Organised by the Joint Research Centre (the European Commission’s science service), NETWERC H2O, The Network for Water in European Regions and Cities and the partners of the European funded project, BlueSCities, the two day workshop entitled, ‘Winning-by-Twinning’ held in Dubrovnik recently investigated the importance of the role of local administrations in resolving international environmental issues. In order to provide answers, and build on the hitherto successful implementation of the EIP Water Action Group: CITY BLUEPRINTS, the workshop aimed to ensure improved exchange synergies between cities that had been involved in the CITY BLUEPRINT project and cities who are new to the concept. The cities were encouraged to assess the current situation, and were shown how to employ tools for integration and implementation, stakeholder engagement and international networking whilst emphasising the dialogue between different levels of public administration and the different sectors engaged.
The culmination of the event was when the participants were invited to sign a joint document stating their willingness to work together in future actions. The document has been created as the DUBROVNIK DECLARATION OF INTENT and the signatories will be known as the DUBROVNIK GROUP. It is hoped that what happened in the Adriatic city will prove to be the beginning of an important international alliance in the issue of water.
To date a number of cities and regions have or are in the process of signing said document which has aroused the interest of a number of supranational and national entities. One of the first cities to sign the Declaration was Amman, the capital of Jordan, together with London, Istanbul, Budapest, Cluj, Galatie, Larissa, Manresa, Dubrovnik County and Sf. Gheorghe. Other municipalities and regions are currently in the process of signing and implementing a process in which Amman has taken the lead.
Jordan SMEs under the leadership of Lina Al Dasouqie and the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM), led by Zaidoun Elgasem (Vice-President of NETWERC H2O) have already commenced the Science Café and School Prize approach in their city with some excellent results, reaching a wide community of both university students (Science cafés) and school children (School Prize). So successful has the action been, that students at three major Jordanian Universities are disseminating the action to their home towns and villages. Children have been encouraged to consider the water problems facing their region and then put into drawings their feelings. The drawings will be included in those to be considered for publication in the forthcoming Pan-European Atlas of Urban Water Management of the European Commission and will form part of an exhibition to be held in Amman Town Hall on the 18th of February, 2016.
Read the Declaration and involve your city in the creation of public water awareness. It’s easy, cost-free and vitally important!