WGSIni gets 'couch treatment' in Stockholm

WGSIni sits for a friendly SIWI Sofa chat on the MENA region's development outlook

August 31, 2016 | By Valerio Ponzo

At World Water Week in Stockholm, SIWI Sofa functions as a cross between a speakers’ corner and an interview studio. During each Sofa session, in a laidback atmosphere, journalists conduct interviews and facilitate discussions between experts on a variety of water-related topics to promote interdisciplinary collaboration, knowledge sharing and a deeper understanding of key water issues.

On August 30, 2016, five esteemed guests sat down in the SIWI Sofa studio to share their views on how the Water, Growth and Stability Initiative (#WGSIni) can support the MENA region and its water stakeholders in advancing water management at national and local level, and in promoting a comprehensive and integrated approach to water security and ecosystem services.

Key takeaway messages from the session included:

  • WGSIni is an excellent tool for sharing experiences that can help overcome the many water-related challenges facing the MENA region.
  • It is vital to promote sound water governance and an inclusive stakeholder approach.
  • Good management of transboundary water resources is crucial for ensuring stability in the region.
  • External factors that might affect the availability of water resources should not be underestimated.
  • The REC and the WGSIni are conveyors of lessons learned and are also transferring good practices and building bridges between MENA and other regions.
  • A long-term perspective is pivotal for developing tools and solutions to deal with the multi-faceted challenges that revolve around water across the MENA region.
  • It is important to focus more closely on comprehensive processes, such as the WGSIni, than can integrate and build on successful projects carried out across the region.

The following SIWI Sofa guests are featured during this segment:

  • H.E. Mr. Mohamed Abdel Aaty Sayed Mohamed Khalil, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt
  • Mr. Ridha Gabouj, General Director of Rural Engineering and Water Management, Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of the Republic of Tunisia
  • Mr. Ali Subah, Secretary General Assistant for Strategic Planning, Ministry of Water and Irrigation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  • Ms. Marta Szigeti Bonifert, Executive Director, Regional Environmental Center (REC)
  • Mr. Anders Jägerskog, Counsellor, Regional Development Cooperation, Water Resources, Embassy of Sweden in Amman