U@MARENOSTRUM – Collaboration On Water-Management In The Mediterranean

Newly Emergent Collaborative Governance Practices.

Online Collaboration is increasingly being used to address complex resource and ecosystem management issues, and for strategic planning and development. In the context of challenges to traditional government practices, we are seeing generation of a variety of new practices that are based on collaboration, deliberation, and dialogue.

In a previous post we discussed Gov2u’s citizen collaboration platform for administrating the river-basin system of the Catalan region. ACAPARTICIPACIO is a remarkable initiative which demonstrate how effectively citizens from a region can contribute to policy formulation. U@MARENOSTRUM went a step further: realising that environmental concerns and marine environment know no-borders, the platform gathers people from different regions and countries which are all equally affected by environmental degradation.

Gov2u’s U@MARENOSTRUM initiative aimed to facilitate the development of an online dialogue between citizens and official representatives of the participating regions on issues regarding water protection and management in the Mediterranean. Participating regions in the project were the Ionian Islands Region (Greece), and the Valencia Region (Spain).

The main objective of U@MARENOSTRUM was to contribute in the enhancement of citizens’ engagement with the political process via their active participation in the decision-making in local, regional, national and European level. Simultaneously it intended to foster environmental democracy via public participation utilizing state-of-the-art ICT tools. The project involved two collaborative platforms one for each participating region, through which citizen-users were able to express their views and concerns regarding environmental issues that deal with the maritime environment in the Mediterranean and to discuss with other citizen-users and their official representatives on these issues.

U@MARENOSTRUM combined unique ICT tools such as forum, GIS map, electronic letters, ePetitions and eSurveys, for citizens to be able to voice their opinion regarding water issues in their region. These tools offer the possibility for users to discuss with other citizens as well as their representatives from the participating regions on issues that affect citizens’ everyday life and are related to water.

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