An interesting webinar about “Water Integrity in the Mediterranean: Lessons learned and new trends” organized by the IME (Institut Méditerrannéen de l’Eau) by the WGF (Water Governance Facility) will be held on 13 December from 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm CET. To register and follow the proceedings you can click HERE
The Mediterranean is currently facing multiple challenges relating to water resources management and services delivery due to the impact of climate change and the evolution of human activities. Huge investments are needed to realize new infrastructures and rehabilitate and maintain the networks in order to achieve SDG 6 targets and specifically drinking water and sanitation universal access. But the challenges are not only relating to water scarcity and lack of proper funding, governance is often an issue when looking to water providers’ performances and service quality.
Poor governance is in many cases the consequence of lack of integrity which could be defined as “the use of vested powers and resources ethically and honestly for the provision of sustainable and equitable water and sanitation services” and according to the World Bank, 20 to 40 percent of public finances worldwide meant for the water sector are lost due to corruption and dishonest practices, knowing that integrity as a concept is not addressing anti-corruption only, but lack of transparency, accountability and participation as well. Indeed, observers estimate that “20 percent to 70 percent of resources could be saved if transparency were optimized and corruption eliminated” (Shordt, Stravato, & Dietvorst, 2006).
From 2014 to 2017, UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility (WGF) implemented a regional capacity building programme, promoting and developing Water Integrity in MENA in collaboration with regional and local partners in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. This programme was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and endorsed by members of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). It highlighted the major water governance risks in the five pilot countries and engaged a variety of stakeholders including professionals of major institutions to address the mentioned risks. In 2017, a meeting was co-organized with UfM and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) at World Water Week in Stockholm to draw the road map for support to the countries to continue working on improving water governance. Later the same year, a regional conference was held in Barcelona co-hosted by UfM, SIWI, and the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean.
The participants recommended further building of collective action for water management with integrity. The aim of this webinar is to gather experts from the Mediterranean, one of the most impacted regions in terms of water scarcity to present the lessons learnt from the different initiatives taken in the region relating to water integrity and provide an overview of the strategies, actions and new trends around this topic, knowing that numerous infrastructure projects are currently planned around the Mediterranean to mitigate the climate change impact, especially relating to non-conventional waters engaging substantive investments. The webinar will showcase good practices of integrity processes and regulations that have been implemented by some water sector institutions supported by some international organizations, private companies and NGOs around the Mediterranean that could be duplicated in other countries.