Speakers in this session:
Dr. BERND MANFRED GAWLIK, Portfolio Leader, The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
NINA RAASAKKA, Coordinator, World Water Quality Alliance of United Nations Environment Programme
MONTSERRAT VILALTA, General Director for Foreign Action, Government of Catalonia
ALMOTAZ ABADI, Managing Director Water, Union for the Mediterranean
RICHARD ELELMAN, Head of Politics, Eurecat and Leader of Social Engagement of the World Water Quality Alliance
Dr. Bernd Manfred Gawlik is Portfolio Leader at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and is closely involved in the EU Water Aquis where he provides scientific support Bernd, who closely interacts with all actors around “water”,has contributed to more than 100 publications. In collaborations with UNEP, the Union for the Mediterranean and other supra-national organisations his work is at the core of social engagement activities and applied sustainability diplomacy, promoted through the RENAISSANCE Concept. The forthcoming innovative mixed-reality publication GATEWAY TO THE FUTURE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN: Water, Energy, Food and the Environment is an expression of this commitment towards the interplay of water with society and its actors.
In her role as Coordinator of the World Water Quality Alliance Nina is coordinating and leading in implementation of the work of the World Water Quality Alliance (WWQA), a voluntary and flexible global multi-stakeholders network that advocates the central role of freshwater quality in achieving prosperity and sustainability. Prior to this she has worked with the World Food Programme and UNEP on development and implementation of climate and resilience projects with a focus on Africa and South East Asia; and with the European Commission DG Environment and Acclimatise Ltd, with a background in implementing cross-cutting environment and climate projects with national governments with a focus on water management, ecosystem-based adaptation, environmental policymaking, and urban resilience.
Mr Almotaz Abadi is currently Managing Director for Water at the UFM Secretariat Responsible for Water Policies and Development closely working with the Water and Environment Division at the UfM Secretariat. Mr Abadi was Appointed to this position based on the Understanding between the UFMS and the GoP. He has a master’s degree in water resources management and another in Governance and public sector services. Mr Abadi was Acting Deputy Secretary General for the Water and Environment division from Sept 2015 until Sept 2016. Previously Mr Abadi had been the director of the Aid Coordination and Management Unit in Palestine. For the last five years, Mr Abadi had lead the process to revitalize the Water political process in the Mediterranean Region which had lead to the Water Ministerial Declaration in 2017 and the associated water agenda and its Financial Strategy. Before that he was very active in the water sector in Palestine and also in the region through his engagement with the regional dialogue, the bilateral and trilateral relations aiming to enhance regional cooperation and to enhance the way we govern our water resources, and foster cooperation on water and renewable energy issues. Mr Abadi was one of main drivers of the water sector reform and also the governance and private sector initiative for the Mediterranean including launching the first Mediterranean Water Investment Forum in Rome Dec 2019.
Richard Elelman (London, 1961) studied Politics in the UK before living in France, Spain, Portugal, Sudan, the Middle East and India. He is currently Head of Politics at EURECAT. The former Deputy Mayor of Figueres, he is a political analyst who has, in recent years, specialised in Environmental and Scientific Policy and the links between Politics, the world of Research and Development and Citizen Engagement. He works in collaboration with many supranational organisations such as the UN Environment Programme, (as the Principal Investigator of the Social Engagement Programme of the World Water Quality Alliance) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission as an External Expert (for whom he is co-leading the establishment of the RENAISSANCE approach to Science-Culture-Sustainability) A former Director of Water Europe, he has recently co-written ‘The Gateway to the Future of the Mediterranean’ (for the European Commission) and is now concentrating on the issue of Climate Change, Migration Conflict and Gender Equality. He is a regular speaker at numerous international conferences (over 200) in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. He has several international awards including the Premi John Shields, 22@Network, 2011 and the CILMA Award for the Best Environmental Policy of 2009.