Managing Groundwater in Coastal Areas and SIDS
The meeting is co-convened by the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP Med) and the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) in cooperation with the UNESCO/WMO International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) and the Priority Actions Programme/Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC) in the framework of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) IW:LEARN, MedPartnership and TWAP Projects. This meeting is a contribution to the International Year of SIDS 2014.
The workshop aims to: 1) Promote conjunctive surface, groundwater and marine management and analyze options from the GEF IW portfolio in different regions; 2) Identify best and replicable practices and share experiences from GEF IW projects; 3) Review possibilities and opportunities for IWRM/ICZM integration as well as state of integration of groundwater and surface water management within organizations dealing with aspects of coastal zone management, including in SIDS; 4) Discuss appropriate knowledge management strategies and review existing tools.
Over‐exploitation of coastal aquifers can result in saline water intrusion. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is occurring in a majority world’s populated coastal areas. Seawater intrusion is not easily reversed. Furthermore, the progressive loss of freshwater in coastal aquifers is aggravated by climate change and sea level rise. This is a global‐scale problem that is endangering development in many highly populated coastal regions and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The GEF/UNESCO MedPartnership project is the first project in the Mediterranean to integrate coastal aquifers into marine, coastal area and basin management and protection. Experiences can be usefully shared throughout the Mediterranean region and beyond, in particular in SIDS. The groundwater component of the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP) is currently assessing selected islands in 43 SIDS globally with the aim to identifying the most vulnerable systems and providing data for development of sustainable management strategies. The GEF/UNESCO IW:LEARN Project aims to strengthen transboundary waters management by facilitating information and knowledge management amongst GEF International Waters (IW) projects and partners.
This workshop will bring together project managers and practitioners from relevant GEF IW projects, country representatives, regional organizations, and experts on groundwater and coastal management to share lessons learned and promote conjunctive management of marine and freshwater resources.