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On Friday, October 21, we held the 1st BONEX Workshop Spain, the first of a series of events in La Axarquía region (Málaga) whose purpose is the development of a strategic plan for the region. The Axarquía Plan must be a key instrument that articulates the demands of the different territorial actors and sectors of the region to face the current climate crisis. The collaboration of all the actors is necessary to find solutions to the pressing scarcity of water, which is increasingly difficult to bear and with an immense economic and social cost.
The Axarquia Plan is part of the activities of BONEX, the European project that we coordinate from Bioazul. BONEX is a project financed by the PRIMA foundation for collaboration between Mediterranean countries and in Spain it also has the participation of the universities of Córdoba and Almería. The main objective of BONEX is to favor a holistic vision in the management of natural resources that takes into account the nexus between water, food, energy and ecosystems, also called WEFE Nexus. These dimensions are often managed in isolation and there is a current of thought that is increasingly relevant and has the support of the European Commission to promote a more interconnected vision.
Thanks to the methods developed by the partners of the BONEX project, La Axarquía will be able to have a comprehensive strategic plan based on the WEFE Nexus methodology and this also implies the participation of the territorial agents in the elaboration of strategies. For this reason, the day of October 21 was mainly practical. We put the assistants to work who dedicated themselves, at this stage of the process, to identifying the most relevant problems in the region. This is the first step in a process in which we will jointly arrive at an action plan that we hope will serve to move towards a region that is more sustainable and resilient to the effects of climate change.
For the welcoming act of the event we had several local personalities such as José Juan Jiménez, president of the Association of Municipalities of the Eastern Costa del Sol (La Axarquia) and Gregorio Campos, vice president of AXARAGUA, in addition to our CEO Antonia Lorenzo, who a brief introduction about the BONEX project for all attendees.
Before starting with the working groups, the professor and professor at the University of Córdoba, Julio Berbel, made a summary of the current situation that Axaraquía is facing. Currently, low rainfall has caused the Viñuela reservoir to be at very low levels, below 10%. This has led administrations to carry out emergency works to make unconventional resources available, such as reclaimed water and desalinated water.
During the work session, the attendees were divided into groups to identify the problems of the region according to the dimensions of the WEFE nexus. To do this, we follow the “System Dynamics” methodology coordinated by the NOVA University of Lisbon, by which problems are identified indirectly through variables and the causal relationship of these variables. The assistants had to elaborate causal loops diagrams coordinated by the BONEX project team. The fact of working with a methodology that has academic support will provide greater rigor and relevance to the final result, the strategic plan for the Axarquia.
To close the event we had the honor of having Ramiro Angulo, General Secretary for Water in the Andalusia Goverment, who highlighted Andalusia’s commitment to solving the water problem, detailing the infrastructure works planned in the community.
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