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PDF Declaration of Beirut, 8 October 2009

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Contributor Jauad El-Kharraz
Release date 09/10/2009
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From 6 to 9 October 2009, 110 delegates coming from 26 Countries, representatives of governmental administrations in charge of water management, of Basin Organizations, already existing or being created, of interested bi and multilateral cooperation agencies, as well as many observatory organizations, met in Beirut in Lebanon, on the occasion of the International Conference on River Basin Management and Cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean Region and the General Assembly of the Mediterranean Network of Basin Organizations (MENBO), to define the most suitable actions needed for achieving the objectives of integrated and participatory management of inland surface and ground water resources and of related coastal zones in the Mediterranean area.

During this International Conference, were recalled the conclusions of the Euro_Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Water (December 2008, Dead Sea, Jordan) and the undergoing process of preparation of a Long Term Strategy for Water in the Mediterranean (SWM) that should be approved on the occasion of the next Euro_Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Water (April 2010 in Barcelona, Spain) around 4 main areas::
Effective water governance for integrated resources management and water supply and sanitation
Water demand management and non-conventional water resources
Addressing water and climate change, through adaptation and mitigation measures
Optimizing water financing
The delegates of the General Assembly of the Mediterranean Network of Basin Organizations in Beirut are requesting the Former Italian President and the New Lebanese President of MENBO, with the support of the Spanish Permanent Technical Secretariat,  to report these conclusions to the Water Experts Group of the UfM, in charge of elaboration of the Mediterranean Strategy for Water.

reaffirmed that freshwater resources are limited and threatened all over the Mediterranean and that their better governance, respectful of the environment, is one of the main keys to sustainable development: freshwater is essential to sustain life and the health and socioeconomic progress of our societies.

However, findings are alarming: population growth, climate change, pollution, wastage, destruction of ecosystems: the seriousness of the situation in many countries requires that comprehensive, integrated and consistent management of water resources, respecting the aquatic ecosystems and territories is implemented to preserve the future and the human heritage.

The Millennium Goals for drinking water supply and sanitation can only be achieved with significant and simultaneous progress made to introduce Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), organized on the relevant scale of basins of rivers, lakes and aquifers, either local, national or transboundary.