NEWS FLASH #1 - AUGUST 2012
THE SWIM PROGRAMME
Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) aims to contribute to the extensive dissemination and effective implementation of sustainable water management policies and practices in the Southern Mediterranean Region in the context of increasing water scarcity, combined pressures on water resources from a wide range of users, desertification processes and in connection with climate change.
SWIM Partner Countries are: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria and Tunisia.
SWIM consists of two major Components, which are inter-related and complement each other:
. A Support Mechanism
. Five Demonstration Projects
THE SWIM LAUNCHING WORKSHOP AND 1ST COORDINATION MEETING
The SWIM Launching Workshop was organized on 7-8 December 2011 in Brussels with the aim to ensure that activities planned under the two Components of the Programme – the SWIM-Support Mechanism and the Demonstration Projects - bring an added value for addressing pressing water challenges in the Mediterranean by filling urgent policy gaps, particularly in an era of reforms in the Region.
Following the official start of the five SWIM-Demonstration Projects a 1st Coordination Meeting with the Support Mechanism took place on 5 March 2012 in order to define in more details the framework for cooperation and the coordination modalities.
REGIONAL TRAINING ON PRIVATE-PUBLIC-PARTNERSHIPS (PPP) FOR WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
In collaboration with the ENPI Horizon 2020 Capacity Building /Mediterranean Environment Programme (H2020 CB/MEP) project, SWIM-Support Mechanism organized a 3 days regional training course on Public Private Partnership (PPP) in water infrastructure. The training took place on 19-21 December 2011, in Amman, Jordan.
ASSESSING WATER USERS PARTICIPATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN PARTNER COUNTRIES
SWIM-Support Mechanism (SWIM-SM) has accomplished a regional assessment illustrating the range of experiences in water users’ participation in the Partner Countries with regard to irrigation, complemented with specific case studies coming from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia. This was followed by a regional workshop (23-24 April 2012, Athens – Greece) to promote the exchange of experiences and best practices among the countries of the region, present and validate the findings of the regional assessment with national stakeholders, and identify priority actions at country level that could be undertaken in the framework of SWIM-SM.
ASSESSING BEST AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGIES (BAT) FOR DESALINATION IN RURAL AREAS WITHIN AN IWRM CONTEXT AND ORGANISATION OF THE 1ST SWIM-SM CORE DESALINATION GROUP MEETING
SWIM-Support Mechanism (SWIM-SM) has concluded the preparation of an assessments aiming to provide the decision makers in Partner Countries with a review and close-up look at the state of the art on BAT for desalination, with special emphasis on applications in rural areas. The findings of the assessment were revised, discussed and validated during the 1st Meeting of the Core Desalination Group (CDG) that took place in Athens on 11-12 June 2012.
REGIONAL REVIEW OF NATIONAL WATER PLANS AND/OR STRATEGIES AND REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON PLANNING WATER RESOURCES IN SWIM-SM COUNTRIES, WITH FOCUS ON IWRM STRATEGIES AND PLANS
SWIM-Support Mechanism has prepared a Regional Review of the status of National Water Plans and/or Strategies and the progress towards Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). This activity was identified as a concrete priority by the SWIM PCs during the inception phase and the country fact-finding missions and aims to provide the PCs and the international community, at large, with an assessment and close-up look on the status of national water planning in one of the most arid regions of the world.
SWIM MEDIA INFORMATION WORKSHOPS IN JORDAN, LEBANON, MOROCCO AND TUNISIA
Four (4) information workshops have been recently organized in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia to introduce journalists working for broadcast, print or online publications to the SWIM Programme and its two components (the Support Mechanism and the Demonstration Projects).
The workshops have contributed to increase their understanding about critical water management challenges facing the Mediterranean countries and possible solutions at focus in SWIM and to build in each country a core group of information professionals that might follow-up closely the implementation and achievements of the Programme and inform accordingly their audiences.
The information workshop has also been an occasion to present the draft SWIM Media Kit under preparation and to gather the input of participants in view of adapting this information material to their actual needs.
RAISING THE AWARENESS OF FARMERS ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ISSUES RELATED TO THE REUSE OF WASTEWATER IN AGRICULTURE
A SWIM-Support Mechanism (SWIM-SM) regional campaign to promote awareness raising of farmers in the SWIM Partner Countries on environmental health issues related to the reuse of raw or treated wastewater in agriculture is currently under preparation.
MAINSTREAMING CLIMATE CHANGE NO-REGRET ACTIONS INTO IWRM POLICIES
SWIM-Support Mechanism is developing guidelines aiming to provide water policy makers, stakeholders and planners with an effective tool to integrate no-regret actions for adaptation of the water sector into current IWRM plans, policies and programs, such that no-regret actions have a high likelihood of being implemented, lay the groundwork for future adaptation efforts and ensure consistency and support to the overarching development objectives of PCs. The guidelines shall be ready by June 2012.
COORDINATION WITH OTHER REGIONAL INITIATIVES AND PROJECTS
SWIM-Support Mechanism (SWIM-SM) is coordinating with other relevant initiatives and projects with a view of promoting synergies and bringing added value to on-going efforts towards sustainable water integrated management in the Mediterranean Region.
NEWS FROM THE SWIM DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS
SWIM - JORDAN RIVER DEMONSTRATION PROJECT NEWS
SWIM-JR Project Directors from WEDO/ FoEME were invited to speak at an important seminar entitled "Access to Water and Sanitation: A Fundamental Human Right?" in the European Union Parliament in June. The event coincided with the opening of FoEME's Jordan River Photography Exhibition in the EU Parliament. Pictures from the Parliament event can be found here.
In July the Jordan River exhibition will be traveling to London where FoEME Directors will host a public event and the opening of the exhibition in a London mosque. The exhibition will then open in a neighboring synagogue.
Moreover, WEDO/ FoEME launched a restricted tender for International Firm Consultancy Services to undertake the development and publication of the "FoEME Master Plan: A Vision for the Lower Jordan River" Four firms have been invited to submit full proposals.
Read More: www.foeme.org
LAUNCHING WORKSHOP OF THE SWIM - WADIS-MAR DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
The launching workshop of SWIM-WADIS-MAR (Water harvesting and Agricultural techniques in Dry lands: an Integrated and Sustainable model in MAghreb Regions) was held in Djerba (Tunisia) on 24 May 2012. This meeting brought together more than fifty participants along with project partners: the University of Gabes, the Ministry of Agriculture (Direction Générale de l'Aménagement et de la Conservation des Terres Agricoles DGACTA and Direction Générale des Ressources en Eau DGRE), the regional department of agriculture in Medenine (CRDA), local development programs, regional offices of the Ministry of environment, civil society (NGOs, etc..), farmers and agriculturists, the Embassy of Italy in Tunis.
Read More: www.wadismar.eu
KICK-OFF WORKSHOP OF THE SWIM - SUSTAIN WATER MED DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
The Kick-off workshop of SWIM- Sustain Water Med (Network of demonstration activities for sustainable integrated wastewater treatment and reuse in the Mediterranean countries) was conducted on 26 - 27 March in Berlin, Germany with the participation of sixteen representatives of all consortium partners and stakeholders from the partner countries. Two representatives from the EU Delegation in Cairo attended the workshop too.
KICK-OFF MEETING OF THE SWIM - ACLIMAS DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
The Kick-off meeting of SWIM-ACLIMAS (Adaptation to Climate Change of Mediterranean Agricultural Systems) has been organized on 21-22 March 2012 in Tunis, Tunisia with the participation of twenty-six representatives of all consortium partners and stakeholders from national and international authorities.
Read More: www.aclimas.eu