BeWater Participatory Approach the focus of Pedieos General Meeting
Stakeholder engagement, Water Management Option design and participative methodology were the hot topics for the BeWater General Meeting held in Nicosia, Cyprus, from 21-23 October 2014.
The main focus of the meeting was on the four Case Study River Basins(CSRBs), with feedback on the BeWater participatory approach and initial stakeholder engagement.
There was animated discussion on how to include the important social aspects of this project in the methodology to identify Water Management Options in the CSRBs, namely how stakeholders will engage in the development of these options, which will form the basis for Adaptation Plans.
Results arising from the 4 SH workshops were presented and some interesting questions have already been raised:
An innovative methodology, “Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping”, was proposed for enabling stakeholder participation in the identification of Water Management Options in the CSRBs.
Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping is a graphical representation of a system, when components are represented as boxes and relationships as arrows. Discussions followed on the implications of this method for the project and how it might fit into the time frame. Modifications and alternative approaches will also be explored but theory was put to practice in a workshop session which allowed the project Consortium to explore the method for themselves in relation to each CSRB.
The meeting also included reports on progress so far in the various work packages, including the findings of the first internal evaluation and risk assessment processes, results of the first stakeholder workshops, project database (AquaKnow), communications and national policy review and engagement plan.
Following presentations from the 4 Case Study leaders on dissemination activities in each River Basin, a plenary discussion took place on engaging with BeWater social media via Facebook and Twitter, as well as on communication activities across the consortium, not merely in the four CSRBs.
A field trip stopping at various points along the Pedieos River gave participants a visual introduction into some of the challenges faced in this Basin, as well as the opportunity to visit Pedieos upstream and the forest highlands beyond Nicosia.
25 project consortium partners and 7 stakeholders from Pedieos, Tordera and Vipava River Basins attended the meeting hosted by The Cyprus Institute.
BeWater is an EU FP7-Collaborative Project that will promote dialogue and collaboration between science and society in sustainable water management and adaptation to the impacts of global change in the Mediterranean. BeWater is financed through the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission, under the Science in Society initiative.
More information: Anabel Sanchez: a.sanchez (at) creaf.uab.cat
Photos: Sarah Adams, EFI