Colombo, Sri-Lanka – The fourth Regional Steering Committee of the Integrated Water Resources Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean Small Islands Developing State project was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 06 to 08 May 2016.The three days meeting gathered high-level government officials from the six participating countries, national stakeholders, demonstration project managers and representatives from the UN agencies involved in the project.
Important items of business discussed and approved by the Committee included: an update of the log frame and the management response to the mid-term evaluation review of the project, the revised budget for the remaining components, the exit strategy and closure plan for the component on demonstration projects and well as the work plan for the 2016.
During the event, a dedicated sessions was allocated to the demonstration project managers from all six islands to promote the exchange experiences between countries. During the previous Regional Steering Committee, national project focal points had expressed their interest in having demonstration project managers attending the meeting and providing inputs on decisions making for the project.
Because of their small size and limited landmass, many SIDS do not have large watersheds and catchment areas that allow for extensive surface water-bodies or large underground sources of water. Pressure on water supplies is compounded by economic activities, such as tourism, urbanization, coastal area development, agriculture, and mining. The impact of growing demands for water combined with decreasing availabilities of water resources poses a great challenge to the sustainable development of small islands.
In response, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has funded a full sized project to support six Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of which two are located in the Atlantic Ocean (Cape Verde and Sao Tome & Principe) and four are located in the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles).
The IWRM AIO SIDS project aims to implement integrated cross sectorial water resource management initiatives and to contribute to sustainable development in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean SIDS through improvements in natural resource and environmental management. It is implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services UNOPS.
Check out the photo gallery of the event.