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27 Oct

Study Launch: Natural Resource Governance in Light of the 2030 Agenda: The Case of Competition for Groundwater in Azraq, Jordan

27 October 2022.  Under the patronage of his Royal Highness Prince el Hassan bin Talal, the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute and Inter-Islamic Network in Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM) and the German Institute of Development and sustainability (IDOS) held a high-level roundtable discussion on Thursday to highlight their recent research findings on natural resource governance, taking the case of competition for groundwater in Azraq, Jordan in light of the 2030 Agenda.

This project explores the competition over the groundwater available in the region of Azraq as a starting point to assess natural resource governance in light of the 2030 Agenda. The 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is built on five core principles: universality, leave no one behind, interconnectedness and indivisibility, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and inclusiveness.  An integrated implementation of the Agenda guided by these principles, remains challenging and requires the mobilisation of synergies and the mitigation of trade-offs between economic, social and ecological dimensions of sustainable development.  Yet, through a Global Vision for 2030, the project aims to present a way forward to achieve good governance.

Dr. Ines Dombrowsky, head of the environment governance at IDOS explained that the project aims to understand factors that influence decisions and actions of different groundwater users and the conditions under which they farm.  Opportunities were identified for improving natural resource governance in the light of the 2030 Agenda. Methodologically, this study deploys an iterative mixed method approach using a social network analysis, semi-structured interviews and focus groups to answer the research questions. Additionally, to ensure local community engagement at all levels and to validate findings, a focus group meeting was conducted with selected farmers and a roundtable meeting convening governmental entities and donor agencies.

Dr. Majd Al Naber, head of the Sustainable Development department at the WANA Institute said that Azraq was selected as a case study due to the numerous water needs that compete for a limited groundwater resource – agricultural, domestic and environmental uses (the wetland). Thus, better managing groundwater means investigating the decisions and behaviour of various stakeholders. To map this complexity and to advance governance in light of the 2030 Agenda’s principles, the study deploys a two-step approach, map out the institutional factors that influence decisions of groundwater users, and conduct an analysis of how far the Agenda´s core principles are reflected in Azraq´s groundwater governance.



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