29.04.2019 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Leaving No One Behind: Indonesia Marks World Water Day 2019 with a national launch of the World Water Development Report 2019

Leaving No One Behind: Indonesia Marks World Water Day 2019 with a national launch of the World Water Development Report 2019

To mark World Water Day 2019, a Seminar and Public Lecture was organized by UNESCO Jakarta, Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN) and the University of Indonesia on 22 April 2019 in Depok, Indonesia, bringing together 190 participants from national government stakeholders, experts, development partners, and students.

Held one month after the global launch event in Geneva, Switzerland, the event also launched the World Water Development Report 2019, presented to representatives of the Government of Indonesia, private sector stakeholders, and academia, by the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Anita Nirody and participating staff of UN agencies in Indonesia.

Under the theme Leaving No One Behind, the report demonstrates how improvements in water resources management and access to water supply and sanitation services are essential to addressing various social and economic inequities, through a human rights-based approach.

As highlighted in the presentation by Senior Programme Specialist for Water and Environmental Sciences at UNESCO Jakarta Office, Dr Hans D. Thulstrup, billions of people worldwide still lack safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. Some groups are being left behind in terms of access to these basic human rights for different reasons - including women and girls, certain ethnics, migrants and refugees, as well as people with disabilities, certain age and particular health status – with poverty often figuring prominently among the causes.

Ms Anita Nirody, in her keynote speech, was highlighting the need for engagement from all stakeholders - government, private sector, the public, and particularly young people. This message was echoed by the Executive Chairperson of Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, Prof Dr Arief Rachman, the Dean of Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Indonesia, Dr rer. nat. Abdul Haris, and the President of Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN), Mr Y. W. Junardy in their opening remarks.

The Director-General of Water Resources from the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, Represented by Mr Edy Juharsyah, explained that only 61.29% of all Indonesians have access to drinking water based on 2018 data from the National Statistics Bureau. He took note that the annual storage capacity per capita in Indonesia is still relatively low compared to other countries, and despite the government’s efforts of increasing storage capacity by building dams would not be sufficient in order to ensure 100% access of clean water for all.  

He cited reasons such as intensifying climate change impacts, increasing environmental stress and population growth, and the uneven distribution of water as key reasons for this persisting challenge, and called for cooperation across all stakeholders to ensure clean water access for all.

Following the launching, an interactive panel discussion was held with the topic on “water for all” and proposed ways through which to reduce the number of people left behind, moderated by Prof Jatna Supriatna of the University of Indonesia. Contributions were made from the point of view of Government (Dr Ignatius Sutapa, LIPI), academia (Prof Dr Jan Sopaheluwakan, UI), the UN (Ms Mitra Suryono, UNHCR), and the private sector (Ms Basja Jantowski, Alliance for Water Stewardship and Ms Librian Angraeni, IGCN).

In a special session, representatives of IGCN called for the public, government entities, and the private sector to take part in the Biopore Program, to establish 1 million biopores in Greater Jakarta area as a contribution to the sustainability of water resources.

The event was concluded with two public lectures delivered by Mr Jason Morrison, UN Global Compact (UNGC), on the role of UNGC to achieve SDGs in particular water issues, and by Ms Elim Sritaba, Asia Pulp and Paper, on the work of IGCN in Indonesia through multi-stakeholder partnerships.

For more information, contact: h.thulstrup(at)unesco.org 

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