Barcelona, 27 November 2014. UfM Deputy Secretary General for Environment and Water, Naser Tahboub, participated in the Opening Ceremony of the 2nd Mediterranean Water Forum, held in Murcia, Spain from 25 to 27 November. In his speech, Mr Tahboub highlighted the need for continued efforts and stronger coordination amongst Mediterranean actors in order to tackle priority issues in the region, which is facing growing pollution and water scarcity challenges.
Following the 1st Mediterranean Water Forum (December 2011 in Marrakesh, Morocco), Mr Tahboub welcomed efforts to continue the invaluable cooperation and exchange of know-how and experience in the water sector. This year, he noted that the second regional event will be structured around the preparatory process for the 7th World Water Forum, set to take place from 12 to 17 April 2015 in Daegu, South Korea. Of Palestinian origin himself, Mr Tahboub stressed the importance of coordinating efforts to ensure access to water while accelerating regional efforts and optimising coordination to achieve international depollution goals.
Tahboub shared the UfM Secretariat’s recent experiences and priorities for regional cooperation in water within the framework of the renewed and strengthened phase of the H2020 Initiative to De-pollute the Mediterranean by 2020. He also emphasised the need to close the information gap and harmonise accessible data for relevant regional actors as well as the need for more concrete trans-boundary cooperation for the sustainable use of resources in the region.
The UfM Deputy Secretary General briefed the audience on the progress of concrete actions currently undertaken by the Secretariat, including the UfM-labelled project Mediterranean Water Knowledge Platform. The project aims to contribute to sustainable policies for integrated water resources management (IWRM) and climate change adaptation by releasing a Mediterranean White Paper on Water in addition to the national information systems. He also highlighted the ongoing efforts by the Secretariat to realise its mandate to coordinate with financing institutions on depollution investment projects under the H2020 Initiative.