“If we do not get on track to bring sustainable water and sanitation to all, the entire 2030 Agenda is at risk. If that sounds alarming, it is,” said GWP Executive Secretary Monika Weber-Fahr when the Strategy was first introduced externally at the UN High-Level Political Forum in July. Quoting from the Strategy, she said, “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.”
In an interview with Arab News this week, GWP Mediterranean executive secretary Vangelis Constantianos explained how the new Strategy is relevant to one of the most water scarce regions of the world. “It’s time to stop blaming water scarcity, it has always been in our region, and it won’t go away. Today, we feel the urgency and we have the knowledge to act,” he said.
The Strategy focuses on three main areas of work: water solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals, climate-resilient development, and transboundary water cooperation. Each GWP region will apply the Strategy to their relevant conditions and work plan.
"Came at the right time"
At a launch event during India Water Week in September, GWP India Chair and GWP Steering Committee Member, Mr R. K. Gupta congratulated GWP: “The world is piled up with issues related to water and a lot of new challenges are on their way. I believe the GWP Strategy 2020-2025 came at the right time. Therefore, we should take this message across sectors if we want to leverage the expected systems change.”
The Strategy was also launched in September in West Africa. Ms Theodora Adomaki-Adjei from the Ministry of Water of Ghana and member of the GWP West Africa Steering Committee said that "the new Strategy is well elaborated, and I urge GWP to develop relevant messages to accompany the Strategy document in order to facilitate the donor approach for funds mobilisation, leading to its effective implementation.”
At a launch at the Budapest Water Summit in October, GWP Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Regional Coordinator Konstantin Ivanov emphasized that in the coming years GWP CEE will focus on continuing the transboundary cooperation in the region, working together with River Basin Commissions, but also bringing in new actors. GWP CEE is also interested in sharing their extensive experience on droughts and floods to help the region adapt better to climate change.
Top photo: Strategy launch at India Water Week, September 2019.
Photo 1 below: Strategy launch in Eastern Africa, October 2019.
Photo 2 below: Strategy launch in West Africa, September 2019.