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The meeting to be held at Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia from 25 to 26 September 2017, will be conducted under the theme, “Benefits of Co-operation and Basin-wide Planning in the Management and Development of Shared Water Resources”.
“We are looking forward to this stakeholders’ Forum, which also touches on a number of GWP’s thematic areas such as transboundary river basin management, water security and climate change resilience to mention a few,” said Ms Cathrine Mutambirwa , GWPSA Regional Programme Manager Transboundary Water and Environment.
To support its main theme the forum will dwell on a number of these sub-themes including; basin-wide planning, issues and perspectives; benefits of shared water cooperation and basin-wide planning; and, the roles of River Basin Organisation (RBOs) and other players.
Ms Mutambirwa pointed out that the main objective of this year’s Forum is to provide a platform for representatives from stakeholder entities interested in the Zambezi River Basin, to share information and experiences around the benefits of trans-boundary water cooperation in the context of basin-wide planning.
In light of this objective the meeting is open to representatives of all stakeholders including institutions and organisations that have interests in the management and development of water and water related resources in the Zambezi river basin. Among the stakeholders invited are ZAMCOM Partners and their constituents, Regional and International Cooperating Partners, Cross-sectorial Stakeholders, and representatives from National Stakeholders Coordination Committees (NASCs).
Other partners supporting the forum include the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Southern African Development Community (SADC) Waternet, the Institute of Water and Sanitation Development (IWSD), the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) and the NEPAD Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence Centre for Collaboration in Africa (CCA).
ZAMCOM is a major river basin organisation in Africa. It was established in 2014 as an intergovernmental organisation that brings together eight Riparian States. The Riparian States are Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania; Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The basis for the cooperation is the Agreement on the Establishment of the Zambezi Watercourse Commission which was signed in 2004 and came into force in 2011. The Commission is headquartered in Harare, Zimbabwe.
In line with its founding Agreement which embraces stakeholder participation, ZAMCOM engages with National Stakeholder Coordination Committees (NASCs) established in each of the riparian states and the Basin-wide Stakeholders’ Coordination Committees (BASC) which comprises ZAMCOM partners and NASCs focal persons.
Apart from enhancing confidence, cooperation and trust among stakeholders, the upcoming forum intends to deliberate on the challenges within the basin as well as to provide the inputs for the development of the Strategic Plan for the Zambezi Watercourse (ZSP). Furthermore the meeting plans to provide a platform to empower stakeholders with increased appreciation and understanding of the benefits of cooperation and inclusive basin –wide planning.
‘’During the conference we will look at benefits of shared water cooperation and basin wide planning from all perspectives ranging from the economic, social and environmental, peace and security, governance up to the regional economic cooperation (REC) level, ’’ said Mutambirwa.