Virtual Regional Workshop on Groundwater Governance

Within the framework of the 8th phase of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Program and towards supporting the implementation of the Arab Ministerial Council’s Arab Strategy for Water Security, A Virtual Regional Workshop on Groundwater Governance in the Arab Region was launched on the morning of Monday, 24 May 2021. The workshop is organized by the UNESCO Regional Office for Sciences in the Arab States within


The workshop aims to identify the means and requirements for achieving the global vision (2030) for groundwater governance as developed by the groundwater governance project, which was implemented by a number of United Nations agencies between 2011-2016. The project included a series of regional and international consultations and studies.


The participants in the ongoing workshop will be acquainted with the components of the global framework to achieve the vision of groundwater governance in order to facilitate the adoption of recommendations and guidelines that are appropriate for the Arab States. The aim is to support the achievement of sustainable groundwater management in manners that accounts for complementarity and coherence between sectoral and national development policies. Such guidelines address legal and regulatory institutional frameworks, technical and knowledge frameworks and those concerned with policies, finance and incentives structuring in compliance with sustainable development goals.


The Arab regional diagnostic study conducted in the context of the Groundwater Governance Project indicated that Arab States have many challenges facing effective groundwater management. The most important of which are the lack of accountability, transparency and adequate participation of stakeholders, and the absence of political will among decision makers to enforce existing water laws.  The training workshop will present ways to address these that include laying the foundations of governance, building effective institutions, establishing the necessary links between groundwater and other sectors, and developing a planning and management mechanism through an integrated management approach, including financing and incentives towards the sustainability of these resources.


95 professionals and experts from the ministries and agencies concerned with Arab water resources management and agriculture representing 15 Arab States (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen)  participated in the first training session The training will continue over four training sessions on 24, 25, 26, 27 May 2021, for two hours each day. Subsequently, the trainees will prepare action plans towards activating the governance of groundwater, to be reviewed and discussed in the last session, which will be held on June 3, 2021.