The Partner / Italy
Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM-MAIB)Type of Organization: International Organization
Description of the Institution:
The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute, Bari. Italy (CIHEAM-MAIB) is one of the four Institutes endowing the Centre International de Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Mediterraneennes (CIHEAM), founded in 1962 as Intergovernmental Organization under the auspices of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation Development). The mandate of CIHEAM is to constitute an instrument of cooperation between the countries of the Mediterranean in the domains of post-graduate agricultural education and the promotion of agricultural research through cooperative networks. At the present time, CIHEAM comprises thirteen member countries: Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, and Turkey. During the course of four decades of activity, CIHEAM became a pole of excellence in the field of education and research in water resources management, irrigation, plant protection, organic farming, agro- food industry and environment, working in partnership with the specialist national institutions as well as in cooperation with the international organizations active in the Mediterranean Region ( e.g., ICARDA, FAO, OADA, etc. ).
Through the accomplishment of its mission, CIHEAM constitutes also a venue of encounter which permits definition of the types of decision-makers, engineers, teachers, researchers and technicians, who will be capable of conceiving and implement agricultural, food and environmental policies which are appropriate to sustainable development in this region. It also places a framework for analysis and follow-up of agricultural policy at the disposal of the countries of the region. The MAIB, in particular, has a long experience in promoting training, cooperative research and networking activities in the domain of land and water resources management within the Mediterranean Region. Among those of major relevance there are the long-term networks, officially established in 1993, on "Water Use Efficiency" (WUE-Net), "Non-Conventional Water Resource Management" (NWRM-Net) and "Collective Irrigation System" (CIS-Net), carried out adopting always a holistic approach, where each problem is analysed, formulated and tackled by integrating the different hierarchical scales involved (e.g., technical, economical, social; training, research, etc. ).
In these Networks a common research interest is exploited in a way that limits are overcome by joint efforts, efficient resource management, upgrading skills, sharing and exchange of information and equipment, emphasizing the voluntary participation, through a strong self-interest and motivation. During the various activities of the networks, a relevant number of people has been trained, many projects implemented in addition to a substantial amount of publications, conferences, meetings and symposia. Sense of belonging to a community, gathering of consensus based on the recognition of a strong scientific reputation, respect of the diversity, safeguarding each one dignity, equal opportunity conditions, team spirit, supporting environment, etc., allowed MAIB to cumulate an important patrimony of human relations. This is one of the most important, though less visible, externalities derived from the impacts of the networking activities that distinguish the CIHEAM-MAIB from all other international organizations active in the Mediterranean affairs.
In fact, MAIB has been called upon by European Commission (DG 1) to carry out Programs such as the Regional Action Program on Water Resource Management. MAIB endows also the Regional Office of the World Water Council and is an active member of ICID and G.W.P.
In the last few years, a major part of Bari Institute Programmes on integrated water resources management was directed to the socio-economic and environmental aspects related to water resources. In this regard MAIB has been called upon by the World Bank to carry out a five–year T. of T. training programmes on Capacity Building for Participatory Irrigation Management. Under this programme was trained about 300 general managers, decision maker, high scientific and technical skills, and users from most of the Mediterranean Countries beside a greater number from Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The activities in this programme expanded and more tight cooperation started with IFAD giving to IAM-B, the technical responsibility in implementing the IFAD Project action programme on the identification and testing methodologies and approaches for efficient institution of PIM (Participatory Irrigation Management). In addition, MAIB is co-operating with many institutions in the region in setting and adapting new water valuation policies and cost recovery mechanisms to be easily implemented under the individual Local Conditions of the developing countries in the region. MAIB, running programmes, priority is given to gender and water resources management in the Mediterranean. Several T. of T. courses, were organised by MAIB in co-operation with FAO, and ONG women’s organization in the region. A Workshop on Gender and water resources management in the Mediterranean was organized by MAIB in Cairo during the first regional conference on the perspectives of Arab water cooperation, with the attendance of more than 200 experts from the Arab world representing public, universities, research centres, and users and women associations .In this field, negotiations already started with IFAD, to exchange experiences and join efforts under the IF AD programme of Action to reach rural women in the NENA region.
Juan Antonio Sagardoy
Saverio De Santis