EMPOWERING CIVIL SOCIETY IN WATER MANAGEMENT
- (0) Comment
“Water is the stuff for life”as a famous UN-definition suggests. It is the basic source. The Southern Mediterranean Region (SMR) is predicted to be the first in the world to run out of water. Inadequate water supplies due to climatic reasons result in increasing droughts; and inadequate infrastructure need to be tackled – and, thus a change is needed in management practices. “Because water sources in the Arab world are expected to drop by 20 per cent during the next two or three decades due to climate change, it is imperative for countries in the region to ensure sustainability of the existing water resource” states the Jordanian Minster for Water and Irrigation Hazem Nasser at the opening of the ENTIRE-Workshop in Amman. The ENTIRE-project is funded by the European Union's Non-State Actors and Local Authorities-program for “Strengthening the Capacities of Non-State Actors Actions in partner countries”. The project stands for Empowering Regional Civil Society Networks to take an Active Role in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the Southern Mediterranean Region. For the duration of two years it is set in the Southern Mediterranean Region performing in the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Currently, this region is undergoing tremendous political change – the “Arab Spring”. Reforms are also undertaken in the water sector, which is a great chance for participation of stakeholders and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who are affected by water issues on their day-to-day basis but have so far limited influence. The ENTIRE-project seeks to enhance and empower the role of CSOs that should play a greater role in water conservation, which is a very important goal towards keeping water resources intact for future generations. The most important challenge here is to focus more on gender-balanced and poverty-oriented aspects by establishing involvement mechanisms of CSOs. The Collective Leadership Institute (CLI), the Arabian Countries Water Utility Association (ACWUA), the Arab Network for Environment & Development (RAED) and the German Water Partnership (GWP) are the partners of ENTIRE.