Beirut, 7 May 2003 (United Nations Information Service)--The
workshop on "Knowledge Mapping for Integrated Water Resources
Management in the ESCWA Region", organized by the Economic and
Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) opened on Monday at the
Regional Centre for Training and Water Studies of Arid and
Semiarid Zones in Cairo.
The workshop, which will conclude on Thursday 8 May, is the first
in a series of activities undertaken by ESCWA, in cooperation with
the Centre, the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources in
Egypt, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization -International Institute for Infra-structural
Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (UNESCO-IHE), and the
UNESCO Cairo office, and with support from the German Technical
Institute (GTZ), The German Federal Institute for Geosciences and
Natural Resources (BGR) and UNDP Capacity Building Network (UNDP-CAP-NET).
This meeting has been planned as part of establishing the Arab
Integrated Water Resources Management Network (AWARENET). AWARENET
is a network of training and research institutes collaborating on
improving and disseminating knowledge on concepts of Integrated
Water Resources Management and their application in the ESCWA
region. The network was initiated by ESCWA and the UNESCO-IHE
following a workshop on "Frontiers in water initiative of capacity
building for the water and environment sectors in Western Asia
region" previously held at the UN House in Beirut, from 6 to 8
March 2002. AWARENET represents a capacity building initiative
aiming to strengthen the technical, institutional and managerial
capacity of water professionals in the region in implementing
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).
The workshop is intended to familiarize "mappers" with the mapping
methodology, providing backstopping support to national knowledge
mappers and the preparation of the final and synthesizing document
on this activity.
Participants in the workshop are members of AWARENET in the ESCWA
region, representing several training and research institutes,
which may be affiliated to water or water-related ministries,
universities and research centres in the ESCWA region. The
workshop also includes resource persons from regional and
international organizations as well as governmental agencies.
The expected outputs of the workshop include: preparing a training
package on the methodology and use of “mapping” tools and
collaborative working space tools, as well as developing an
AWARENET plan of action that details activities, timetable,
management structure for the network, and a fund raising strategy.