GIWEH and UTAP build partnership to prepare for the 1st phase of GIWEH's project "Water for Rural Development in Tunisia"

GIWEH visited Tunisia in May to build upon its partnership with the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP). GIWEH and UTAP are currently collaborating on two projects: GIWEH’s next International Conference on Water Resources and Environment (ICWRE), and the revision of Tunisia’s water and agriculture policy.

The conference will be the fourth ICWRE, to be held in 2017. The theme focuses on upgrading the agriculture and fishery sectors to enable them to adapt to the world economic changes. Through technological innovation, it aims to integrate the water and agriculture policy to adapt to climate change, thus increasing water efficiency as well as food productivity.

In a similar light, GIWEH is partnering with UTAP to aid in water and agriculture policy reformation for Tunisia. GIWEH visited the Northwest, Northeast, and Central regions of Tunisia over the course of three days, to better understand the water and agriculture situation in the areas. Discussions were held with farmers, land owners, UTAP representatives, and later, with the Ministry of Agriculture to congeal the different perspectives together and create a whole profile of water and agriculture policy—including the legal, institutional, and technical aspects. Then, GIWEH provided guidance, recommendations, and support to help UTAP work toward integration of water and agriculture policy, with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture. Both sides agreed to draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and specify the different topics of cooperation; GIWEH is committed to bringing their expertise, and will invite Swiss and European organizations to contribute expertise as well, to help develop water and agriculture policy in Tunisia. The ultimate goal is to help Tunisia adapt their agriculture to climate change. This project will continue to develop throughout the years 2016 and 2017.

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