Malta, 26-27 July. The social, economic and environmental impacts of water challenges, including the direct impact of climate change on water resources and their associated costs, are calling for urgent action. The UfM Member States, aware of the urgency of finding solutions to these issues, cooperate on national and regional scale.
With the purpose to leverage the mandate given by the Water Expert Group in its fifth meeting and to work out a common UfM water agenda (see the Outline of recommended conclusions), the Second Meeting of the Drafting Group of the UfM Water Expert Group (WEG) was convened in Malta last 26 and 27 July.
The Second Drafting Group, co-organised by the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med), the EU-supported H2020/SWIM II Support Mechanism Project and the UfM Water & Environment division, fine-tuned the work on the process and content of a potential Roadmap/Action Plan of an UfM Water Agenda and turned it into a consolidated and shared proposal, ready to be submitted to the next WEG meeting (6th WEG) and to the UfM Senior Officials Meeting in autumn 2016.
The meeting was chaired by Mohammad Bani Mustafa, Director at the Ministry of Water of Jordan and Marta Morén Abat of DG Environment of the European Commission, representing the UfM co-presidency, and the UfM Acting Water Deputy Secretary General, Almotaz Abadi.
About the UfM Water Expert Group (WEG)
The Fifth Meeting of the WEG decided on re-launching the regular regional dialogue on water issues of common interest. Held in Luxembourg on 23-24 November 2015, the 5th WEG gathered representatives from UfM Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. The participants of the meeting called for the creation of a smaller Drafting Group tasked to look into a joint regional roadmap and its associated workplan to move towards a UFM common water agenda. The WEG also suggested giving political impulse to this joint work.
This close regional cooperation on water issues builds on previous conferences, such as the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Water, held at the Dead Sea, Jordan, in December 2008, and the Fourth WEG, which took place in Barcelona in 2011.
The Second Meeting of the Drafting Group of the UfM WEG follows the 1st UfM WEG Drafting Group Meeting that was held on 5 April 2016 in Athens in which a potential political upscale of the joint work was elaborated and a calendar for the works of the Drafting Group and the WEG was suggested. Comprehensive presentations to streamline the discussions were given by Prof. Michael Scoullos (SWIM-SM), Alessandra Sensi (UfMS), and Vangelis Constantianos (GWP-Med).