"The workshop on Water Accounts and Statistics in Mediterranean countries is organised jointly by the European Environment Agency, United Nations Economic Commission for West Asia (UN-ESCWA) and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and hosted by UN-ESCWA and held at UN House, Beirut, 20-22 March 2012.
In the framework of the European Union (EU) funded project “Towards a Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) in the European Neighbourhood” (ENPI-SEIS project) implemented by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the South Mediterranean partners countries reaffirmed during the ENPI-SEIS country visits and the Steering Committee Meeting held in Copenhagen in November 2011 their interest to introduced in the ENPI-SEIS work plan a specific activity to support the progressive generation of water information and accounts in the region. This activity, based on the previous activities performed by MEDSTAT, UNESCWA and UNSD on statistical capacity building in the regionin the development of integrated environmental-economic approaches and more specifically environmental accounts and water accounts, will support progress towards achieving environmental sustainability and related international agreed goals and to contribute to the gradual implementation of the principles of a Shared Environmental Information System in the region.
In addition, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is following up on the project implemented from 2007 to 2010 to build capacity in Environment statistics, indicators and accounts in the region in coordination with DESA-UNSD and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the MEDSTAT II- Environment project since further assistance was requested from member countries to improve the pilot accounts that were produced in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon.
The objective of this activity on water statistics and accounts in Mediterranean Countries is to support the development of pilot accounts, the development of a roadmap for regular production of water accounts and to contribute to the setting-up and development of an integrated environmental information system. The overall process will be supported by the organisation of dedicated workshops and trainings, the development of adapted hands-on material and the regular follow-up of country progress.
This first sub-regional workshop will provide focalised hands-on technical assistance for the compilation and institutionalisation of water accounts and statistics using the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water (SEEA-Water) and the International recommendations for Water Statistics (IRWS). The workshop is aimed at assisting countries in developing a road map for the implementation of their information systems to monitor water policies. It will address country-specific problems and solutions, and it will allow the exchange views and experiences between countries.
The target audience for this workshop is statisticians/national accountants with some knowledge, background on environment statistics and water experts directly involved in water management and dealing with data and indicators.
The three-day workshop will be organised around practical sessions according to the attached preliminary agenda. It is important that the participants prepare a presentation for the workshop about water issues and water policies in their countries, as well as the progress made in water account and statistics. The participants should bring to the workshop the available information regarding the following:
-Country water policies and plans
-Institutional mechanisms in place for developing water accounts and statistics
-Data about the water cycle and the uses of water (refer to the IRWS data items)
-National accounts supply and use tables, especially for the water supply and sanitation industry (ISIC 36 and ISIC 37)
The working language of the workshop will be English and Arabic (with interpretation).