Change of AWARENET Network Coordinator

AWARENET would like to thank Dr. Ralf Klingbeil for his extraordinary work as AWARENET Network Coordinator since 2014. Dr. Klingbeil has been instrumental in keeping AWARENET members engaged, updating the Network on new developments in the field and motivating members to undertake innovative and collaborative research. His services as AWARENET Network Coordinator ended on 31 March 2016 due to changes in for form of Regional Advisor services within ESCWA.
Ms. Johanna von Toggenburg has taken on the role of AWARENET Network Coordinator hosted by UN ESCWA since May 2016. She joined the Sustainable Development Policies Division at UN ESCWA in March 2015 as Associate Expert, as part of a professional program supported by the German Government. She has a well-rounded experience in water management as well as in communication and advocacy. In the past six years, she managed projects for the European Union on IWRM and stakeholder engagement and coordinated a platform of NGOs on water and sanitation in the Middle East.

Message from Johanna von Toggenburg, AWARENET Network Coordinator:

Dear AWARENET members,

I am enthusiastic to continue Ralf's work by facilitating your engagement and supporting your network-related activities, exchange and capacity development on Integrated Water Resource Management in the Arab Region. Your active engagement as a member of the Network is crucial for the success of AWARENET. I encourage you to continue providing input as well as making use of it for your benefit as well as for the benefit of your institutions and the Arab Region as a whole. The thematic Working Groups (Water Governance, Climate Change and Water Footprint Assessment) also allow you to directly interact between members with interests in these areas.
Since April 2015 the Network Coordination has the valuable reinforcement of Tala Moukaddem, who provides Network support services to AWARENET in the form of the AWARENET Secretariat (kindly hosted in Beirut by SPNL). We will work closely together to support you.
Please feel free to reach us under the contact details provided below – we look forward to meeting you.

Johanna von Toggenburg
AWARENET Network Coordinator
c/o UN ESCWA, P.O. Box 11-8575,
Riad El-Solh 1107-2812
Beirut, Lebanon
T. +961 1 978589
Tala Moukaddem
AWARENET Secretariat
c/o SPNL- Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon
Hamra, Awad Bldg - 6th Floor - Abdel Aziz Street
P.O.Box: 113-5286
Beirut, Lebanon
Tel: +961 1 343740



The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon supports AWARENET

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) is supporting AWARENET in the network coordination by providing network support services for administrative and organizational services for the current year 2016 based on a contract between Cap-Net UNDP and SPNL.


SPNL aims at protecting nature, birds and biodiversity in Lebanon and to promote sustainable use of resources with people through reviving the concept of Al Hima. As one of the oldest environmental NGOs in Lebanon, established in 1986, SPNL contributes to both raising awareness on environmental issues and concretely protecting natural areas in Lebanon.

SPNL was also the first member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature - Regional Office for West Asia (IUCN-ROWA) in Lebanon. AWARENET is working with IUCN-ROWA as part of Water Integrity Capacity Building Programme in the Middle East and North Africa (WI MENA).

Among the many activities SPNL also facilitates the IUCN-ROWA sub-network on water governance as part of the Regional Knowledge Network on Systemic Approaches to Water Resources Management (RKNOW) and implements a specific project on water governance in Lebanon: Restoring Hima Ecosystem functions though promoting sustainable community -based water management systems.


Started: AWARENET E-Learning Series “Water Integrity for Arab Countries”

The first session of an E-learning series on "Water Integrity for Arab Countries" was held 23 February 2016 using the Cap-Net Virtual Campus. The series is jointly organized by AWARENET in cooperation with the UNDP Water Governance Facility at the Stockholm International Water Institute SIWI and Cap-Net UNDP. It is designed for professionals in the water and environmental sectors in Arab countries interested to learn about approaches to addresses the challenges related to water integrity.

Participants of the first session included professors, engineers and consultants who accessed the learning platform from across the Middle East and North Africa and were able to engage in live discussions with the other attendees. The presenters were Adam Torrey from AWARENET and Alice Jaraiseh from SIWI.

To access a recording of the presentation you may visit:
AWARENET Webinar No 1


The second session took place on 3 May 2016 with Dr. Abdelrahman Tamimi from the Palestinian Hydrology Group as presenter.

The third session will take place on 14 August 2015 with Dr. Muwaffaq Saqqar from Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development.

More details will soon be circulated to interested AWARENET members and posted on the AWARENET website:

For more information please contact: , .


Season’s Greetings – End of Year Message – Outlook 2016 – Launching of New Website


"Water knowledge should not be a scarce commodity but should be available at the least possible cost" - Cap-Net UNDP, 2014-2017 Strategic Plan

Dear AWARENET Members,

The year 2015 is coming to an end. A year full of new developments and opportunities. A year full of too many conflicts all over our region. But also a year with new hopes for a more peaceful and cooperative future for all. The end of 2015 is again a time for reflection about the last year and a time to look forward to 2016.

AWARENET has today more than 400 members from the Arab region and beyond. Nearly 100 institutional members; reflecting the strong interest and commitment of international, governmental, non-governmental and private sector institutions in capacity development for sustainable water management in the Arab region. The membership level has continuously increased further over the last years, with now double the number of members compared to the beginning of 2014, when I was asked to take over the network coordination within my function as UN ESCWA Regional Advisor on Water. I would like to thank all AWARENET members for their continued membership, sharing of information, contributions and gratefully appreciated feedback on the various communications we had this year. Special thanks of course go to all also those of you who have been even more active in one of the three Working Groups: Climate Change, Water Footprint Assessments and Water Governance, and those who contributed or participated in any of the 2015 AWARENET training courses, Cap-Net UNDP global and other regional activities and exchanges.

