A proper enabling environment ensures the rights and assets of all stakeholders (individuals as well as public and private sector organizations and companies, women as well as men, the poor as well as the better off), and protects public assets such as intrinsic environmental values.
The enabling environment is determined by national, provincial and local policies and legislation that constitute the “rules of the game” and facilitates all stakeholders to play their respective roles in the development and management of water resources. It also includes the forums and mechanisms, information and capacity-building, created to establish these “rules of the game” and to facilitate and exercise stakeholder participation.
From top to bottom: In order to achieve efficient, equitable and sustainable water management within the IWRM approach, both top-down and bottom-up approach for the participation of all stakeholders needs to be promoted — from the national-level down to the catchment or watershed level. Decision-making in this context needs to be governed by the principle of subsidiarity, which drives down action to the lowest appropriate level.
From companies to communities: In addition to government agencies and private companies, water development and management should involve NGOs, community-based organizations that have full participation of women and disadvantaged groups, and other sections of civil society. All these organizations and agencies have an important role to play in enhancing access to water, in bringing about a balance between conservation and development, and in treating water as a social and economic good.
Areas to target for change:
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