Best practices from The Netherlands, Spain and France concerning the enforcement of water and environment legislations were exposed totwenty-nine (29) representatives of water and environment Ministries, relevant agencies including prosecutors from Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia in the framework of a study tour.

In particular, participants were introduced through workshops and field visits to best practices in developing sound environment and water legislations & by-laws including permitting and licensing; institutional structures and legislative mechanisms to address water and environment violations; measures and techniques applied by water and environmental inspectors, regulators and prosecutors to address violations and noncompliance at the national, regional and local levels.

In particular, in The Netherlandsthrough the field visits to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment(Rijkswaterstaat Lelystad)and the Water Board Dutch Delta and Pumping Station in Dordrechtparticipants were exposed to best practices in water quality monitoring, emission control, permitting and managing discharges, inspection, enforcement and laboratory quality assurance and control for the generation of accredited evidences of noncompliance.

In Spain, guided by official water practitioners, they visited The Water Cultural Foundation at the University of Seville where legal framework and evolution of water legislation were discussed with legal experts on regulation, inspection and enforcement. The visit included a trip to Daimiel Water Center, where representative of the Guadiana River Basin Organization presented a typical case of using remote sensing as an advanced tool for monitoring and enforcing water and environment legislations. A visit to the Tajo River Basin Organization in Madrid introduced participants to the Hydraulic Public Domain while inspection, monitoring laboratories operations, control and surveillance systems were also explained and visited during operation.

In France, high level water officials presented the applied administrative means of control and sanctions over non-compliance with water legislations at national and local levels, practical aspects of organization, control and investigation of water violations as well as the implementation of the penal policies led by the French Ministry of Justice in Paris. In Marseille the participants were exposed to the control aspects of water management including inspection, monitoring and function of water police with illustrations using specific case studies.

The activity aims at strengthening effective rules of law in the South Mediterranean countries which, based on a regional review of water plansimplemented earlier by SWIM-SM, was shown to be one of the main challenges hindering the implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). This fact was also reemphasized during a regional workshop on planning water resourcesin the South Mediterranean countries where inadequate accredited monitoring systems, meager inspection, insufficient water rules and regulations, poor compliance and lack of technical and institutional enforcement capacities - including ill prepared judiciary systems - were identified as main constraints towards effective IWRM.

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