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5+5 Water Strategy for the Western Mediterranean:
       · 1st Workshop Valencia 25th-26th February 2014
       · 2nd Workshop Oran 26th June 2014
       · 3rd Workshop Valencia 9th-10th September 2014
       · MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE: STRATEGY ADOPTION. Algiers 31st March 2015
       · 4th Workshop Madrid 10th September 2015
       · 5th Workshop Valencia 24th-25th February 2016
       · 6th Workshop Marseille 23th-24th June 2016
       · MINISTERIAL EVENT: ENDORSEMENT OF THE ACTION PLAN. Marrakech 16th November 2016

Aware that water is essential for the development of societies, but it is also a scarce resource, particularly in our region, Algeria and Spain have decided to launch a joint initiative to develop a water strategy for the Western Mediterranean (WSWM) basin within the 5+ 5 framework. This proposal was approved at the Malta Summit held in October 2012 by the Heads of State and Government of the 5+5 Dialogue.

Later on, the Foreign Ministers of the 5+5 countries agreed to work in conjunction with the European Union to develop this strategy in Nouakchott in April 2013. Furthermore, the initiative was announced during the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York and officially launched at the first 5+5 Economic Forum held in Barcelona on 23rd October 2013. Also, the initiative was presented during the UN-DESA (Division for Sustainable Development) Capacity Building Support to Integrated Water Planning and Management Meeting in New York, on 28th of January.

The aim of this strategy is to promote sustainable water use at local, regional and national levels, through the adoption of cross-cutting goals, management criteria and operational objectives, in order to harmonise water policies in the Mediterranean. Our approach is purposefully pragmatic and our aim is to agree on a strategic framework and an action plan.

Spain and Algeria are actively involved in the peaceful resolution of international conflicts and hope this strategy may constitute a tool of preventive diplomacy, contributing to maintaining international peace and security by facilitating international cooperation on water issues.

In this context, a first high-level Workshop was held in Valencia (Spain) under the auspices of the General Secretariat of the Mediterranean Network of Basin Organisations (MENBO) on 25th-26th February 2014.

The second Workshop of the Water Experts Group within the 5+5 Dialogue towards a Water Strategy for the Western Mediterranean, jointly promoted by Algeria and Spain, was held in Oran, Algeria, on 26th June 2014.

The third Workshop of the 5+5 Initiative to elaborate a Water Strategy for the Western Mediterranean, lead by Algeria and Spain, was held back to back with the 15th Steering Committee Meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Water Information System (EMWIS) and the Steering Committee Meeting of the Mediterranean Knowledge Platform. On the occasion of these events, the Steering Committee Meeting of the Mediterranean Water Forum and the Mediterranean Preparatory Process for the 7th World Water Forum were celebrated. The events took place in the premises of the Júcar River Basin Authority, Valencia on the 9th and 10th of September 2014.

Earlier this year, on March 31st, a Ministerial Conference was held in Algiers (Algeria) for the official adoption of the Water Strategy in the Western Mediterranean.

Following the approval of the Strategy we organised a working meeting (Workshop 4) that took place in Madrid (Spain) on the 10th of September 2015. The purpose of this meeting was to present the information compiled so far in regards to the Action Plan and to move forward towards finalising it. The meeting was a great success and general agreement was achieved in regards to the contents and methodology for the Action Plan.

On 24th and 25th February 2016, the 5th Workshop took place in Valencia, Spain, in the headquarters of the Júcar River Basin Authority. The meeting was devoted to discussing the state of play of the Action Plan, to the presentation of the projects proposed so far by the different members and to the dissemination strategy of the Action Plan. A thematic technical session related to the sustainability of dams in the Western Mediterranean was also organized on this occasion. The Action Plan was well received by the members and a calendar was agreed towards its endorsement at Ministerial level.

The 6th Workshop took place in Marseille on 23-24 June. The main objective of the meeting was the approval of the final version of the Action Plan, so that it can be adopted by the Ministers in Marrakech, on the occasion of the COP 22 meeting to be held on 7-18 November 2016. Moreover, a new updated Roadmap was presented together with an updated dissemination plan for the Strategy’s visibility and implementation. Finally, the Workshop included a technical thematic session regarding climate change in the Western Mediterranean in which several members made presentations about specific issues and proposals linked to their respective countries.

Following the celebration of the 6th Technical Workshop of the Water Strategy in the Western Mediterranean (Marseille 23-24 June 2016), a Ministerial Event was organised in Marrakech (Morocco) on the 16th of November 2016, on the occasion of the COP22. During this important event, the 5+5 Ministers officially endorsed the Action Plan and Rules of Procedure of the Strategy.

It was also at this event that, as per the approved “Rules of Procedure”, the Spanish Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment announced that Spain will hold the Presidency of the Ministerial Group on Water of the 5+5 Dialogue from the 1st of January 2017. The Presidency shall run for a period of two years on a rotating basis.

 

Ministerial Event Marrakech - November 2016

 

6th Workshop Marseille - June 2016

 

5th Workshop Valencia - February 2016

 

4th Workshop Madrid - September 2015

 

Ministerial Conference Algiers - March 2015

 

1st Workshop Valencia - February 2014

For further information, please contact remoc1@remoc.org