The online intensive six hours meeting was hosted by GWP SAS Regional Office and facilitated by the Chair, GWP South Asia. Both the Regional Council members from six countries, Country Water Partnership Chairs, the Senior Network Officer (SNO) for GWP South Asia and Regional Coordinator participated the meeting. The designated Network Officer and Chair whom will be starting their term from 2022 and the Country Coordinators have attended the meeting as observers. The Communications Coordinator was the Technical Host of the meeting while altogether 26 attended the meeting.
The movement restrictions and health guidelines imposed due to pandemic enforced the Regional Office to undertake the meeting online similarly to 2020. The meeting was started at 12.30pm (IST) and proceeded until 18.30pm (IST). The Regional Office made every effort to share the relevant documentations with the Regional Council in advance to bring the participants upto date on happenings of the region. The six hours meeting was consisted of updates on the programming, finances and governance tasks of the region from 4th quarter of 2020 to 3rd quarter 2021. Farewell notices of the Regional Chair, the Network Officer and the Regional Council members as well as the declaration of new names of the upcoming members who will be joining the Regional Water Partnership at different capacities starting from 2022 was given the priority. The meeting has allocated comparatively a longer time for discussions as suggested by the members at the earlier meeting in 2020. The extensive list of activities and new initiatives that were being highlighted at the progress report presentation had clearly depicted the creativity and the competency of the region to implement projects with sustainable water solutions even at difficult times like global pandemics. The Regional Coordinator announced number of initiatives taken at the regional level in the recent past including the Youth and Young Water Professionals’ Platform, Regional Report on SDG 6.5.1 – IWRM implementation in the region and Mapping Transboundary Water Resources Management in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) River Basins. These ongoing projects involve more than one country from the region and have introduced new donors and partners to the region. The Country Coordinators have presented their annual highlights in the next session which showcased the efforts made at the country level to complete the activities assigned for the year and to support the vulnerable communities to manage water and to influence water governance mechanisms at country level.
After discussing on the Regional Workplan 2022 and progress made at raising funds locally (Locally Raised Funds) the attention was moved on the process of accreditation re-check of the Country Water Partnerships (CWPs) in South Asia, their compliances and challenges they have faced during the process. All the CWPs have seen the importance of this exercise as latest was conducted in 2011. Next was the reviewing of GWP SAS Working Guidelines facilitated by Daniella Gaillard-Picher, the SNO was again considered as vital because the Conditions of Accreditation of Regional Water Partnerships was also conducted in 2011 and some important points needs to be incorporated or should improved to adapt the current context. Further she presented the Annual Regional Assessment Grid of South Asia, a snap shot of progress of the region prepared based on the Regional Operational updates, to the Regional Council members.
At her closing remarks, Dr Nilufa Islam, Regional Chair extend her gratitude to all the members of GWP South Asia for their cooperation throughout her one and half years tenure as the Regional Chair and thanked the outgoing SNO for her coordination and support extended to the region. She closed the meeting wishing all the participants a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.