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Abuja Hosts Key Meetings to Revitalize Integrated Water Resources Management

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Ecowas Logo Centered
Ecowas Logo Centered

From June 25 to June 28, 2024, Abuja, Nigeria, will be the focal point for crucial gatherings aimed at revitalizing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) across West Africa. Organized by the ECOWAS Water Resources Management Centre (WRMC), the sessions will convene national IWRM focal points, basin organizations, technical and financial partners, and water resources ministers from all 15 ECOWAS member states.

Background and Objectives:

The meetings stem from commitments made during the West African Ministerial Conference on Integrated Water Resources Management held in Ouagadougou in 1998. Back then, ECOWAS countries pledged to transition from sectoral to integrated water management, aligning with principles set forth at the Dublin Conference in 1992 and endorsed at the UNCED in Rio de Janeiro the same year. This led to the adoption of the Regional Action Plan for Integrated Water Resources Management in West Africa (RAPIWRM-WA) in December 2000 and the establishment of the Permanent Coordination and Monitoring Framework (PCMF) for IWRM in West Africa in December 2001.

However, recent years have seen a slowdown in the regional IWRM process, marked by the absence of statutory PCMF meetings since 2015. The upcoming sessions in Abuja aim to inject new momentum into regional IWRM efforts, reassess progress, and chart future directions in light of developments in water resources management across the region since 2015.

Meeting Details:

  1. Committee of Experts (25-27 June 2024):
    • The Technical Committee of Experts (CTE) will convene to review the implementation status of resolutions from the 4th ordinary session of the Ministerial Monitoring Committee on IWRM.
    • Discussions will include presentations on the CGRE/ECOWAS 2016-2023 activity report, the draft CGRE/ECOWAS 2024 program and budget, and updates on ongoing and planned ECOWAS and partner initiatives.
  2. Ministerial Monitoring Committee (28 June 2024):
    • The 5th Ordinary Session will gather water resources ministers from ECOWAS member states and the ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of water resources.
    • Agenda items include deliberations on the draft strategic plan of CGRE-ECOWAS 2020-2030, directives on hydraulic infrastructure development and shared water resources management in West Africa, and the revitalization of programs promoting new transboundary basin organizations.
    • Discussions will also focus on an institutional study for PCMF reform and the operationalization of the Regional Water Observatory.

Participants:

Participants will include:

  • IWRM National Focal Points of the 15 ECOWAS Member States
  • Basin Organizations’ IWRM Focal Points (ABCBT, ABN, ABV, ABM, OMVG, OMVS, CBLT, MRU)
  • Representatives from sub-regional institutions (UEMOA, CILSS, ALG, GWP/AO)
  • Representatives from African regional institutions (AMCOW, ADB/FAE, EAA)
  • Technical and Financial Partners (PACO-IUCN, OSS, UNECE 1992 Water Convention, ACEWATER, WASCAL)
  • ECOWAS entities involved in water resources management (WAPP, Environment Directorate, Agriculture Directorate, Fouta Djallon Mountains Programme, PPDU, ECREEE, ARAA)
  • Staff of CGRE-ECOWAS

The Abuja meetings are poised to foster renewed commitment and collaborative strategies to advance integrated water resources management in West Africa. By leveraging expertise and partnerships, ECOWAS aims to address current challenges and enhance sustainable water resource governance across the region, aligning with broader developmental goals and regional integration efforts.

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