WSTA Advisory Committee Meeting
Friday, January 17th, 2014 , Manama – Kingdom of Bahrain
A meeting of the Advisory Committee of Water Science and Technology Association was held on the evening of Friday, January 17, 2014 in the city of Manama, which was based on the desire of the members of the General Assembly Meeting held in the month of August 2013. The meeting was held in order to listen to the opinions of the Founders colleagues, Past Presidents and members of Boards of Directors in order to discuss the association’s Strategy and draw a roadmap of future aspires to be pursued by WSTA to achieve its objectives, in the light of the changes taking place in the water sector in the region and the world around us and what can be offered to our communities to achieve the desired sustainability goals.
The meeting was opened by Dr. Waleed Khalil Zubari the President of the current Board who thanked the audience for their positive response to attend this important meeting and introduced the Association’s future Strategy along with its vision and mission. This strategy was set by the previous Board of Directors in year 2010, with an ambitious implementation plan of which partly was achieved, namely on the administrative side such as hiring the the Executive Director and updating the website. In addition, he explained the steps taken to reinstate the condition of the WSTA headquarters Flat.
Following the presentation, discussions were opened where attendees expressed their comments and observations on the strategy presented in an objective manner, while touching a range of topics that are hindering the work of the Association and possible solutions available to achieve its goals. The followings are the main draw of these observations as well as recommendations and suggestions that came out of the conferees to enable the Board to consider and put a time plan for the implementation of what can be implemented:
- agreed to review this strategy in the light of what was discussed at this meeting and to emphasize the need to focus on the role of WSTA In the community. Attendees also discussed the requirements of this critical stage through which the water situation in the whole region is facing and the urgent need to activate the role of awareness. An emphasis was also put on securing better presence in the global water arena.
- Agreed to approach the Ministry of Social Development in the Kingdom of Bahrain to explain the situations this GCC backed Association is facing being the difficulty of the application of laws and regulations related to the work of NGOs such as laws governing elections system, or the law of collecting money that hinder its work in the current situation as well as the future and to seek exceptions as WSTA activities are characterized covering the GCC and does not limit only to Bahrain.
- Emphasis was drawn on the need to intensify the presence of WSTA in the community and official events, and give its scientific opinion regarding hot topics that arise on the scene, such as the issue of water security, the current issue of GCC Water Tie Project, and the relationship of water, the environment and climate change … etc. This to be given the utmost importance when reviewing the strategy, which is expected to contribute to strengthening the position of WSTA and elevate its institutional credibility for decision makers who can resort to it whenever necessary.
- Attendees agreed to intensify efforts to obtain more support from the Secretariat General of the GCC and approach H.E. the Secretary General in person who shows interest in water issues to look forward to strengthening the relationship between the two institutions.
- Emphasis was drawn on finding ways and means to achieve financial sustainability of the Association, through the intensification of scientific activities, such as workshops and training and go out of traditional style to think commercially through the establishment of forums and exhibitions of a commercial nature to attract large companies to participate.
- With regard to the mutual relationship between the association and its members, this was a subject of a long discussion and the meeting agreed on a set of recommendations and suggestions i.e. Develop plans to intensify the presence of WSTA in various media, Work to increase scientific publications, Link WSTA with the related organizations and associations through the web page and find an understanding with these institutions to exchange information and access to their publications and accelerate the activation of the electronic Forums and social networks like Face book and Twitter.
At the end of the meeting, Dr. Waleed expressed his sincere appreciation to fellow participants for accepting the invitation to attend and discuss the above important topics that will be taken into consideration when re- drafting the future strategy.