On 27-28 February 2023, more than 90 stakeholders participated in the 2nd multi-stakeholder consultation in Beirut-Lebanon. Co-organised by Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean, Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC), Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre (PB/RAC) and UNESCO Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (UNESCO IHP) within the framework of the MedProgramme, the Consultation came at a critical moment for the country, that has been hit hard by a multiple crisis. The Consultation brought together representatives of relevant institutions, research centers, international organisations, experts, financial partners, NGOs and gender groups to discuss and validate the preliminary findings of the activities undertaken so far in Lebanon under the Programme.
At the plenary, Mr. Dimitris Faloutsos, Deputy Regional Coordinator GWP-Med together with the team of experts explained the methodology used for the preparation of the WEFE Nexus Assessment Phase I in Lebanon and its provisional outcomes, including the list of WEFE Nexus solutions.
Two days of intense discussions on options to enhance Lebanon’s natural resources security
During the Consultation, stakeholders were updated on Phase I of the National Nexus Policy Dialogue, the on-going work related to the preparation of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Strategy and efforts to improve water reliability and sustainability, reduce groundwater extraction and land subsidence, improve groundwater quality and environmental conditions by applying the conjunctive water management approach. Through moderated discussions and group exercises, participants provided their insights and input to the above processes.
- Provided input on the Stakeholders Analysis identifying additional actors from Lebanon relevant to the WEFE Nexus activities, ICZM planning and conjunctive water management;
- Validated and assisted with the consolidation of the preliminary WEFE Nexus solutions for Lebanon identified during Phase I WEFE Nexus Assessment, which also contribute to ICZM efforts in the country;
- Shared insights into the needs and enabling conditions for implementing key WEFE Nexus priorities;
- Made specific suggestions on how to achieve better integration of hydrological, geological and environmental sciences with land use and water resources planning by contributing to the related National Policy Dialogue that was launched on this occasion;
- Raised the issue of gender mainstreaming within the above framework and suggested modalities for Nexus-gender sensitive solutions.
Participants formed 8 working groups, whereby they discussed specific Nexus solutions that had been proposed by the Programme and explored potential interlinkages among the Nexus solutions, ICZM planning, climate resilience and conjunctive water management efforts.
All above-mentioned activities are mutually strengthening and follow the Source-to-Sea approach, which addresses linkages between land, water, delta, coast, nearshore and marine ecosystems, leading to holistic natural resources management and economic development. All efforts and processes described are carried out in line with National laws and strategies, as well as international commitments the country has adhered to, such as those related to the Barcelona Convention and other similar instruments, contributing to natural resources security and society’s prosperity.
Each working group presented the results of their work at the plenary.
The outcomes of the Consultation are instrumental in determining next steps and the way forward in the formulation of Phase II of the National WEFE Nexus Dialogue, the future steps on building resilience and sustainability of the Lebanese coast and the way ahead for conjunctive water management.