The WGSIni is supported and managed by the Regional Environmental Center and coorganised by a high-level panel and five forums (Academic Forum, Business Forum, Civil Society Forum, Municipality Forum and Women’s forum).

Good governance structures, policies and strategies, as well as water management technical propositions, need consensus not only at the level of technical expertise, but also have to be supported at the political level.

The proposed objectives of the High-Level Panel are to transfer expert knowledge on the three pillars of the initiative to central government bodies; and to highlight the interactions between good water governance and growth in order to galvanise political will and leadership for the implementation of water governance and management tools and processes that will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The academic sector contributes significantly to the production of sound expert technical and scientific knowledge. This knowledge is essential for building governance systems for water, drafting policies and strategies to promote the sustainable use of water resources, and developing tools and processes for water resources management.

The Academic Forum will bring together academics and experts to provide inputs to the WGSIni network under the three thematic pillars and to contribute to the development of tools and methods.

The forum comprises members of national and regional research and knowledge-based organisations and universities in the MENA region that are working in areas related to the three thematic pillars of the WGSIni. Members of such organisations in the international community with an interest in the MENA region are also welcome to participate in this forum.

The Water, Growth and Stability Initiative (WGSIni) is pleased to announce the launch of its Academic Forum, which will take place during the Third Water, Growth and Stability Conference (WGS3), to be held in Jordan in April 2017. As part of the forum’s kick-off activities, all interested parties working on any of the WGS3 academic forum topics are invited to submit the results or their ongoing or newly developed work, either in the form of an academic and policy paper for publication or a poster for presentation.

Parties can express an interest in participating by filling in and submitting this online registration form.

WGS3 Academic Forum topics concerning the MENA region

  • Water Resources Management Good Practices and Knowledge Transfer
  • Water and Security
  • Water and Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Water and Energy
  • Stakeholders in Integrated Water Resources Management

The business sector is a key driver of water consumption and directly affects water demand, supply and quality. It also plays an important role in interactions between water and growth.

This forum aims to give expression to the business perspective and to motivate the sector to be involved in water governance and in the achievement of the water-related Sustainable Development Goals.

There is increasing recognition that the active involvement of civil society and water users is a prerequisite for integrated water resources management (IWRM), water security, effective water policies and sound practice. The empowerment, participatory planning and social organisation of direct water users is a fundamental element of the local water security approach, which takes into consideration not only water resources as such, but also how water flow and water use determine the health of the broader ecosystems of which they are part.

The Civil Society Forum comprises civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations, including water user associations, river basin organisations, farmers’ organisations and media working at a grassroots level.

Although reforms aimed at decentralisation have been initiated in a number of countries — especially in North Africa — the MENA region is still characterised by a high level of centralisation. Local governments manage and implement central government programmes rather than their own, and are subject to the control of central government. In the majority of MENA countries, municipal, provincial and regional institutions are, at the same time, decentralised local authorities and de-concentrated administrative units. However, there is widespread recognition throughout the region that local governments need to become more transparent and accountable to local citizens. There is also widespread agreement that models of good governance and IWRM require a decentralised and multi-stakeholder approach that includes municipalities.

The objectives of this forum are to foster the exchange of knowledge among municipalities concerning their role in the three pillars of the WGSIni; and to inspire the municipalities to be involved in water management, water governance and the implementation of the water-related Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development, “Women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water.” This role has been confirmed in several international conferences and declarations.

In the last two decades, civil society organisations in the MENA region, including women’s organisations, have been actively involved in water management as a key element of IWRM, water security, effective policies and successful practice.

The goal of the Women’s Forum is to provide an opportunity for women to express their views in relation to the three pillars of the initiative. The WGSIni will encourage women experts to become active leaders in water management and governance and in the implementation of water-related Sustainable Development Goals.

National and regional women’s organisations and associations are invited to participate in the forum, as are international organisations interested in exploring the role of women in the water sector in the MENA region.


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Banner photos: Zouhayer Ahmadi, Mohammad Aljaradin