Decent work and sustainable development in the Mediterranean region

The information report was drawn up with the participation of the Spanish, Italian, Greek, Tunisian and Algerian ESCs. It will serve as a basis for discussions at the Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions to be held in Rome on 10-12 November 2010.

Water scarcity is a subject with special relevance for the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean is one of the world's regions in which the environment and human activities will be most affected by global warming. The countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean in particular must deal with serious water shortages and uneven distribution of this vital resource. Partly, this is due to environmental factors but socio-economic, technical and other "human" factors also play a role. This is especially worrying as regards the stability of the region. Conflict prevention has to include a more equal distribution of water and water rights.

Waste of water is a major problem, together with pollution. Water quality is under pressure from direct discharges and discharges into waterways. The supply of water and sanitation and the de‑pollution of the Mediterranean are designed to ensure the sustainable economic development of the region.

Several political initiatives connected with the Mediterranean are under way with the aim of establishing a water strategy for the Mediterranean, preserving and diversifying supplies and using water rationally and sustainably.

The UfM's "water projects" and the future Mediterranean water strategy must incorporate matters relating to labour and decent work, since there are many sectors involved in terms of labour conditions, job sustainability and fiscal transparency: construction, energy, transport, education, training and health.

Consultation of civil society players is important since the stakes are high, not only in terms of people's access to water and sanitation, but also in terms of the impact on jobs and employment conditions, as well as on qualifications, skills and development projects, where human resources management methods may determine whether or not a project is successful.