Blog Post

UNU-INWEH presented its new water security initiative to the International Conference on Water, Informatics, Sustainability, and Environment: 2-5 July 2017, Ottawa.

This special conference at Carleton University, Ottawa, brought together a multi-disciplinary group of professionals from the global development and research community – including academics, elements from research centers, NGOs, the private sector and government agencies.

The conference’s high-level panel discussion on water related challenges and water-food-energy-nexus brought new views on these topics.

UNU-INWEH’s senior researcher, Dr Nidhi Nagabhatla, spoke in the special session moderated by Mr. Khaled Elsahli, Charge d’affaires, Embassy of Libya to Canada. Other panel members, included Her Excellency Ms. Shakilla K. Umotini, Embassy of Rwanda to Canada, who highlighted the importance of the long-term Sustainable Development strategies that Rwanda is adopting. She specifically stressed the importance of effectively managing natural land and water natural resource systems, as a tool to resolve conflicts and negotiate peace. This includes putting a priority on addressing capacity gaps in the water sector and designing sustainability interventions, and gaining a better understanding of the underlying drivers that affect water security.

In her remarks, Nidhi emphasized the requirement to engage member states, experts and institutions to develop a common understanding on the Water Security agenda. Her presentation – ‘Building Capacity for Realization of the Global Agenda on Water Security’ detailed UNU-INWEH’s new ‘Global Water Security training program’. This is a ten-module collaborative exercise designed for scholars, practitioner’s and policy makers. It uses case studies and an indicator-based approach to help decision makers establish evidence to identify the most effective interventions for their development needs, to guide optimal water management choices. The topic areas of the course are trans-boundary cooperation; good governance; financing water governance; safe, accessible water; ecosystems and livelihoods; economics of water policy; institutions and knowledge systems; water-related hazards and climate change. The course includes a practical resilience framework to achieve safe, secure, sustainable and sufficient water for community development, peace and political stability, linked to water and the plan is capacity building to help all stakeholders put these approaches into use.

The meeting’s conclusions, stressed the importance of having shared agreements and a collaborative agenda between stakeholders, to address global water challenges that extend beyond national and regional borders. That being said, UNU-INWEH proposed innovative thinking on ‘water security’ can provide decision makers a practical approach to develop effective strategies, design programs and plan investments that address all societal and socio-economic aspects of water for sustainable development. A policy message from UNU-INWEH reasons how UN Water framework on water security can facilitate water and development stakeholders to create national SDG plans for water related goals and targets and to deliver effective and measureable water development initiatives. >