It is our pleasure to invite you to attend the Workshop on Earth Observations and Capacity Development for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) of River Basins in Africa. The Workshop is being jointly organized by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from 12 to 16 January 2012 at the UN Office facilities at Nairobi, Kenya.
The Workshop will open with a two and half-day session on the African Water Cycle Coordination Initiative (AfWCCI). This is a follow-up event to the 2nd African Water Cycle Symposium, held in Addis Ababa in February 2011, which recognized the need for enhanced cooperation among the various initiatives and programs across Africa addressing water-related issues. The session will develop plans for a series of demonstration projects in large trans-boundary river basins that will illustrate the benefits of coordination and of advanced approaches to data integration.
The Workshop will reconvene on 14 January afternoon for a two-day session on capacity development for IWRM. This session will serve as the African launch of the IWRM Guidelines at River Basin Level Initiative of UNESCOfs International Hydrological Programme (IHP). Already in use in other regions, the Guidelines address such priorities as the integrated management of floods, droughts and other extreme events as well as adaptation to climate change. A short excursion/field trip will be organized after adjourning the IWRM session on Monday 16 January noon.
Workshop participants are expected to include organizations that work on IWRM, GEO Participating Organizations, official development assistance (ODA) agencies, space and weather forecasting agencies, and other key collaborators. Representatives from all major river basins in Africa are strongly encouraged to participate.
Looking forward to welcoming you in Nairobi in January.
Objectives: GEO-African Water Cycle Coordination Initiative Session
Reliable access to safe drinking water still cannot be assured in Africa. In addition, large fluctuations of the water cycle at regional and local scales are threatening water security as well as endangering the security of food, energy, health and ecosystem services. To adequately address these issues, well-coordinated demonstration projects within specified trans-boundary basins could be a first step towards improved cooperation, data sharing and contribution to societal benefits, as well as increased use and application of Earth observations for effective management.
In this workshop, our aim is to share the various water resource management needs and capacities among several river basin authorities and initiatives, space agencies, and overseas development agencies (ODAs) in a first phase, then design an implementation baseline of coordinated demonstration projects, including a vision, objectives and targets, observation coordination, data and information interoperability arrangements, capacity building coordination, data policy, schedule and coordination management. We also plan to highlight our contribution to the Green Economy, which is a main theme of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012.
The workshop discussion will be captured through a draft implementation plan for GEOSS Africa Water Cycle Coordination demonstration projects. The draft plan will be discussed at the 3rd GEOSS Africa Water Cycle Symposium to be held at the end of February, 2012.
Objectives: UNESCO-Capacity Development for IWRM Session
The ever growing vulnerability that is induced by global and local changes such as population changes, climate changes and variability, socio-economic issues and environmental degradation, can result in increasing both the frequency and severity of extreme events, including droughts and floods. Todayfs challenges require the more holistic approach of the integrated water resources management (IWRM) process to help piece together the water management puzzle and to harmonize the plans of different water users. IWRM is not a plan, but a step-by-step process of managing water resources in a harmonious and environmentally sustainable way by gradually uniting stakeholders and involving them in planning and decision making processes. The spiral model is becoming well understood as representing the adaptive management process as a better approach, than a traditional master plan, to changing circumstances. Implementing IWRM at the river basin level is an essential element to managing water resources in a more sustainable way, leading to long-term social, economic and environmental benefits.
The session will allow participants to share their experiences or good example of IWRM and discuss the keys for success in implementing IWRM; to familiarize the guidelines, including case studies with the spiral model for IWRM process, and to share experiences in IWRM between Africa and Asia. This session will also provide opportunity to discuss among partners on strategy for capacity development of IWRM for Africa. The discussion is expected to cover the strategy and activities to cope with particular challenges:/p>
- How can the tools for capacity development be utilized in the region?
- How to tackle sub-regional and basin specific challenge?
- How can the RC-IRBM Center in Kaduna, Nigeria under the auspices of UNESCO collaborate with River Basin Organizations and stakeholders in implementing capacity development?
At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
- demonstrate a sound understanding of dynamic process of IWRM including IWRM spiral model, sectoral perspectives and keys for success;
- apply the guidelines to their river basin;
- familiarize good examples of IWRM in Africa and Asia;
- recognize existing gaps among enabling environment, capacity for IWRM in river basins, and
- draft strategy for capacity development of IWRM in Africa.
Several reference documents are available at the Presentation page.