At a meeting held in Marseille, France, on 23-24 June 2016, the Dialogue 5+5 (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia + France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain) adopted the draft Action Plan to implement the Water Strategy in the Western Mediterranean that in turn was adopted at a Ministerial Conference held in March 2015 in Algeria. (Download the strategy here)
The draft Action Plan consists of 58 projects submitted by the participating countries and regional organizations. 48 projects are in the category of Service Actions, for a total value of 132 million Euros, and 10 projects under the category of Infrastructure Actions, for a total value of 304 million Euros. At the request of Tunisia, the draft Action Plan will include an additional section on Capacity Building Actions.
MedWet, with the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory and four other partners, submitted the project Assessing and managing pressures on water and wetlands in the Mediterranean through the water footprint indicators, which includes two components: a) Publish a complete and updated Mediterranean Water Footprint Outlook (in Arabic, English, French and Spanish); and b) Water Foot Print Assessment in one major river basin in each one of the Dialogue 5+5 countries (with publication of the results in each national language and a summary of the 10 studies in English and French). The project would take 36 months to implement, with a cost of 3.6 million Euros.
The meeting in Marseille was hosted by the International Relations Unit of the Directorate of Water and Biodiversity of the French Ministry of Environment and was chaired by Spain, the current Presidency of the Dialogue 5+5.
The Action Plan document will be finalized by the secretariat of the Dialogue, the Valencia-based Mediterranean Network of Basin Organizations (MENBO), with the intention of submitting the Plan for formal approval by a Ministerial meeting to be held during the UNFCCC COP22 (Marrakesh, Morocco, 7-22 November 2016).
The meeting in Marseille adopted several proposals made by MedWet, such as the addition of a new project in the Action Plan to farther one of the three thematic blocks of the Water Strategy in the Western Mediterranean: the enhancement of the convergence of the policies in the Mediterranean countries towards a sustainable water policy.