MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region
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Regional report
Report of the third Regional Advisory Committee
Wednesday 19 November 2003, by Web Team

Introduction and address

The Director General of the APAL, Mr. Abdelmalek Assouna, welcomed the participants and invited the representatives of the international organizations to make an official address.

Mr. Ariel Français, the UNDP Resident Representative, thanked the host for the opportunity to address the meeting. He presented the project in the context of the necessity to focus on the management of natural resources in the region and recalled that UNDP supports these efforts. He underlined the objectives of the Tunisian project and reminded that the protection of ecosystems is one of the priority axes of the UNDP programme of assistance to the country. UNDP is also involved in a number of other relevant projects which he invited to consider for linkages. In particular, he cited that a convention has been concluded with WWF to promote rational use of natural resources and that work is being pursued towards the implementation of agenda 21 initiatives. These various activities attest of the importance that UNDP gives to the protection of natural resources. He wished all success to the meeting.

Mr. Hani Daraghma, representative of UNDP GEF, offered his compliments to the distinguished authorities and thanked the RCU and the host country for the work in preparing and organizing the meeting. He emphasized the uniqueness of the project and its importance. He recalled the process of designing and preparing for the project and the objectives of the project. Aware of the achievements to date, he reminded of the challenges lying ahead. He expressed appreciation that the regional team is now fully re-mobilized and that the Mid Term Review (MTR) was successfully undertaken. He pointed out that the project funds would cease next year or shortly thereafter but the results should not stop there. The efforts should remain until the goals are fully achieved, in particular through partnerships. He also underscored that this should be realized with full commitment from the national parties, and through the creation of institutional and legislative arrangements and policy making.

Ms. Sylvie Goyet, MedWetCoast Regional Coordinator, thanked the host for making arrangements for the meeting. She reminded of the nature and modalities of the RAC as a regional mechanism to capitalize on the experience of each of the participating members as well as maintain and guide a common regional vision. She also highlighted the importance of this particular meeting: the national and regional projects are one year away from completion (set for August or September 2004 with the exception of Lebanon which is due to complete in 2005) and important decisions must be taken now in order to prepare for sustainability of the actions and functions; the RCU is newly re-mobilized and fully operational for support to the project; and a Mid Term Review has been conducted presenting findings and recommendations that need to be considered in the next phase of implementation. She invited the participants to take the discussions seriously and fully contribute to the sharing of experience and the consolidation of a common strategy.

Mr. Nadhir Hamada, Secretary of State in charge of the Environment of Tunisia, then officially opened the meeting. A copy of his address is included in Annex1

Approval of the Agenda. Appointment of Meeting Reporter and Chairperson.

The agenda was approved. Note should be taken of the comment of Dr. Fouda calling for more time for discussion and inviting for a transparent exchange with regards to the overall strategy of the project. The final version of the agenda is attached as Annex 2

On the suggestion of the Regional Coordinator, Mr. Abdelmalek was approved as chairperson for the meeting, the Regional Coordinator acting as the moderator. The RCU will assume the function of rapporteur and prepare the meeting report.

The final list of participants is attached as Annex 3. Ms. Goyet presented the excuse of the delegation from the Palestine Authority. She explained that, though the project there has completed, the previous RAC had confirmed that every effort should be deployed to ensure their participation in the regional activities. However, last minute changes from the Palestine side and difficulties in terms of logistics, authorization and visa had made it impossible to confirm their participation for this meeting.

RAC3 Final report
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