Raising Awareness in the Regions
A challenge, but also an opportunity, of the BeWater Project is how to promote the adaptive water management approach for water basins. This involves integrating scientific thinking with sociological considerations to tackle the alarming global change projections pointing to increasing water scarcity and drought in the Mediterranean.
BeWater promotes dialogue and collaboration between science and society, aiming for adaptation to the global change impacts; it is putting into process a transition from a technologically-focused river basin management approach to a stakeholder driven, bottom-up process ensuring social empowerment and joint responsibility.
In this framework, the four BeWater river basins in Pedieos, Rmel, Tordera and Vipava involve local stakeholders, scientific partners and public administration representatives in participatory workshops. The potential water management options designed by scientific partners will be validated together with local stakeholders, and the most feasible options will be prioritised as the basis for a river basin adaptation plan. The Awareness Campaign is critical to the success of this iterative process, with information exchanged back and forth between the scientific partners, with their knowledge of global change impacts at river basin level, and the perspective of the local community on current water management challenges in their river basin.
The Campaign is aimed at sensitising both the general public, as well as more specialised audiences, to encourage social awareness and capacity building in water management challenges, as well as to enrol civil society in the identification of challenges, problems, needs and constraints at local level. It empowers citizens to learn more about adaptive water management, to share their knowledge and experience with the Project Consortium and the scientific community, and to become actively involved in the implementation of the adaptive water management plan.
To achieve this, a series of tailor-made materials were produced, including posters and roll-up banners, for use at various opportunities throughout the project's development when engaging with stakeholders. The material was centrally designed by the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med), one of the 12 Project Consortium partners, with active participation and feedback by the 4 River Basin partners, to reach the objective of bringing the BeWater message to the local audiences in the most appropriate way.
An A3 poster distributed in the language local to each of the river basins called for citizens to "become active BeWater Partners" by sharing their knowledge, experience, needs & concerns with the scientific community. A mobile roll-up banner exhibition is currently taking place at various schools, cultural centres and local authorities' premises throughout the river basins. The exhibition highlights the project's essence: to promote "shared learning for multi-level impact through information, knowledge & experience exchange at local, project & European level", listing the project objectives and urging the public to actively engage in the project. Moreover, it presents the water-related socio-ecological vulnerabilities resulting from global change that are challenging the Mediterranean Region, while proposing adaptive water management as a solution to build resilience.
Each of the river basins has made use of a range of publicity opportunities in print, online and broadcast media, to further disseminate the project, its objectives and its role in the selected case study river basins, and also as a model for further application in other river basins in the Mediterranean.
General roll-up banners
|Pedieos Campaign||Rmel Campaign||Tordera Campaign||Vipava Campaign|
Further awareness raising and stakeholder engagement activities are planned for 2015 in the framework of the BeWater Project. Stay tuned to find out more about what will take place in your region!
- Tags: awareness campaign