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Towards effective involvement of local government in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in river basins of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region

Final Report Summary - LOGO WATER (Towards effective involvement of local government in (...) IWRM in river basins of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region)

The LOGO WATER aimed to assist developing countries in their effort to achieve the water-related Millennium development goals (MDG) through facilitation of the potential of local governments to adopt integrated water resources management (IWRM) solutions. The project focused on the Southern African development community (SADC) region and fulfilled the following specific objectives:
1. produced an inventory of the international research related to the models and frameworks of local governments' participation in IWRM, as well as of the acquired experience on such participation in European and African countries;
2. identified an effective role for authorities' involvement in applying IWRM in the SADC region and provided support to its implementation;
3. raised awareness among experts and stakeholders regarding local governments' participation in IWRM;
4. provided a basis for further research in the field.

The LOGO WATER was developed in two stages. Firstly, conclusions were drawn from existing international experience and previous research initiatives. Secondly, guidance material, aiming to support different stakeholders, was produced. The necessary international cooperative framework was established through the organisation of major communication events with the participation of numerous end users.

LOGO WATER confirmed that local authorities' involvement was critical for successful IWRM, since they had the potential to undertake complementary actions at a local level. Nevertheless, insufficient regulatory and institutional frameworks often impeded such progress. The potential for engaging in IWRM was twofold and could either be limited within regional boundaries or include participation in collaboration schemes at catchment and basin levels. The clarification of the participants' specific role and responsibilities within each country was identified as being crucial for involvement optimisation and increased IWRM efficiency. Finally, the decentralisation of responsibilities in the water sector had always to be aligned with necessary fiscal reforms in order to become successful.

Various reports and guidance documents were finalised during the project and were uploaded to the LOGO WATER website, so as to maximise dissemination effects. In addition, future strategies towards achieving improved IWRM in different regions were conceptualised. The project was also expected to contribute in the refinement of relevant action plans for the minimisation of the forecasted climatic change impacts on water resources.

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