Barcelona, 30 October 2014. Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the project’s First Regional Conference held from 28 to 30 October 2014 in Athens, Greece, Naser Tahboub, the UfM Deputy Secretary General for Environment and Water, highlighted the need “to strengthen regional cooperation to improve capacity and institutional response to water scarcity and respond to the clear need for financial stability”.
Some 100 water specialists and stakeholders from the Mediterranean region, both from within and outside the water sector, including public authorities and civil society and private sector representatives, attended this three-day conference. The conference aimed to present the outcomes of the National Water Policy Dialogues conducted in Jordan and Tunisia during the project’s first year of implementation (2013-2014) and discuss the way forward for the second year and its imminent implementation in Palestine, set to start in November. It also aimed to build on the regional dialogue initiated at the project’s launch conference, held in May 2013 in Barcelona. Furthermore, it provided an opportunity to share national experiences on sustainable water governance and financing and call for further south-south as well as north-south cooperation.
The project’s First Regional Conference provided a platform to review synergies with other international and regional actors working towards advancing sustainable financing for water and sanitation infrastructure, including through private sector participation, such as the UNECE’s initiative to establish a Centre of Excellence on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Water and Sanitation. It also benefitted from a side workshop which presented the relevant work conducted by the EU-funded project “Sustainable Water Integrated Management – Support Mechanism (SWIM-SM)” to contribute to the extensive dissemination and effective implementation of sustainable water management policies and practices in the Southern Mediterranean Region.
The project “Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector” is a joint undertaking of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med). It aims to diagnose key governance bottlenecks to financing through PPPs for the Mediterranean water sector and to support the development of consensual action plans based on international best practices. The project also provides a regional platform for dialogue and reflection among national policy-makers, private sector players and civil society representatives with the aim of defining specific solutions for governance reforms that will help to achieve financial sustainability in the water sector, including mechanisms to mobilise financing outside government expenditures.
NEW PUBLICATION – Newsletter #1 – First phase of implementation