Barcelona, 6th November, 2012. Bringing together promoters and water experts form the initial pilot countries, the UfM Secretariat held this week at its premises a two-day seminar to discuss next steps towards the planning and development of this proposed project, which aims at strengthening the management, sharing and monitoring of reliable data on water resources in the Mediterranean.
The project was proposed by a consortium composed by the Ministry of Energy & Water of Lebanon (MEW), the Centre of Water Studies and Arab Water Security (COWFS) of the League of Arab States and the Euro Mediterranean Water Information System network (EMWIS). The countries who agreed to participate in a first pilot phase of this overall project are Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia.
Discussions during the seminar focused on setting the final objectives of the project, communication and management issues and the fundraising strategy. Both, promoters and pilot countries, analysed the synergies and coordination among the national components strengthening the water information system of each pilot country, and the regional components including methodology, capacity building and data reporting. Pilot countries’ representatives presented their specific objectives and foreseen developments including the state of play, difficulties and the institutions and actors involved. All parties agreed that professional training was necessary in order to improve the production and exploitation of environmental data in the Arab countries. “We need to train our engineers to provide accurate information for the water information system”, declared Chahra Ksia from the Arab Water Security Center.
As next steps to be taken, the UfM foresees the organization of Ministerial meetings, and meetings with potential donors and the pilot countries, together with the re-examination of the project’s governance structure. As Walter Mazzitti, from EMWIS, stated: “This project may become the hat for others projects”.