Sunday, April 1, 2012

Shared Benefits and Responsibilities in the Nile Basin

A Common Vision for a Better Future for All Stakeholders

The Nile Basin have many benefits but to attain them there are many challenges in the road which  each of the basin countries have a responsibility  and a role to play in overcoming them. In promotion of this Concept, the Eastern Nile Basin Discourse Forum in cooperation with SNDF (Sudan National Discourse Forum) has organized a two day Workshop on 19 and 20th February, 2012; under the theme of Shared Benefits and Shared Responsibilities. It was attended by members from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Media from the five countries of the Eastern Nile Basin Countries; Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Eritrea and the new state of State of South Sudan.
The opening session was addressed by the Sudan Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources and many officials of Eastern Nile Basin countries Discourse forums .Many presentations were made during the two days of the Forum with the aim to come to a shared vision based on the general consensus between all the countries on how to share the benefits of the resources of the Nile and at the same time share the responsibilities of the development and sustainability of these resources.
In the end of the Forum, all participants agreed on a Position Paper which reads as follow:


The Nile Basin Discourse (NBD) is a regional network of civil society organizations established to facilitate and support civil society engagement in Nile Basin Cooperation and development processes in pursuing our shared vision. Engagement is facilitated by the regional secretariat based in Uganda and through National Discourse Forums (NDFs) in each of the 11 countries (Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan Tanzania and Uganda), which currently have a total of over 750 civil society member organizations across the region.

Civil Society Representatives and experts from EN sub-region met at Khartoum Sub-regional Multi-Stakeholders’ Forum on 19 -20 February, 2012  to  raise awareness on the shared benefits of coordinated development and utilization of shared water resources and emphasize on the importance of community participation in the Nile Basin projects .

The Sub-regional Forum observed that the EN sub-region’s position on the Nile is critically important because they are the drivers of the Nile Cooperation and Development process.

The Sub regional forum stress that the existing activities of CSO  provides impact on the grass root of NB citizens and provides an opportunity  to enhance the EN cooperation.

The Sub regional Forum recognized the importance of benefits sharing mechanism and the need to draw lessons from other basins in cooperation with ENTRO

The NBD is CONCERNED of the following:

On the role of state and non state actors in water resources management and development in Nile basin
* The importance of adequate sharing of the information at all levels to empower the local community to sustain the Nile basin Resources
* The  importance of gender mainstreaming the Nile basin development projects and within the institutional process of NBI and NBD
The role of ENTRO in supporting the Nile basin development projects and  process and collaborating with NBD to ensure wide stakeholder  participation ion in Nile basin activities
On Institutionalization of community participation and livelihood concerns in the Nile Basin projects

* Training and capacity building from NBI , international partners to enable NBDs and NDFs to fully participate in project decision making process
* Introduce water resources management measures and environmental impact assessment
* Creating favourable environment for community participation and livelihood concerns
* Allocate more funds for carrying out evidence based research
* Call for the adoption of clear policy provisions on benefit sharing mechanisms to local communities
* Lessons leant and success stories along the Nile Basin (e.g. success stories in water harvesting in Kenya and Rwanda) need to be documented and distributed by ENTRO for the state and non state actors
Introduce Watershed Resources Management Measures and Environmental Impact Assessment.
* Build the Capacity to Undertake Watershed Management:
* Obtain outside sources of funds to initiate community activities.
* Information Management and Knowledge Sharing:.
* Importance of linkages between Watershed issues and Food security, Agriculture and the MDGs

On Promotion of Benefit and Cost sharing to foster EN Trans-boundary cooperation:
Build on success stories and lessons learnt and Develop criteria and mechanisms for benefit sharing

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