Under the framework of the China-Europe Water Platform, the Focus Area « Water management and ecological security » aims at addressing the best ways to implement Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) at river basin level, involving all users in order to increase efficiency of water use, address point and diffuse pollution, restore ecological functions, ecosystem services and biodiversity of water bodies. It includes planning mechanisms, dialogue and consultation among all basin stakeholders, users’ participation mechanisms, economic analysis and financial mechanisms for sustainable management of water resources, ecosystem and biodiversity.
Through the development of activities taken at different levels, the pilot projects moves towards achieving the dedicated outcomes from a global point of viewthanks to corrective measures (remote activities and meetings). Despite the current health crisis circumstances, the ambition of Lot 1 is to adapt and deliver the planned outcomes and products of the project with the help of the all Chinese and European partners.
The current activities and contingencies put in place in 2020/2021 are:
- Taking into account the sanitary crisis context, adaptation & remote coordination measures with project partners have been implemented successfully since March 2020 to ensure the global coordination of the project and will be used until further notice. For instance, an online common space is used to share documents, meetings and workshops materials and internal communication of the project, as well as online coordination meetings and talks through various platforms.
- For most of the activities within the bilateral pilot projects on basin management (France), water quality protection (Finland) and ecosystem conservation and restoration (Portugal), remote actions are « sufficient » to achieve most of the objectives and complete the foreseen deliverables. For instance :
- France and HWCC has improved the pilot project on Luan sub basin by establishing a coordination group, the diagnosis of the state of the water resource of the Luan he basin and a drafting a management plan for the basin.
- Finland and TBA has developed better knowledge of the governance structures of water quality management has been developed in Taihu basin, as the assessment and analysis of water quality monitoring practices, techniques and the status assessment methods DPSIR, and IWRM based lake restoration
- The collection of baseline information, the constitution of stakeholder group and the training sessions for Chinese partners have started in 2019 and are partially completed with Portugal and IWHR.
- But difficulties remain since early 2020, especially as regard the practical research activities like sampling and monitoring on sites in China, that requires extra time or partial reconfiguration of the inputs. Discussions between Lot 1 Partners have shown that such activities could still be implemented if travels and field visits could take place in second half of2021. If not, the assessment of Pilot Basins and main conclusions will still be possible based on the existing knowledge but taking into accounts proxies and alternative assessment.
- The lot 1 has the ambition to develop and implement policy recommendations, exchange experience and know-how between EU and China on integrated management of water resources at basin level, improvement of water quality, management and restoration of freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. This will provide a solid basis for future policy dialogues under the CEWP and further convergence of the Chinese and EU approaches to water management. The lot 1 continues building on the work previously done on the policy recommendations, especially since the beginning of the Covid crisis. In 2020, remote sessions with stakeholders were organized to present results and discuss policy recommendations. As an example, the 4th workshop on policy recommendations,held in November- 2020 was a crucial milestone in the process of developping concrete outcomes from the pilot basins. ; This event was intented to review the initial objectives and deadlines for producing outcomes on the basins and recommendations. 2021 is the opportunity to produce a(n) (almost) formalized approach for those outcomes, better define the policy recommendations for each pilot project and organize (online?) meetings and workshops with local stakeholders and experts, with the ambition to refine the contents, continue to implement the policy recommendations, and dissemination of results.
- A an adaptation measure regarding the evolution of the worldwide sanitary context, the lot 1 work package 4 which deals with the communication & dissemination activities will be reshaped. If the CEWP communication activities are not affected by the situation, the participation of the lot 1 to the business activities is reduced at the moment and is limited to relaying the information and informing the economic and institutional actors. Regarding dissemination and training activities, a global review of the original activities and timeframe was necessary. As the sanitary situation continues to develop, it was obvious to rely on a more balanced approach between face-to-face & remote events (blended-learning process). The necessary adaptation measures are being discussed between counterparts and will be implemented before the end of the project in order to fulfill the original objectives despite the limitations caused by the pandemic situation.