At a side event on “Water, crucial to achieve the SDGs under review”, GWP’s Executive Secretary, Monika Weber-Fahr, explained that the new GWP Strategy was shaped specifically to speak to the urgency of coordinated action across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help deliver water secure, inclusive, and climate-resilient development.
“If we do not get on track to bring sustainable water and sanitation to all, the entire 2030 Agenda is at risk,” said Weber-Fahr when introducing the six-year strategy (2020-2025). “If that sounds alarming, it is.” Quoting from the strategy, she added, “A massive systems change is needed to allow countries to respond to the current crises and to provide clean and sustainably managed water to all people.”
The GWP strategy focuses on three main areas of work: water solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals, climate-resilient development, and transboundary water cooperation. As countries and development partners work to address major water challenges, GWP will mobilise key players and learn from new experiences to create and maintain momentum for coordinated action.
The strategy emphasises engaging the private sector, ensuring that youth participate in decision-making, and taking a gender-inclusive approach to water secure development.
GWP Chair Howard Bamsey commented, “This strategy not only expresses the urgency of solving the world’s water problems, it provides an answer: all water interests need to be at the table to develop shared solutions. We don’t say it is easy, rather, we take up the challenge with determination. GWP has proven through extensive experience over many years that its unique approach does work.”
On July 12, Weber-Fahr presented the strategy at the United Nations during a UN-Water event on water and climate change. Climate resilient development is one of the top priorities of the strategy, with a focus on national adaptation planning, climate finance, and water infrastructure.
As a network of 3,000-plus institutional Partners in 183 countries, 65-plus Country Water Partnerships, and 13 Regional Water Partnerships, GWP developed the new strategy over one year with extensive consultation across all its stakeholders, including a public consultation period. The GWP Steering Committee approved the strategy at its May meeting, and Partners expressed their support for its strategic directions during its annual Network Meeting in June 2019.
Amadou Maiga, GWP’s Chair of Regional Chairs, emphasized the importance that the strategy puts on strengthening the Country and Regional Water Partnerships. “This is where the action is,” he said, “with the on-the-ground networks that can make change happen from the local to the global level. This is an explicit recognition of the core asset of GWP.”
GWP is a multi-stakeholder network and intergovernmental organisation dedicated to working with countries towards the equitable, sustainable, and efficient management of water resources. A long-time advocate for integrated water resources management (IWRM), we draw on experience at the local level and link it across our network and to global development agendas.