Barcelona. After several stopovers in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Italy and other ports in France; the boat captain, the crew and, Mr. Raymond Jost, Secretary General of the International Secretariat of Water (ISW) promoter of this initiative, presented the results of the cruise activities to the Union for the Mediterranean Water and Environment Division and, to other invitees representing the Generalitat de Catalunya, the European commission in Barcelona and NGOs working in the field of sustainable development.
Despite the rainy weather, yet with a friendly marine atmosphere, and directly from the bridge of the Sailboat, the ISW presented the highlights of their 3-month journey, which aimed to enhance dialogue among the different stakeholders and, especially to raise awareness among youth on sustainable use of water resources. During the trip, the crew collaborated with more than 250 professionals and reached more than 1000 children and scholars who were, in the words of the venture coordinator Sabrina André, very “receptive and sensitive” to the messages on water and the environment .
Mr. Jost expressed his wish to expand the cruise to include all the Mediterranean in 2013. He stated -while showing his “blue passport” -that: “it is a dream to see citizens being attached to their territory and their river basin and not anymore to national irrelevant borders”.
Deputy Secretary General Rafiq Husseini thanked Mr. Jost for “this innovative and pioneering initiative which can reach the entire Mediterranean region” and encouraged ISW to pursue to widening their impressive initiative in 2013. He stated that “choosing the sea to connect people is the most natural way to bring people from both shores of the Mediterranean closer and UfM must support initiatives which bring concrete solutions and innovative activities for regional integration and shared commitments towards sustainable use of water and environmental protection”.
The ISW team presented to Dr. Rafiq Husseini the “Earth seen from the Sea”, which is a map representing the historical basins around the Mediterranean
During the past three months, and in the framework of the 6th World Water Forum, held in Marseille, March 2012, the “Solidarity Sailboat” sailed across the Mediterranean stopping and organizing activities in Tangier, Oran, Bizerta, Palermo, Bonifacio, Ajaccio, La Seyne-sur-Mer, La Ciotat and Marseille, to advocate about freshwater and salt and water usage. It is an initiative of the ISW, an international non-governmental organization based in Montreal, Canada established in 1990, in the context of the Decade for Water and Sanitation.