the aim of improving the community service functions while conserving
good ecological status. Strategies will be identified for:
utilizing the drinking
water supply and sanitation potentials of wetlands for the benefit
of people living in the basin, while maintaining (and improving
as much as possible) the ecosystem functions
adapting wetland management
to changing environmental conditions
into river basin management
participation and capacity building with the aim of supporting sustainable
The project will work on 'twinned' case study wetlands from Europe,
Africa and South America. Management solutions will be worked out
for these wetlands with the aim of supporting the achievement of the
above objectives. Knowledge and experiences gained from these case
studies will be summarized in general guidelines aiming to support
achieving project objectives on global scale. The project also aims
at supporting the global exchange of expertise on wetland management.
Stakeholder participation, capacity building and expertise exchange
will be supported by a series of stakeholder and 'twinning' workshops.
The WETwin project is funded and implemented
within the frame of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union,
which is the main EU programme for research and technological development
for the period 2007-2013.
The topic of 7th FP, where WETwin belongs to, is "River basin
twinning initiatives as a tool to implement EU water initiatives"
(Topic 126.96.36.199.2.). This topic envisages integrated water resources
management research activities carried out on twinned catchments/river
basins from Europe and catchments from international cooperation partners
to underpin the implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management
(IWRM) in these countries in compliance with EU Water Initiative (EUWI)
objectives and Millennium Development Goals (MDG-s) targets.
The impact expected from research projects funded under this topic
is to support the EUWI in the context of international cooperation.
Such collaborations will have to pay particular attention to constructive
engagement with the entire spectrum of societal actors. Accrued emphasis
has to be placed on communicating the research process and its results
to all societal actors to make the research policy relevant and enhance
its impact. Target areas for the 2007 call: Africa and South America.
The EUWI is designed as a catalyst and a foundation on which future
action can be built to contribute to meeting the MDG-s for drinking
water and sanitation, within the context of an integrated approach
to water resources management. The referred MDG envisages to halve
by 2015 the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford
safe drinking water and the proportion of people who do not have access
to adequate sanitation.
For more information about EUWI and MDG-s visit the following sites:
Concept of the WETwin project
The following general principles form
the conceptual basisof the WETwin project:
Despite the international
protection of the Ramsar Conventionand despite themultiple functions
that wetlands provide for ecology and society, many wetlands in
Africa andSouth America lack sustainable management and are being
threatened. Several guidelines exist on sustainable (and wise) wetland
management. Yet, these are insufficiently implemented. The reasons
behind are to be assessed.
nd water stakeholder group
operate too often as two separate communities. By working together,
both scientific expertise and local knowledge can be harnessed to
help tosolve complex waterproblems.
Through the involvement
ofstakeholders, science-based outcomes can be produced with direct
benefits for the needs of society. O w
nership of project results will largely
benefit from strong stakeholder involvement and is a precondition
for a sustainable impact.
Wetlands are often crucial
elements in river basins. Because of the multi-functional character
of wetlands and their sensitivity
towards changes in water allocation, nutrient loading and land-use
developments within the entire river basin, wetlands should
form an integrate d part of river
basin ma nagement.
Efficient and cost-effective
nutrient reduction and water storage capacities of wetlands make
it possible to utilize them for drinking water supply and sanitation
all over the basin.
At the current pace,
the Millennium Development Goal s
for adequate sanitation will be missed with half a billion people
worldwide. It is expected that the increased incidence for droughts
(climate change), increased water consumption and waste water production
further increases the distance-to-target. A river basin plan of
adaptive actions is needed.
and values of wetlands are crucial not just on local scale but also
on basin-wide and global scales. Preservation of wetlands thus plays
a key role in the global protection of the biosphere.
Because of the potential
conflicts and tradeoffs between the different ecological, livelihood,
water treatment and water supply functions, wetland management needs
to be based on a m ulti-criteria
The objectives of South-South
cooperation are to enhance solidarity among developing countries
and to allow to benefit from each others relevant strengths, experience
and expertise. South-South cooperation i.e. between African partners
and between Africa and South America, is limited. Traditionally,
most existing is North-South cooperation.
The acronym of the project is derived from the following motto:
Win the wetland, and you win the river basin! WETwin
Alternatively, the acronym can be interpreted as WE-TWIN, indicating
that Twinning is the core element of this project.
Objectives of the WETwin
According to the Call (ENV.188.8.131.52), the project
is expected to support the implementation of the EU Water Initiative
(EUWI) in the context of international cooperation. The main objective
of the EUWI is to contribute to meeting the UN Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) for drinking water and sanitation, within the context of
an integrated approach to water resources management. Halting and reversing
the current loss of natural resources and biodiversity are envisaged
as challenges that EUWI should cope with. The EUWI is designed as a
'catalyst and a foundation on which action can be built to contribute
to meeting the MDGs'. It is the explicit intention of the WETwin project
to become such an action.
As the Call also emphasizes, the WETwin project is expected to place
particular attention on 'constructive engagement with the entire spectrum
of societal actors' as well as on 'communicating the research process
and its results to all societal actors to make the research policy relevant
and enhance its impact'.
By taking all these aspects into consideration and by standing firm
on the conceptual basis of the project, the objectives of WETwin have
been formulated as follows:
The overall objective of the WETwin project is to enhance the role of
wetlands in basin-scale integrated water resources management (IWRM),
with the aim of improving the community service functions while conserving
good ecological status.
The overall objective is broken down into the following specific objectives:
Identify community based
technical and institutional solutions for the management of wetlands
and river basins with the aim of utilizing the drinking water supply
and sanitation potentials of wetlands for the benefit of people
living in the basin. This concerns solutions for improving the relevant
capacities of wetlands.
Account for ecosystem
functions and values of wetlands. The proposed management solutions
should also take care of preserving (and also for improving as much
as possible) the ecological values of wetlands.
Identify strategies for
adapting the management of wetlands to the changing environmental
Identify solutions and
strategies for integrating wetlands into river basin management
and planning, by taking relevant national and international policies/guidelines
into consideration, and also by accounting for the envisaged community
service functions of wetlands.
Ensure that stakeholders
and decision makers will benefit from the project, also after the
end of the project.
Increase the exchange
of expertise on wetland management and on IWRM; increase the transferability
of results and achieve better international networking; enhancing
North-South, South-North and South-South (Inter-African, African
- South American) cooperation.
Increase the capacity
of relevant organisations to manage wetlands and river basins in
an integrated way.