Sign the AMWAJ Manifesto

Value Water Ecosystems

We — signatories to the AMWAJ Manifesto — commit to protect, restore and enhance the value of ecosystems related to water around Europe, the Mediterranean and Middle East regions, including the sea, mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.

We respectfully call on professionals from the media, business, research and policy to create synergies across and beyond the shores of the Mediterranean to drive coaction towards reliable and sustainable water for all by:

  • Building communication and leadership capacity with all stakeholder
  • Deploying educational tools for the next generation and the public to learn more about the value of natural ecosystems
  • Communicating around gender equality in all forms publicly and privately
  • Promoting collective investment in water-related ecosystems restoration
  • Influencing policymaking to provide national and local funding schemes for better involvement of citizens and residents
  • Promoting the role of incubators to support innovative water and energy entrepreneurship for greater social impact
  • Creating content about water and energy in the Mediterranean region through field stories, news, articles and innovative storytelling techniques in the commonly spoken languages.

We are committed to developing water content and communication tools for high-impact activities in order to empower the next generation of leaders to influence and urge national governments and financial institutions to ramp up policies and investments to protect and restore water-related ecosystems and promote sustainable water management.

We are stronger together.

Why now

Now is the time for action. The year 2021 provides several milestone opportunities for embedding these actions in both domestic and international agendas:

  • Marking the 25-year anniversary of the Barcelona Process (1995) that led to the political consolidation of the Union for the Mediterranean (42 countries) that includes the UfM Water Policy Framework for Action 2030.
  • Fostering the understanding of the Barcelona Convention and its seven Protocols adopted in the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) that constitute the principal regional legally binding Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) in the Mediterranean and which implementation is a chance of making peace with nature while pursuing sustainable development.
  • Continuing the run up towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 agenda, AMWAJ highlights its commitment to achieve SDG 6 -ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all- in the Mediterranean.
  • Following the UN Decade on Biodiversity (2011-2020), AMWAJ is aligned with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).
  • Building on EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), a more integrated approach to river basin management will provide cleaner water.
  • Emanating from the quest for systemic sustainability solutions, the circular economy is gaining ground across different sectors, such as waste, water, and energy.
  • Supporting IUCN commitment in valuing Nature-based Solutions (NbS) against grey infrastructure in improving the supply and quality of water and the disasters resilience.
  • Connecting trees in cities and forests near urban areas is becoming increasingly recognized as a response to climate resilience, as highlighted by Cities4Forests in their city-forest nexus.

Why water

Water is vital to all forms of life:

Water for nature

  • To leave public sidewalks, gardens and spaces as clean as our private homes
  • To plant trees on streets and to encourage green spaces in our urban areas
  • To teach us more about our surrounding natural resources and how to use them
  • To restore and conserve water for climate resilience
  • To achieve optimum balance between balancing the needs of society and growing populations and those of the natural environment
  • To create healthy water environment (quantity and quality) to have healthy natural environment, essential to a healthy and sustainable human environment.

Water for people

  • To support strategic plans to ensure all citizens have affordable, reliable and safe water supply (for basic human needs)
  • To build green Infrastructure to enhance urban water resilience
  • To ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • To open collaborative funds for us to invest in local water projects
  • To provide potable drinking water and to save/manage water more efficiently

Water for food

  • To harvest rainwater and reuse wastewater for agriculture
  • To provide quality water and standardized reused water for irrigation
  • To revamp old systems (qanats) and deploy new technologies (desalination)
  • To achieve food security with less stress on water resources

Water for industry

  • To invest in reusing wastewater and recovering valuable resources from wastewater
  • To inform about water supplies and water usage
  • To monitor and meter water consumption to be more efficient
  • To implement reliable energy supply for safe and regular water supplies and wastewater management
  • To manage soundly the water required in energy generation for extraction and processing of fuels and cooling at power stations

We are taking action

2021 marks the beginning of a critical decade to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations in 2015 following the 2030 Agenda. Water scarcity could displace 700 million people by 2030, so we have been making efforts since 2016 to support the achievement of the SDG 6 -“ Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” – focusing on the following targets:

  • 6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
  • 6.4.: By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.
  • 6.6: By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
  • 6.A: By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
  • 6.B: Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management

However, we cannot overlook the interconnection between the 17 SDGs. That’s why, we also work with the focus on the following targets:

  • SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

And we need your help!

Successful water conservation, restoration, and sustainable management requires supportive national government policies backed by domestic and international finance. This claim can be achieved and highlighted in the media with quality investigative reporting and creative formats that appeal to people.

Your signature is key to protect and restore water ecosystems. With your support we will be able to amplify the message and argument the urgency of valuing water. We will communicate this Manifesto and the votes regularly to decision-makers and the broader public via meetings, press conferences, media coverage and more.

We are creating results on the ground by investing in small development projects that have real impact on people’s lives around the Mediterranean. Join us by making a donation to the 2021 campaign to raise funds for the Beirut River Forest with more to come in Tunisia and elsewhere in 2022.

Together we are stronger.

Sign and share the AMWAJ Manifesto and be part of waves of change!

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