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News Second Mediterranean Water Heroes Contest on “Water for Nature: Nature-Based Solutions”

World Water Day in the Mediterranean

Every year, World Water Day draws the world’s attention to key water challenges. World Water Day 2018 focuses on “Water for Nature” by raising awareness on water and Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in the Mediterranean. NbS are defined as “… actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges and adaptively, while simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits” (IUCN, 2016)[1]. NbS can consist of:

  • Ecosystem restoration approaches
  • Ecosystem-based climate change adaptation and mitigation measures and disaster risk reduction
  • Infrastructure-related approaches: natural and green infrastructure
  • Integrated Water Resources Management and integrated coastal zone management
  • Ecosystem protection approaches

These are some of the key questions underlying World Water Day 2018. 

  • What NbS are most adapted to increasing Mediterranean water security in the context of climate change?
  • How can NbS help us to manage, consume, dispose of and reuse water more sustainably?
  • How do we implement NbS for water in practice and in policy?
  • What is the role of youth in applying and disseminating NbS for water?


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.

Sharing innovative research and best practices on water use in all sectors – ranging from the everyday level to long-term projects, and spanning from urban integrated water resources management to agriculture – is needed to reverse this downward spiral, while developing and disseminating viable regional measures to bolster water security in the Mediterranean.

Online Contest Rules

Who is Eligible?


  • Young people aged 18-35.
  • Researchers, entrepreneurs and activists working on water challenges in the Mediterranean.
  • Regardless of their place of residence, applicants must be nationals from the following Mediterranean countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Montenegro, Palestinian Territories, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.
  • Applicants may be working for public institutions, research institutes, start-ups and companies, NGOs, or as freelancers.
  • Both individual and team applications are welcome. Team applications must be indicated in the application form. The team composition must be clearly stated in the application and may not be modified once it has been submitted. 

Selection Criteria


Submissions will be assessed by the contest jury based on the following criteria:

  • Regional relevance and scalability to other Mediterranean contexts
  • Youth and community involvement
  • Environmental, Social and Economic Impact
  • Innovative value
  • Prior involvement in Mediterranean youth and water networks
  • Overall quality of the application

What ideas are eligible?

Your application should be related to one of the following themes:

  • NbS for regional water security and resilience: how does your work contribute to regional water security and increase resilience to natural and human-made shocks?
  • NbS for water and climate change: how does your NbS work provide adequate climate change adaptation and mitigation measures?
  • NbS and the water-food-energy Nexus: how does your work support water-related NbS that contribute to more sustainable water, food and energy production, consumption and disposal cycles in the Mediterranean?
  • Youth activism and advocacy for water and NbS: how are you supporting the dissemination of water-related NbS and advocating for them in the Mediterranean?

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information cmimarseille
Geographical coverage France,
News date 29/11/2017
Working language(s) ENGLISH