The Arab Integrated Water Resources Management Network (AWARENET) is an independent, impartial regional network of training and research institutes, NGOs, government authorities and experts in the field of water engaged in the development and delivery of capacity building programs and resource material on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) policies and practices for the Arab region.
The network was established on March 2002 with support from ESCWA and a number of regional and international organizations. The launching of AWARENET took place during a workshop for water knowledge consumers and producers held in Beirut in March 2002 and was officially endorsed by ESCWA in its 22nd Ministerial Session through Resolution 244 (XXII) on the cooperation between ESCWA member countries with respect to shared water resources and the Arab Network for the Integrated Management of Water Resources. It is hosted by ESCWA as the network secretariat.
The main objective of the network is to better provide the public with water and sanitation services, protect precious water resources and the environment, and promote socio-economically constructive uses of water by improving the implementation of IWRM concepts in the countries of the Arab region.
AWARENET aims to be demand driven, with strong local ownership, in order to create partnerships to overcome capacity constraints, bringing together multiple disciplines and view points. AWARENET presently counts among its members over 80 leading water related institutions in 18 Arab countries. AWARENET is endorsed by regional organizations, such as UNESCO-Cairo, United Nations Development Programme- Sub-Regional Resource Facility for Arab States (UNDP-Surf), and United Nations Environment Programme-Regional Office for West Asia (UNEP-ROWA), the German Development Cooperation Agencies such as BGR and GTZ, and global networks, such as the International Network for Capacity Building for Sustainable Water Resources Management (Cap-Net) and Global Water Partnership (GWP). Through UN-ESCWA, AWARENET is connected and in communication with various water related institutes and events around the world, and thus providing the network with valuable resources and opportunities.
Guided by the urgency to act on climate change supported by the mounting scientific evidence of its effects on the water sector, the Climate Change Working Group was established to produce concrete outputs on linkages between climate change and integrated water resources management.The Working Group developed a three point work plan for the first year of operation from 2009-2010 and selected a chair and vice-chair. The work plan developed includes the following: (1) A review of the literature and identification of gaps on the vulnerability of water resources to climate change in the Arab region; (2) A policy brief and analysis of the Copenhagen treaty and its effects on water in the Arab region; (3) A roster of Arab experts on climate change and water resources to be developed as a searchable index of experts working in the field of water and climate change.