29.03.2017 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

“Climate Change, Water Resources Management and the Role of Youth” in commemoration of World Water Day 2017

UNESCO Office, Jakarta, with the support from Indonesia National Commission for UNESCO, organized youth discussion titled “Climate Change, Water Resources Management and the Role of Youth” in commemoration of World Water Day 2017 on 22 March 2017, as a side event in the occasion of IFIT Achievement Showcase Workshop and Exhibition. This important event was also joining the global launching of the World Water Development Report (WWDR) 2017 “Wastewater the Untapped Resource”. Wastewater, a reliable alternative source of water, is highlighted in the report which recommends the shifting the paradigm for wastewater management from ‘treatment and disposal’ to ‘reuse, recycle and resource recovery’. This noteworthy actions will be significantly contribute to the climate change mitigation and the role of the youth are critical towards the challenges that societies are facing today.

The youth discussion was held in the Ministry of Education and Culture building and was attended by around 50 participants including students, university professors, school teachers, representatives from ministries and national institutions, representatives from local NGOs and UN Agency. The event was opened by Prof. Arief Rahman, the executive Chairman of Indonesia National Commission for UNESCO and from Mr. Bernard A. Zakko of UNESCO Office Jakarta. Presentation on UN-World Water Development Report 2017 was given by Mr. Ardito M. Kodijat of UNESCO Office Jakarta highlighting important global statistics requiring urgent attention, including that over 80% of all wastewater is discharged without treatment, continued by a ceremonial handing over of the WWDR 2017 report from UNESCO Office Jakarta and Indonesia National Commission for UNESCO to the Government of Indonesia and various other stakeholders.

Picture 1. Handing over of WWDR 2017 report from UNESCO Jakarta, Mr. Bernards Zako, to the President’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, Prof Rachmat Witoelar

Picture 2. Handing over of WWDR 2017 report from National Commission for UNESCO, Prof Arief Rahman, to Dr. Rudolf Yuniarto

The ceremonial handing over marked the continued efforts by the Government and relevant stakeholders to work together with UNESCO in wastewater management towards 2030 Agenda on Sanitation and Clean water for all. The Government and stakeholders are represented by: the President’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, Prof Rachmat Witoelar; Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Ir. Nurhasanah Sutjahjo (Balai Litbang Air Minum dan Penyehatan Lingkungan Permukiman); Indonesia Sciences and Research Institute (LIPI), Dr. Rudolf Yuniarto; Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), I Putu Santikayasa, Ph.D.

Prof. Rachmat Witoelar delivered keynote speech on latest climate change update and the role youth can play in water resources management. Prof. Rachmat explained, "The temperature is now warmer due to the higher concentration of greenhouse gases, resulting in more and more water vapor in the air. At this time, the water vapor in the air has increased 4% compared to 30 years ago. Thus, the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall is higher, therefore resulting more flooding and landslides. It's one of the effects of climate change on its global water system". Following the speech, a presentation was delivered by Ms Nurhasanah Sutjahjo on the range of several technologies to support sustainable water use in domestic level or industrial use, including rainwater harvesting technologies and wastewater treatment.

During the discussions, enthusiastic youth brought their issues including sanitation in the coastal areas, steps on utilizing potential alternative water resources, addressing drought in peatland areas, quality control of bottled water.

Picture 3 Students discussing water-related issues with the presenters and participants

Towards the end of the discussion, the participants, comprising mostly of youth, in their summary, agreed that water resources are limited and must be utilized sustainably for better livelihood.

For more information, please contact Mr. Shahbaz Khan (s.khan(at)unesco.org)

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