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participatory assessment work in the Balkans, NATO workshop on Water scarcity, land degra-
Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus. dation and desertification in the Mediterranean
region was followed by other activities by the
. Independent expert thinking, in particular European Union, through the European Envi-
by Vicken Cheterian from CIMERA in Geneva ronmental Agency and its Horizon 2020 initia-
compiling an accessible background paper to tive and the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan,
stimulate debate on the issue. or the United Nations University.
. A mapping exercise to visually highlight the The Barcelona workshop gained from the pres-
factors and issues based on input from experts ence of these institutions, and the invaluable in-
from the region, supplemented by scientific lit- put provided by experts from the region.
erature and “official” government databases.
The purpose of the maps is to reveal and com- You now have our summary before you, pre-
municate priorities and inter-linkages in a for- senting the environment and security issues
mat that is easily understandable, lending itself of the Southern Mediterranean in a well illus-
to swift analysis. trated manner. We have also explored ways of
addressing these linkages in a more compre-
This all converged in a workshop Participatory hensive and participatory manner. Blueprints
Assessment of Environment and Security Issues in for an approach similar to the ENVSEC initiative
the Southern Mediterranean Region organized by exist elsewhere. A key factor will be the ability
the Centre for International Relations and Devel- to mainstream knowledge rather than preach-
opment Studies (Fundació CIDOB) and the Barce- ing to the converted, to explain environmen-
lona International Peace Resource Center (BIPRC) tal problems and potential solutions simply to
in cooperation with the Organization for Security non-specialists, in foreign, defence and finance
and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), UNEP GRID- ministries, and of course the world at large.
Arendal and the Zoï Environment Network, which
took place in Barcelona on 25–27 March 2009. The keyword being “participatory”, an as-
sessment of such calibre will only be possible
The Barcelona’s experts’ workshop was the lat- once the countries of the region acknowledge
est of a series of meetings organized by differ- the need for better understanding and greater
ent organizations approaching the same issues awareness of the linkages between environ-
from different perspectives. The 2007 OSCE- ment and security.

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