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HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal inaugurates a regional stakeholders’ workshop of the Blue Peace Project

17-06-2013

Under the Patronage of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, the Chairman of UN Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), and in the presence of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, the President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), the Royal Scientific Society in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organization and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, jointly held a regional stakeholders’ workshop of the Blue Peace Project – “Water Security in the Middle East: Strategic Management of Hydrological and Meteorological Data and Information Product Generation through Assessment of Weather, Climate and Hydrology Service and Capacities in Lebanon, Jordan (and Syria) with engagement of Turkey and Iraq.”

In his speech keynote opening speech, HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal said: “The good news is that the world has met the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water, five years ahead of schedule. But that does not mean that the work of UNSGAB is done. Indeed, in many ways it has only just started. Despite this encouraging progress, the not so good news is that 2.5 billion people in developing countries still lack access to improved sanitation and 11% of the global population – 783 people – remains without access to an improved water source.”

HRH continued: “We live in a region where water has always been an issue. But today, people have no affinity with the water that they use. Is it possible to consider a community of water, energy and the environment?

HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan added in her welcoming remarks: ““Water truly is our greatest shared challenge in the modern age, and solutions may only be found through committed and cooperative efforts.”
HRH added: “The Royal Scientific Society has long tried to place water in the national and regional spotlight. We have sought to set an agenda for discussion and to spearhead research and engagement.”

The Blue Peace Project aims at strengthening the delivery of weather, water, and climate services in Middle Eastern countries, in order to support economic development and disaster risk management.

As the climate change and variability will lead to change in the regime of the hazardous hydrometeorological events, such as floods and drought that affect societies and economic productivity, the Project focuses on water management issues to help key national stakeholders to improve regional coordination in monitoring and sharing climate and water related data on regional level. As well as, enhancing the regional coordination and collaboration in addressing water management and climate change adaptation, where the Middle Eastern countries of Lebanon, Jordan (and Syria) are vulnerable to climate change due to their food production and water availability.
The workshop was attended by a group of experts in water, weather, climate and hydrology from Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt in order to discuss and agree on a prioritized plan, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and exchange relevant experiences in the issues related to the regional cooperation in these fields.