SIWI Advances Cooperation in the Lower Jordan River Valley
Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), together with consortium partners EcoPeace Middle East and Global Nature Fund (GNF) have released the first ever Regional NGO Master Plan for Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley at a conference on the Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea.
In their opening remarks, EcoPeace Middle East Directors from Jordan, Palestine and Israel highlighted how the current ecological and economic demise of the valley is a lose/lose situation for all sides concerned. Through the Marshal Plan type investments described in the Regional NGO Master Plan, developed and implemented in a manner that supports regional integration and a healthy Jordan River, peace, stability and security can be achieved.
Under the patronage of the Jordanian Minister of Water, Dr. Hazim al Nasser, the conference marks the conclusion of a European Union (SWIM) funded program and brings together an impressive number of high-level government officials from Jordan, Palestine and Israel, international diplomatic and development agency representatives, and basin experts to discuss the advancement of the program from planning to implementation.
“We have seen the power of water as a catalyst for cooperation through our work at SIWI. This significant regional effort will contribute strongly to the advancement of regional cooperation and transboundary water management of the shared Lower Jordan River,” said Mr. Björn Druse, Managing Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
During the course of the programme, SIWI convened major seminars in the region and at the World Water Week in Stockholm, to advance the Master Plan at critical junctures in its development. It also facilitated dialogue to harmonize bi-lateral and multi-lateral donor investment priorities, and developed a proposed model for financing the master plan.
“The basin states now face a unique opportunity to support sustainable socio-economic development in their region by turning their cooperation into concrete investment. SIWI has been commissioned to produce a policy tool outlining potential options for a governance structure for the Jordan Basin. We remain committed to supporting regional efforts in the Jordan River Basin, both by identifying innovative funding frameworks and helping to advance governance issues,” Dr. Therese Sjömander-Magnusson, SIWI Transboundary Water Management Unit Director added.
SIWI will continue to support EcoPeace’s regional efforts to build on the Master Plan, providing guidance on both governance issues and financing models.
127 specific regional and national projects (“interventions“) have been identified in the framework of the Master Plan, with a total investment value of 4.58 billion USD until the year 2050. Many projects are “no regret actions” that can move forward immediately to help build confidence in the broader political situation. The interventions are grouped around the strategic planning objectives: Pollution Control, Sustainable Water Management and River Rehabilitation, Sustainable Agriculture, Jordan River Basin Governance, Ecological Rehabilitation, Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Heritage Development, and Urban and Infrastructure Development.
“In a rapidly urbanizing world where the vast majority of sewage spills untreated out into the environment, the transformative technologies and strategic communication of this year’s SIWA winner has provided a significant step towards future water security of cities.” the Award
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