Regional Conference on Water Governance in MENA and Wider Mediterranean Region: Strengthening Integrity, Financing for Water Security, and Sustainable Development

Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) will be contributing to the regional project entitled “Capacity Building on Water Integrity in the MENA Region”. AUI’s role involves participation in the Conference on Water Governance in MENA and Wider Mediterranean Region that will take place in Barcelona, Spain on 12-14 December 2017, under the auspices of the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

 

The Conference is organized jointly by two UfM-labelled regional projects: the Governance and Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector Project, led by the Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean (GWP-Med), and the Water Integrity Capacity Building Program for MENA Project, led by the UNDP Water Governance Facility at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Sweden.

 

This occasion marks the strategic and operational synergy between the two UfM-labelled projects, both of which receive financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the European Union-funded regional project on Sustainable Water Integrated Management-Horizon 2020 Support Mechanism (SWIM-H2020 SM|2016-2019) respectively.

 

The Conference will assemble coordinators and alumni from the five participating MENA countries (Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia) as well as representatives from the various sponsors. In addition to this, other UfM member states from within and outside the water sector—including public authorities, civil society, donors, banks and the private sector—will also be present.

 

AUI will be represented by five participants, the project leader, and four alumni, all of who will present their projects:

    • Prof. Ahmed Legrouri, the project leader and a resource person for the Conference.
    • Ms. Ilham Maaraji, Ph.D. Student, Hassan II University, Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines, Mohammedia, Promotion of drip irrigation powered by solar energy.
    • Mr. Salah Bel Matrik, Secretary-General, Agence du Bassin Hydraulique du Bouregreg-Chaouia, Berrechid, Groundwater governance by water table contract in Berrechid.
    • Mr. Mohammed Drihem, President, Val d’Ifrane Association, Ifrane, Reinforce the integrity in the water management of Oued Tizguite.
    • Mr. Moha Maloui, Administrative and Finance Assistant, Tafilalet Oases Program, Ouarzazate, Introduce integrity in drinking water and collective laundry projects in Errachidia.

 

The Conference presents an occasion for the coordinators and alumni to present their water integrity action plans and discuss them with the participants. It will specifically focus on the following objectives:

    • Sharing and further disseminating insights, tools, lessons learned, the best practices on good governance, financing experiences, and water integrity risk management.
    • Contributing to the development of the UfM Water Agenda, especially with regards to the governance, horizontal financing component, and the role of integrity.
    • Advocating among political leadership to increase support of good governance practices’ enforcement.
    • Facilitating a deeper understanding and dialogue on appropriate ways to fund the water sector within a green economy context.

 

AUI was selected in 2014 as the national partner to represent the Kingdom of Morocco in the project following an international call for applications by the UNDP Water Governance Facility of SIWI. In the past, the national partner—typically a member in consortium with five different institutions within the five MENA countries—implemented program activities at the national level and performed four tasks from 2014 to 2017, including:

    • Conducting a national study with the aim of identifying the main water integrity risks in the country.
    • Hosting and providing the logistics for national trainings.
    • Conducting follow-up activities with alumni.
    • Contributing to experience-sharing at regional workshops and conferences.