The Water Think Tank Méditerranée initiative was launched by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation during the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul in March 2009, in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Plan Bleu, the International Office for Water and Veolia Environnement. This initiative follows on from a round table organised by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, UNITAR and Veolia Environnement, during the Zaragoza Water Expo management in 2008, on the theme of integrated water resource management and the role of local authorities.
Urban development lies at the root of many challenges concerning water management throughout the countries of the Mediterranean region. Each local environment is distinguished by specific constraints, often accentuated by the effects of climate change: shortage, deterioration of the quality of natural resources, the state of access networks to water and sanitation services, conflicts of use... As a consequence, complex problems arise of a technical, financial, socio-economic and institutional nature, for which decisional choices are needed in order to ensure the sustainable development of the Mediterranean region. Such issues also affect the implementation of solidarity mechanisms in various forms and at various levels. In some cases, these mechanisms are focused on the allocation of a shared catchment area; in other cases, they are the direct product of dedicated territorial policies or result from the settlement of situations of conflict regarding shared water resources.
As such, the Water Think Tank Méditerranée aims to foster dialogue in order to promote sustainable and integrated water resource management within the Mediterranean region. In order to carry out this task successfully, the WTT endeavours to take on board the views of all the public and private stakeholders involved in water management and implements tools for exchange and cooperation thanks to the production, capitalisation and sharing of knowledge. Several initiatives concerning the water sector exist in the Mediterranean area, most frequently bringing into play mechanisms for political, financial, scientific and technical cooperation. The main aim of the Water Think Tank Méditerranée is to identify and promote governance mechanisms that will contribute towards efficient coordination between the various levels of management, especially that of the catchment areas and local authorities, in the countries of the Mediterranean. This involves examining the conditions required to ensure the sustainability of drinking water and sanitation services in Mediterranean cities, based on concrete case studies, in particular from the point of view of territorial governance and the co-existence between the various uses to ensure equitable water access. The project is based on a Research/Action process for the local players involved in territorial water governance. The research carried out by the Water Think Tank Méditerranée has led to the definition of the various types of conflict of use and an analysis of the solutions observed as far as water sharing is concerned.
Following this work, the founding partners of the Water Think Tank Méditerranée decided to organise a symposium to present and discuss the results of their research with all the stakeholders involved. The goal therefore is to give voice to a panel of experts, decision-makers and water professionals from the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean, so as to prompt the sharing of experiences and identify the most appropriate strategies for future research conducted by the Water Think Tank Méditerranée.
PRINCE ALBERT II OF MONACO FOUNDATION
In June 2006, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco decided to set up his Foundation, in order to address our planet's alarming environmental situation. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is dedicated to the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development. The Foundation supports initiatives within the fields of research, technological innovation and activities to raise awareness of the social issues at stake. The Foundation funds projects in three main geographical regions: the Mediterranean Basin, the Polar Regions and the Least Developed Countries. The Foundation's efforts focus on three main sectors:Climate change and renewable energies, biodiversity and sustainable water management.
UNITED NATIONS INSTITUTE FOR TRAINING AND RESEARCH (UNITAR)
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) contributes to the development of the capacities
of thousands of beneficiaries around the world through appropriate training and research in the fields of Environment;
Peace, Security and Diplomacy; and Governance. Within the Governance Unit, the Local Development Programme (LDP) develops the capacity of local actors to achieve sustainable development, thus responding to emerging needs and challenges facing local actors in the effective implementation of sustainable local development. The Programme constitutes an international platform for knowledge exchange, sharing and dissemination of best practice, innovation and lessons learned across cities. It fosters partnership building among public sector, private sector and civil society at local, national and international levels.
Plan Bleu is a Regional Activity Centre of the Mediterranean Action Plan, which is established under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme. Therefore, it works for all the Mediterranean rim countries and the European Community which adopted the Barcelona Convention (1976). It also works in partnership with the Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration and the Union for the Mediterranean. It is entrusted with producing information and knowledge in order to alert decision-makers and other stakeholders to environmental risks and sustainable development issues in the Mediterranean, and to shape future scenarios to guide decision-making processes. As a key resource for development -notably agricultural development-, water has always been a major issue for Plan Bleu's activities.
INTERNATIONAL OFFICE FOR WATER
IOWater has been developing for 20 years policy making and capacity building for integrated water resource
management through :
Studies, consultancy, twinnings to:
Veolia Environnement is the world leader in environmental services. With operations on every continent and more than 310,000 employees, Veolia Environnement provides customized solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in four complementary segments:
water, environmental services, energy services and passenger transportation.
Its research quality, expertise and team synergies, mastery of the publicprivate partnership model and commitment to sustainable development have made them a benchmark player in the environmental field.