GIZ ACCWaM with prominent presence at the Arab Water Forum

At: 09-12-2014

As one of the main partners of the 3rd Arab Water Forum which was held from 9-11 December 2014, GIZ ACCWaM organized, with important international and regional actors, four sessions addressing climate change, civil society, media engagement and water ethics. The sessions attracted in total 150 visitors from across the region.

 

 

 

Session 1: Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation, Proofing and Finance in National Water Policy

This session, in coordination with AWC, presented the outputs of training activities conducted in the three pilot countries of GIZ ACCWaM, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Importantly, it discussed best practices for upscaling in the Arab region. It was concluded that mainstreaming of climate change at the levels of water policy, water projects and infrastructure is an urgent need. The newly-established Green Climate Fund offers many opportunities for adaption (and mitigation) projects. However, to access monies requires what is termed ‘readiness’ and countries are well advised to build the necessary capacities to be eligible to apply and administer these funds.

 

Session 2: Engagement of Civil Society and the Media in Climate Change Adaptation in the Water Sector in the MENA Region

This session hosted by GIZ ACCWaM, also in close cooperation with AWC, discussed the question of how governments can improve their outreach to civil society and the media, and vice versa. In the first part, four representatives, from a government ministry in Egypt, parliament in Jordan, civil society in Lebanon and academia in Morocco came together to share on a panel their expert views on this vital topic from different perspectives. In the second part, a draft roadmap for strengthening the role of civil society on national and regional level was presented. It was concluded that it is an urgent need for capacity building of civil society to engage in climate change adaption and in a constructive dialogue with decision-makers. In addition, their engagement in the design and implementation of national and regional policies and strategies was seen as an important need. Providing a legal framework for civil society engagement was also considered a crucial, but not sufficient step, the law needs to be translated into action. And last but not least, to ensure the dissemination of information and the awareness raising of societies on climate change, the involvement of the media is key.

 

Session 3: Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation in the Arab Region

This session hosted by UN ESCWA in collaboration with GIZ ACCWaM, FAO, LAS and ACSAD presented the results of the Regional Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Vulnerability (RICCAR), including regional climate change projections and hydrological modeling outputs for the Arab Region covering future time horizons, and related those findings to adaptation solutions specifically focused on the agricultural sector. This included a review of the major agro-ecological zones which are the dominant users of water in the region and which represent the basis systems for food security, rural livelihoods and natural resources sustainability.

 

Session 4: Making Water Ethics Relevant to Water Management

This session was hosted by the Water-Culture Institute in cooperation with GIZ ACCWaM, UNESCO-IHP and Botin Foundation and was dedicated to ethics within the water policy discourse, and in particular to the development of a Global Water Ethics Charter as a critical tool water management decisions. The Charter aims to provide a moral basis for water management decisions and brings ethical thinking into the public sphere and the political agenda. Businesses, cities, and organizations who endorse the Charter would commit to uphold its principles. The goal is to shift the discourse of water policy towards a shared ethics of sustainable ecosystems and human wellbeing. The discussion centered on the importance and added value of such a charter and how specific versus universal such a charter must be in order to be an effective tool for conflict resolution and yet find the approval of all involved parties.

 

 


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