February 2018: Water agencies around the world have been undertaking regional consultations in the lead-up to the world’s largest multi-stakeholder water event, the Eighth World Water Forum (WWF-8), which will take place from 18-23 March, in Brasilia, Brazil. The consultations address the six themes of the Forum: climate; people; development; urban issues; ecosystems; and financing; as well as the Forum’s three crosscutting topics of sharing through stakeholder involvement; capacity building; and water governance for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Regional reports are being produced, and a Regional Process Commission of the Forum has responsibility for integrating input from the regions into the Forum’s deliberations.
In Europe, a ‘kick-off meeting’ of water professionals and agency representatives took place in The Hague, Netherlands, in May 2017. The meeting launched a process that created a structure and invited case studies for the European regional report.
In Africa, four sub-regional reports were prepared as input to the regional report to the Forum. In January 2018, the African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW) organized a regional preparatory meeting of ministers in Entebbe, Uganda, to validate the regional report, which addresses issues of water security, ecosystems and climate change. Osward Chanda, Africa Development Bank (AfDB), stated at the meeting that Africa’s water sector requires US$14 billion a year to adequately address these issues through sound technical studies and investments in infrastructure and water management, of which the AfDB currently is providing US$3 billion.
The Americas used an online survey to invite contributions on the six themes and the three crosscutting topics.
The Mediterranean region organized its Third Mediterranean Water Forum in Cairo, Egypt, from 22-24 January 2018, with outcomes meant to feed into the regional Mediterranean report.
Other preparatory events in the lead-up to WWF-8 have included an interfaith event in January 2018 in Brasilia, and a meeting of local and regional authorities in February 2018 on the sidelines of the ninth session of the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Kuala Lumpur meeting discussed arrangements for the Fifth International Conference of Local and Regional Authorities for Water, which will take place as part of WWF-8 on the theme of ‘Water to Sustain A New Urban Future.’ The Brasilia meeting, from 11-12 January, deliberated on the theme of ‘Waters for Peace’ at the Second International Seminar on Water and Transdisciplinarity. Spiritual leader Sri Prem Baba of the ‘Awaken Love’ movement presided at the event. Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and Indigenous representatives, as well as representatives of UN Environment and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), attended the seminar. The event sought to create a peaceful global alliance for the conservation and conscious use of water resources.
The Regional Process Commission is one of several WWF-8 Commissions. Other Commissions manage WWF-8’s thematic process, its political process, a sustainability focus group, and a citizens’ forum, respectively. [WWF-8 Web Page on Regional Process Commission] [Concept Note on European Regional Process] [GWP Press Release on Africa Regional Process] [Inter-American Development Bank Press Release on the Americas’ Regional Process] [WWF-8 Press Release on Third Mediterranean Water Forum] [WWF-8 Press Release on AMCOW Meeting] [WWF-8 Press Release on Local and Regional Authorities’ Meeting] [Eighth World Water Forum Website]
References: International Institute for Sustainable Developmet. 2018. Retrieved from http://sdg.iisd.org/news/regions-prepare-for-eighth-world-water-forum/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2018-02-27%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE&utm_content=2018-02-27%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE+CID_819bf7c2cba6911ea4f0a8264bd3cdfd&utm_source=cm&utm_term=Regions%20Prepare%20for%20Eighth%20World%20Water%20Forum