Event highlights the importance of learning from each other to create smart, viable and sustainable partnerships
World Water Week 2016 concluded last week with a call for water to be recognised as “the enabler of successful implementation” of the entire 2030 Agenda for sustainable development as well as the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Water -- the lifeline of our planet -- will be needed to achieve nearly every sustainable development goal (SDG), and to face the challenges that climate change presents,” said Karin Lexén, director of World Water Week at Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
Throughout the week, there was a focus on implementation and action, particularly at local and city level, marking a transition from the global discussions and negotiations that led to the adoption of the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.
“In order to achieve the SDGs, city and local leaderships are crucial, that is where we will find the drive,” said Torgny Holmgren, executive director, SIWI. “It is also important that civil society, businesses and social entrepreneurs are engaged to learn from each other to create smart, viable and sustainable partnerships.”
“Water is too important to keep inside the water community -- water is a central part of the entire society,” he added.
This view was also shared by Sweden’s environment minister Karolina Skog: “Water is a shared resource and a shared responsibility,” she said. “The private sector has an important part to play -- it has the competence, the technology and the ability to invest.”
More than 3,100 participants from 120 countries attended the event which included high-level policy makers, development and water professionals, researchers, civil society and private sector representatives.
Representatives of the High Level Panel on Water, established earlier this year by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and World Bank president Jim Kim, were also present with the aim of furthering the water-related SDGs