Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development

The Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMPSUD) was created with the encouragement of the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) and the Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean (GWP Med) in December 2002 in the wake of the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which reaffirmed sustainable development as a central element of the international agenda and emphasized the important role of partnerships and dialogue among the various stakeholders and decision makers, including Parliamentarians and politicians at large.

The Circle is an open, flexible and light structure, aiming to promote suitable mechanisms to support the dialogue among Members of Parliaments (from EU and non-EU Mediterranean countries), politicians and other Stakeholders on the protection of the Mediterranean environment and the necessary socio-economic conditions for the sustainable development of the region.

The Circle stresses on the necessity to strengthen effective governance of natural resources and the environment, with particular emphasis on good Water Governance, through the encouragement of systematic and constructive dialogues among Parliamentarians themselves and with all relevant stakeholders, civil society organizations and the public at large, as a fundamental premise for the promotion of sustainable development in conditions of peace and cooperation among all countries and peoples of the Mediterranean region.

COMPSUD is intrinsically linked with the Regional Dialogue of Parliamentarians, NGOs and other Stakeholders on the Protection of the Mediterranean Environment and Prospects for the Sustainable Development of the Region. These annual Dialogues take place back-to-back with each COMPSUD meeting and produce joint statements, resolutions, plans of action, etc.

COMPSUD Objectives

In particular, the objectives of COMPSUD are the following:

The promotion of sustainable development in the Mediterranean region through an integrated resources management approach, securing a healthy and peaceful environment, where the biodiversity and cultural diversity of the region are protected.

The strengthening of effective environmental governance with particular emphasis on water governance

The promotion of public dialogue among all relevant stakeholders, civil society organizations and the public at large with Parliamentarians and among themselves.

The encouragement of production, dissemination and use of reliable, timely, accurate, complete, relevant and accessible data and information for use by decision makers and as a basis for public information and awareness raising on issues of sustainable development and of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in particular.

The promotion of capacity building, training and appropriate education with emphasis on Education for Sustainable Development for all those involved directly or indirectly in making critical choices, particularly those affecting integrated water resources management.

The basic philosophy and scope for action of the Circle are clearly expressed in the Commitment of COMPSUD that Parliamentarians are invited to sign if they wish to join in.

COMSPUD Structure

The COMPSUD is governed by a Board composed by 6 Parliamentarians whose mandate lasts for 2 years. Chairman and a Co-chairperson are selected among the Members of the Board keeping a North-South balance. The work of COMPSUD is jointly facilitated by GWP-Med and MIO-ECSDE, which also hosts the Circle’s Secretariat.

The General Assembly of the Circle takes place once every year and it sets the priorities for the Action Plan of the Circle for the year to come, also in relation with on-going or forthcoming key events related to the general framework of interest and activities of COMPSUD. These include, among others, the support of Transboundary Cooperation on Water issues, the promotion of IWRM principles in national laws through relevant legislation, the active involvement in important initiatives related to water, such as the Mediterranean component of the EU Water Initiative (MED EUWI), the Euro-Mediterranean Water and Poverty Facility (WPF), the World Water Forum (WWF) and the Mediterranean Education Initiative for Environment and Sustainability (MEdIES) as well as the endorsement of strategies, policies etc. contributing to the promotion of Sustainable Development in the Region (i.e. the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development – MSSD, prepared in the framework of UNEP/MAP and recently adopted by the Contracted Parties of the Barcelona Convention).

The Mediterranean Regional Dialogue of Parliamentarians, NGOs and other Stakeholders on the Protection of the Mediterranean Environment and Prospects for the Sustainable Development of the Region (also called for simplicity ‘Dialogue of COMPSUD’) is an integral part of the Circle’s annual meetings and is inscribed in its philosophy of exchange, cross-fertilization and cooperation with civil society and other important actors towards the promotion of the sustainable development in the Mediterranean.


In line with COMSPUD there is a close collaboration with the another structure, the Circle of Mediterranean Journalists for Environment and Sustainable Development (COMJESD) which is facilitated by GWP-Med and MIO-ECSDE and having in this way a more direct feedback and effective access to the important flow of information and awareness raising activities on relevant issues.


Another project the GWP-Med implemented in collaboration with MIO-ECSDE/ MEdIES Secretariat, the EC/DG Env (through MIO-ECSDE core funding) and UNESCO Participation Programme is the HYDRIA Project.

HYDRIA project was a 14-month long project that was implemented in the period 2008 - 2009. The overall objective of HYDRIA was to unfold and present a small part of the diverse Mediterranean Cultural Heritage using as vehicle representative cases of past water management works, concepts and techniques. The tool to promote the cases was a website, the, operating in English and Arabic language.

The HYDRIA website, on one hand, aimed to demonstrate the wisdom of our ancestors, through their wise and respectful water management techniques; to sensitise on the valuable water-related Mediterranean cultural heritage and present ways to protect it. On the other hand, the website asserted to make the proper links of the wise traditional techniques to the modern innovative technologies of water management, particularly in the light of the pressure generated on water resources by climate change and the water scarcity of the region.

The Partners to the project came from 6 Mediterranean countries, namely Morocco, Ejypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Italy and Greece. Each country participated with at least one representative case study (site), with emphasis on sites that are not yet well-known and/or promoted as cultural tourism destinations.

The content of the website: The case studies from the Mediterranean were presented via a series of texts prepared by experts, photographic material, as well as animations, where appropriate, to explain the operation of complex water works. In the case studies links were made to cultural elements that depict how societies evolved around the water resources. Also, in each case study the current status of the remnants were presented and further references were proposed for the interested readers and potential visitors to the sites.

HYDRIA target groups

HYDRIA targeted young people and the formal and non formal educational community, particularly those coming from the Mediterranean countries. The case studies of the project highlighted the role of young citizens today, as water consumers and attempt to make them them reflect, and why not adjust the way they use water to more sustainable patterns.