Developed Cooperation among Regional Partnerships via South-South Cooperation

The “Regional Workshop on South-South Cooperation in Flood Management” was jointly organized by GWP China and GWPO, from December 14 to 16, 2015, in Guangdong, China.

With 47 participants from 18 countries , the event was supported by the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), P.R. China, Research Center on Flood and Drought Disaster Reduction (CDR), International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), WMO/GWP Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM), Regional Water Partnerships of Central Asia and Caucasus, China, South Asia and South-East Asia, Typhoon Committee Secretariat, World Wildlife Fund China, Asian Development Bank, Asia-Pacific Water Forum, and etc.

After the discussions between representatives of the four Asian Regional Water Partnerships (RWPs) early this year, it was decided to create a group work in areas of common interest to the region. The first thematic area clearly identified by all RWPs as adequate for initiating cooperation was the issue of floods. Hence, the workshop aimed at promoting the exchange of experiences, knowledge sharing, capacity building, project development and other forms of cooperation on the common issue of floods and ways to better manage them.

The opening ceremony was addressed by Wang Hao, Acting Chair of GWP China; Liu Zhiguang, Consul of Ministry of Water Resources; Rudolph Cleveringa, Acting Executive Secretary of  GWPO and Zhang Qingfeng, Chair of Water Committee, ADB. Under the topics of "Flood forecasting, monitoring, warning and responses", "Flood management in urban settings", "Community-based approaches to flood management" and "Flood management practices in a changing climate", the participants introduced their cases and experiences with counterparts at the workshop. Model of "world cafe" was also imported to the group discussion under each topic for brainstorming and knocking against out sparks among the participants.

With the support of the Ministry of Water Resources and Guandong Provincial Water Resources Department, the participants visited the Flood Control & Disaster Reduction Center of Foshan City and one of sluices on the Pearl River Basin.  In the center, the Foshan Water Resources Bureau introduced the flood control and disaster reduction in the city and history of the center. The center, founded in 1983, has been responsible for the water related disasters control, from flood, drought and typhoon.  Along with the water affairs information and Geographic Information System (GIS) map, the center has developed more than 10 application service systems covering flood prevention engineering, underwater topography, water conservation project, river-channel section and etc. Thus, the whole city has been supervised by real-time video surveillance platform. The visitors and Bureau staff spent a half day for interaction and discussion.

The last day of the workshop was conducted among the representatives from the four Asian Regional Water Partnerships (RWPs) of Caucasus-Central Asia, China, South Asia, South-East Asia to propose a framework for cooperation between the RWPs on further topics of shared interest, including climate resilience, disaster risk reduction, Sustainable Development Goals, urban water management for the years to come and for developing a common work programme. The inter-regional cooperation agreement would be drafted out later and finalized by the end of February of 2016. The next regional workshop on south-south cooperation would be held in July, 2016 in Singapore and hosted by GWP South-East Asia.