Of course all AWARENET communications and activities depend on the great support from our members and partners. A special thanks goes to our partners in the 2015 activities (in alphabetical order): ACWUA, AGU, Cap-Net UNDP, EU, GWP-Med, Integrity Action, IUCN-ROWA, MENA NWC, SIWI, UNDP Water Governance Facility, UfM, UN ESCWA, USAID, WSTA plus many other institutions at regional and national levels and the individuals who have contributed financially -directly or in kind- and volunteered their time for our common goal: Capacity development for sustainable water management in the Arab region. Of course we could always do more and better. Unfortunately funds and time are limited, but we are looking into ways to increase the funding base for AWARENET in the future. You as members are always also welcome to share with us any suggestions and proposals for joint activities in this regard.

2015 was the year in which the Millennium Development Goals came to an end; opening the ways for a wider development framework: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and a number of even higher specific indicators that are still under discussion and shall by the end of March 2016 provide a solid planning framework for future sustainable development at global, regional, national and local levels. While water is clearly related to many of the SDGs there is also a clear relation between capacity development for sustainable water management and the SDGs, This is already well addressed in the short video spot by Cap-Net UNDP:

The last year has seen a number of new developments also with AWARENET: We have been able to implement two regional training courses on Water Integrity for the MENA Region and one regional training course on Water Footprint Assessments for GCC and Arab Countries. Beside of the renewed Working Group on Water Governance we have seen the starting / re-starting of two other Working Groups on Climate Change and Water Footprint Assessments. We hope that each of the WGs under their current Chairs / Deputy Chairs will be able to achieve their self developed goals over the next months until we go into the next election phases.

The next year, 2016 is already waiting with some additional news:

AWARENET has just released its new website that currently already lists a number of past activities. This website will also present upcoming activities and shall in the near future also comprise some "members-only" benefits such as individual member profiles, downloadable resource materials, and forums for discussions among members. We will send soon some further information on the member login and use of these functions.

The website also contains the draft AWARENET 2016 work plan as submitted to Cap-Net UNDP. Most of the proposed activities are still only tentative and can only be realized with the right combination of partners and co-funding. Those of you who are interested to support some of the activities either as financial partner or through in kind support such as e.g. hosting a training course are most welcome to get in contact with me.

Among the upcoming activities we are currently planning for a 3rd regional training course on Water Integrity for MENA Region in early February 2016 and a 1st regional Training Course  on Water, Adaptation to Climate Change, Vulnerability Assessments in middle of March 2016 (title and dates are still tentative). We will keep you informed about these plans as soon as the details are available.

From AWARENET I would like to send you my best wishes for a hopefully more peaceful year 2016.

Best regards,
Ralf Klingbeil


Annual Network Managers Meeting, Cartagena, Colombia, 17-20 Nov 2015

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The Cap-Net UNDP Annual Network Managers Meeting 2015 took place from 17 to 20 November 2015 in Cartagena, Colombia. All of the coordinators and network managers of Cap-Net UNDP as well as invited international partners converged together in this event. As one of Cap-Net UNDP's partner network, AWARENET, represented by it's Network Coordinator, attended this meeting. As the theme for this year's meeting was 'Networking and capacity development: Response to advances in information technology', this meeting focussed on the utilisation of information technology to develop capacity in water resources management as well improving collaboration among networks. Continued

AWARENET Working Group on Climate Change (WG-CC)

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An AWARENET Working Group on Climate Change (WG-CC) has been newly set up to contribute to various activities and exchange on water and climate change in the region. The WG-CC currently comprises of c. 40 AWARENET members. For the period until August 2016 (one year) the WG members elected Prof. Fayez Abdulla, based in Jordan as Chair and Prof. Tarek Abdel-Aziz, based in Egypt as Deputy Chair. For more information please contact AWARENET secretariat.

AWARENET Working Group on Water Footprint Assessments (WG-WFA)

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An AWARENET Working Group on Water Footprint Assessment (WG-WFA) has been set up to contribute to various activities and exchange on water footprint assessments in the region. The WG-WFA currently comprises of c. 15 AWARENET members. For the period until July 2016 (one year) WG members elected Dr. Arwa Hamaideh, based in Jordan as Chair and Eng. Mohamed Mustafa Abbas, based in Sudan as Deputy Chair.

For more information, please contact AWARENET Secretariat.

 World Water Day 2015 Celebrations by Cap-Net Partner Networks.

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The World Water Day 2015 was celebrated on the 22 March 2015 with the theme 'Water and Sustainable Development'. As one of World Water Day 2015 celebration partners, Cap-Net UNDP has prepared and provided learning resources, which is the World Water Day Learning Pack. The learning pack consists of tutorials, toolbox, WWD learning materials, quiz, video and reports. The Secretary-General’s message on the World Water Day 2015 can also be downloaded here. In addition to that, Cap-Net partner networks, REDICA, SCaN and AWARENET have organised or participated in  events  in conjunction of World Water Day 2015 Celebrations. Continued