The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) jointly with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is organizing a training session on the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water (SEEAW) for the Arab Gulf countries which will be held in UN House, Beirut, during the period 25-28 August 2008.
Water scarcity is a major challenge facing the Arabian Peninsula. The development of reliable, high quality, timely and comparable statistics on water and environment is very important to strengthen decision-making processes on the sustainable management of water resources and the economic analysis of water use. In this context, water accounting provides a robust framework for producing integrated hydrological and economic information on water for managers and decision-makers. This has been endorsed with a recommendation by ESCWA Statistical Committee in 2004 and the adoption of the System of Environmental and Economic
Accounting for Water Resources (SEEAW) as an international statistical standard by the United Nations Statistical Commission in 2007.
ESCWA through the funded project "Strengthening National Capacities in Environment Statistics, Indicators and Accounts in support of progress toward achieving the internationally agreed development goals in the ESCWA and ECLAC1 Region 2007-2009", has planned activities to assist in enhancing the national capacities of Member States in environment statistics, indicator and accounts in order to integrate environmental concerns into economic development, thus supporting progress towards achieving environmental sustainability and related international agreed development goals member countries.
The United Nations Statistics Division, having developed the SEEAW are currently developing addition materials to assist countries implementing the new international standard and are providing expertise to assist in the training mainly through the manual on SEEAW (available from the UNSD website http://unstats.un.org/unsd/envaccounting/SEEAWDraftManual.pdf), and the Arabic translation of SEEAW Part1 by ESCWA, the International Recommendations on Water Statistics (IRES), and supporting exercises and examples for the training. Participants should download and read the relevant material prior to the training.