Building and reinforcing environmental bridges between Europe and the MENA region

October 6, 2015

WaterSumTunisiaThe Regional Environmental Center's gradual and steady build-up of cooperative efforts and networks across the MENA region reached another pivotal success last week when a REC delegation met with the Tunisian Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, Saad Seddik.

The delegation, led by REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert, sat down with Seddik to assess the progress of implementation of the WATER SUM project in Tunisia and in the wider MENA region. The occasion was also used to broach additional opportunities for collaboration between the REC and other Tunisian institutions.

Radoje Lausevic, REC Deputy Executive Director and Project Director of WATER SUM, stressed the importance of continuing bridging efforts between the international organisation and other countries and regions, while at the same time facilitating the mutual transfer of knowledge and good practices.

IMG_8538Minister Seddik stressed how Tunisia's unique environment, which is characterised by stark quantitative and typological dissimilarities of water resources, is currently bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change. As challenges linked to particular nexuses become increasingly apparent -- such as that involving the interconnection between water scarcity, security and climate change -- WATER SUM project objectives can support Tunisia and its water stakeholders in advancing set priorities at national and at local level, while also shoring up engagement and identification of viable tools and solutions.

Following the initial meeting with Minister Seddik, the WATER SUM team visited several key actors involved in Tunisia's water sector. Afterward, in line with the specific aims of the WATER POrT and WATER WaSe project modules, team experts, accompanied by relevant public authorities, set out on field visits to selected demonstration sites ahead of wrapping up the successful mission.