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Highlights

Youth Innovating with Wastewater for a Sustainable Mediterranean

  • Starts: Mar 21, 2017
  • Ends: Mar 22, 2017
  • Location: Marseille, France
  • By: CMI, WB
  • Background

     

    The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the most water scarce region in the world, with 15 countries in the region suffering from extreme water scarcity (less than 500 m³/year of renewable water per capita per year). Numerous phenomena are further worsening water security in the region, notably climate change and environmental factors (soil erosion, deforestation, water pollution), population growth, increased urbanization, ongoing water mismanagement and faulty water service provision systems.

     

    Youth has an important role to play in working towards water security and better water awareness. Young people are innovating on water in the entire Mediterranean, and their actions and ideas should be shared and replicated to create a more secure regional water future, especially in the Maghreb and the Mashreq. Moreover, youth are often keen to adopt and test new ideas and technologies and water represents a valuable economic opportunity with the potential to create numerous green jobs that can contribute to environmental and social sustainability in the region.

     

    Rationale

     

    The theme of the United Nations World Water Day 2017 is “Water and Wastewater”, which will explore how wastewater is a valuable resource in the circular economy and how it can be safely managed as an efficient investment in the health of humans and ecosystems.

     

    Wastewater reuse is still negatively perceived by a large part of the public, although it has many potential uses, especially in agriculture, industry and landscape restoration in rural and urban spaces alike. Indeed, if only 50% of potential wastewater were recycled in MENA, this could add 20-40 km³ to MENA’s renewable water resources by 2050, considering that over this period, MENA’s water gap will quintuple from 43 km³ to 200 km³ per annum.

     

    The concepts of “circular economy” and “waste as a resource” as highlighted by wastewater reuse are on the cutting edge of the global sustainable development agenda, and are instrumental in creating a new regional water consciousness, encouraging everyone - from policy makers to the general public - to reconsider how they interact with water on a daily basis.

     

    For all of these reasons, CMI is organizing a youth-focused Mediterranean workshop on wastewater and its role in the circular economy on March 21-22 2017, entitled “Innovating with Wastewater for a Sustainable Mediterranean Water Future”. It will focus on wastewater as an important means of combating water scarcity in the Mediterranean region.

     

    Objectives

     

    This workshop aims to stimulate inter-generational and regional knowledge exchange on wastewater with a clear focus on youth. It will emphasize existing solutions that can be shared and reproduced at the institutional and technical levels in the region, while stimulating youth entrepreneurship and activism as well as civil society-based actions.

     

    The objectives of this workshop are to:

     

    1. contribute to regional water consciousness and to change negative perceptions of wastewater by exploring its potential as a resource.
    2. stimulate inter-generational mutual learning between Mediterranean youth and water practitioners.
    3. share and promote innovative projects by youth working on water at all levels.
    4. strengthen awareness on water scarcity as a common regional public bad in the Mediterranean.

     

    In the medium term, this workshop aims to initiate an active and devoted youth water network facilitated by CMI, which can further be supported by the CMI Water Hub (composed of institutional partners with a more technical, programmatic focus). The workshop will explore options for more active youth involvement in the CMI Water program, while stimulating exchanges between water experts and youth activists.

     

    Target Audience

     

    The workshop will target Mediterranean youth water activists while involving water experts working in the region. It will welcome approximately 60 youth participants and water experts from the Mediterranean region, with a majority of youth participants.

     

    Partners

     

    This event is organized by the Center for Mediterranean Integration, the World Bank and Switch-Med, with the support of CIHEAM, the Global Water Partnership Mediterranean and the World Youth Parliament for Water and WAMDA.

    Contact: waterevent@cmimarseille.org

     

     

    Resources

     

    The Agenda (EN,AR) 

    [This is a closed event. Attendance is upon invitation only]