GWP Shows Its Relevance at World Water Week 2019

GWP had a strong presence at this year’s Stockholm World Water Week (WWW), from 25-30 August. A large delegation participated in over 30 sessions, and the GWP Strategy for 2020-2025 was launched at a side event. The booth – the focal point of all GWP’s representatives, partners, and collaborators – was designed to encourage interactivity and inclusive participation.

The theme of this year’s WWW was "Water for society - Including all". With this in mind, GWP took the opportunity to ask visitors to the booth to share short messages on the “Voices of Water” wall. 115 videos were collected, with messages ranging from such as “freshwater is our right”, “support indigenous peoples’ right to water”, to “water is everybody’s business and should be for all to access and use.” The booth also had a fortune wheel and a partner wall to encourage the sharing of information and experiences.

Strategy launched

A particularly celebratory moment was the launch of GWP’s new 2020-2025 StrategyMobilising for a Water Secure World. This took place at a reception attended by more than 200 people, hosted by the Dutch Embassy.

Speaking at the event, GWP Executive Secretary Monika Weber-Fahr described the Strategy as one of urgency, and said: “It’s about mobilising for change. We see so many people trying to do the right thing – we have thousands of people here at Stockholm World Water Week, and we all talk about what must happen and what happens when we get stuck in our silos. We see inertia and bureaucracy, and we’re trying to reach beyond that.” Watch a clip of her speech here.

The Strategy focuses on three main areas: 1) water solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2) climate-resilient development, and 3) transboundary water cooperation. It emphasises a gender-inclusive approach to water secure development, and youth participation in decision-making – both of which build on GWP’s long-standing commitment to youth and gender.

Youth at the forefront

On Tuesday 29 August, Youth for Water and Climate (YWC) took over the Young Professionals Booth for an afternoon, dedicating it to activities supporting youth-led projects and social businesses. On the same day, GWP, the International Secretariat for Water and UNESCO-IHP also had a session called “How can intergenerational dialogue facilitate youth inclusion in decision making?” 

Another youth event was the "Make waves with the World Youth Parliament for Water". In her closing remarks, Weber-Fahr highlighted three points of importance to youth: learningworking and influencing – stressing that the water sector is a sector that needs rejuvenation. Watch a clip here.

New Perspectives Paper

GWP launched a new technical publication, a Perspectives Paper on Sharing Water. The paper was released as a ‘live’ document, with GWP looking for input in terms of stories and experiences in building and improving water-sharing systems around the globe.

“The intention with the paper is to provoke dialogue and spark interest in improving water-sharing arrangements”, said GWP Technical Committee member Professor Mike Young when introducing the paper.

New alliance

The new strategic alliance between GWP and Cap-Net UNDP was also announced at a joint mingle during the week.

GWP became an executing partner for Cap-Net as of 1st April 2019. The move not only provides Cap-Net with improved administrative and management agility, but also facilitates a more consolidated programmatic collaboration between Cap-Net and the GWP network. Read the full story here.