taking into account the following issues in the work to be done in other countries, issues that apparently have not be fully included in the Jordanian and Tunisian studies:

  • Water has key functions in nature, not only when it has been piped for human consumption.
  • The emphasis should be place on the integral value of water, not only on “water price”, important as this issue is in all societies.
  • Concerning costs, all functions of water should be considered, not only the costs related to human needs, and take into account that human needs also include human security, provided, among other things, by well functioning ecosystems.
  • Governance of water should also include the sound governance of water sources.
  • Investments should be planned not only on hard water infrastructures but also on the green infrastructures of water ecosystems, to ensure that they continue to function properly.
  • The private sector should be encouraged to participate and intervene not only in the water demand side to satisfy human needs but also in the water supply side (water sources).

The MedWet Coordinator regretted that in practically any of the interventions at the Conference, with the exception of UNDP presentation of its Global Water Solidarity initiative, those issues were not clearly considered.  He said that MedWet is ready to work with GWP-Med and others in order to ensure that the question of the functions and services of water ecosystems are fully taken into account in all plans and works related to water as a human need.