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Terms of Reference

1. Objectives

1.1 The ultimate goal of the International Network for Water and Ecosystem in Paddy Fields (INWEPF) is to realize the three challenges endorsed at the Ministerial Meeting on Water for Food and Agriculture on 21 March 2003, namely “Food security and poverty alleviation”, “Sustainable water use” and “Partnership”.

1.2 In order to achieve these goals, the INWEPF is established to provide a framework for promoting better management of water for paddy fields toward rural development with due consideration for the environment through a variety of activities including Virtual Meeting, workshops, symposiums and other knowledge exchange and capacity building activities.

2. Membership and Participation

2.1 Rice growing countries/regions, international organizations, research institutions and donor agencies which share the common objectives of the INWEPF through strengthening partnerships are entitled to join and become members of the network with the approval of the Steering Meeting.

2.2 Officials, researchers, academics and individuals who have knowledge of and experience in water management, and environmental conservation of paddy fields are expected to participate in the activities of the INWEPF.

2.3 In order to streamline the local activities, it is desirable for each member to set up a local committee of the INWEPF, utilizing existing mechanism where appropriate.

2.4 The local committee is expected to function as a coordinating body for INWEPF related local activities and as a contact point of the INWEPF network.

2.5 Setting up the official website of INWEPF is recommended for efficient and prompt sharing information among all the INWEPF members. And each INWEPF member shall inform the NEWS LETTER secretariat when he/she acts something for the purpose of the INWEPF. The NEWS LETTER secretariat shall deliver the information to all the INWEPF members. In the beginning stage Japan INWEPF committee will have charge of the setting up and management of the official website of INWEPF.

3. Steering Meeting

3.1 The Steering Meeting shall be the managing body of the INWEPF. The Steering Meeting is responsible for making decisions on the overall framework, strategies and plan of activities as well as approving the outcomes of the INWEPF activities.

3.2 The Steering Meeting shall be composed of representatives from each member country/region, international organization, research institution and donor agency.

3.3 The main themes and roles of respective INWEPF activities including Virtual Meetings, ad-hoc Working Groups, and workshops shall be decided by the Steering Meeting. The outcomes of these activities shall be reported to and be approved by the Steering Meeting.

3.4 The Steering Meeting shall be held once a year in principle and shall be hosted by a member on a voluntary basis.

3.5 Between Steering Meetings, e-mail shall be utilized for communication purposes in order to compliment the actual meetings.

3.6 When a local committee of the INWEPF is decided to host the Steering Meeting in the following year, its secretariat has to prepare the next meeting after the Steering Meeting in the reference year has been closed.

4. Virtual Meeting

4.1 The Virtual Meeting, an Internet based forum for sharing information and experiences, strengthening capacity building, facilitating research cooperation, and formulating ideas on possible policy options for specific themes, is one of the core activities of the INWEPF.

4.2 Officials, researchers, academics and individuals of the INWEPF member are encouraged to participate actively in the Virtual Meeting. Participants need to register to participate in the Virtual Meeting.

4.3 The Virtual Meeting hosted by the Japan National Institute for Rural Engineering (NIRE) farther will be maintained for the time being.

5. Workshops and Open Forums

5.1 The INWEPF shall organize workshops as “real” meetings in order to facilitate and provide members with opportunities to compliment and strengthen activities deliberated at the Virtual Meeting, working groups and other forums.

5.2 Open forums shall be organized to provide knowledge and disseminate important achievements of the INWEPF activities to the general public as and when necessary.

6. Working Group

6.1 The INWEPF may establish ad-hoc Working Groups, with approval of the Steering Meeting as collaborative working bodies for specific purposes when necessary.

6.2 The role of the Working Group is to support the activities of the INWEPF. Such activities include preparation of inputs/reports from the INWEPF to other international and regional dialogues, such as the World Water Forum.

7. Finances

7.1 The INWEPF activities shall be financed in principle by voluntary contributions by members.

7.2 The INWEPF shall also seek funding from other financial sources, including international organizations, aid agencies and other donor communities.

8. Commencement, Modification and Termination

8.1 These terms of reference will commence on November 2, 2004 and will remain in effect unless terminated by the Steering Meeting.

8.2 These terms of reference may be modified or terminated at any time by a consensus of the Steering Meeting.

8.3 A member may withdraw from the INWEPF by giving 30 days’ advance written notice to the Steering Meeting.