Opening of water resources management event
The Regional Transboundary Water Resources Management event opened on January 19 in the presence of key water stakeholders from Jordan and Tunisia, with H.E. Mr Niclas Trouvé, the ambassador of Sweden to Hungary, and H.E. Mr Mohamed Ali Ben Habib, charge d'affaires at the Embassy of Tunisia in Hungary, attending the opening session.
During the opening, Mr. Radoje Lausevic, deputy executive director of the Regional Environmental Center (REC) and director of the WATER SUM project, took stock of project implementation to date and walked the participants through the future steps towards achieving WATER SUM’s overarching goal. Participants also shared their expectations of the project up to its conclusion in April 2017, including continued awareness raising, the involvement of citizens in water governance, and the building of scientific knowledge.
H.E. Mr Niclas Trouvé outlined the importance of the project for the participating countries. The management of fresh water, water security and cooperation are essential in defusing conflict in North Africa and the Middle East. Cooperation on water issues is the seed of peace and can also improve living standards for all citizens, and especially for women, who are disproportionately affected by water shortages. The ambassador also emphasised that Sweden can share best practices in the fields of water usage and conservation.
H.E. Mr Mohamed Ali Ben Habib expressed his pleasure at contributing to and participating in the training on behalf of Tunisia, and expressed his gratitude to the Government of Sweden and the REC for providing an opportunity for training on important water governance issues. He affirmed Tunisia’s commitment to preserve and manage water resources, which are key for the agricultural sector and strategic for the development of the country as a whole.
On the margins of the opening event, during an interview session, the convened stakeholders and participants shared their experiences in water management and pondered over how the WATER SUM project can support the MENA region's development.