27.06.2019 - Natural Sciences Sector

WWAP supports the 1st Regional Policy Dialogue Workshop “Achieving SDG 6 and related SDGs in mediterrean region”

Paola Piccione, Water and Gender Specialist at UNESCO WWAP

26 June 2019 marked the 1st Regional Policy Dialogue Workshop on “Achieving SDG 6 and related SDGs in the Mediterranean Region”, organized by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and technically supported by the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP). Water leaders from governments in the Mediterranean region, international organizations, civil society and academia convened in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome to discuss the region’s water-related successes and challenges, and to advance regional cooperation and information exchange for the UfM Water Agenda and Agenda 2030.

Regional integration is highly valuable for Mediterranean countries which face similar water resources pressures, including climate change, increasing water scarcity and migration. Further, the Mediterranean region is committed to implementing the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s which are strongly interdependent; SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation is critical for enabling progress towards other SDGs in the region. The UfM Water Agenda recognizes these interlinkages and the shared needs of the region and prioritizes four thematic areas (water supply, sanitation and hygiene; water- employment-migration; water and climate change adaptation; and the water-food-energy- ecosystems nexus) to coordinate regional efforts.

The Workshop facilitated discussions on the environmental and socioeconomic importance of achieving SDGs in the Mediterranean region, the political and environmental challenges that countries are currently facing in doing so, as well as the importance of transboundary agreements in the region. In particular, countries discussed strategies for improving regional monitoring and technical capacities, and the extent to which more comprehensive and disaggregated data will inform effective policymaking and efficient use of resources. Representatives of the Mediterranean countries expressed enthusiasm for improved water resources management and enhanced cooperation for sustainable development. Next steps include developing a joint project to continue strengthening this work in the coming years.

Stefan Uhlenbrook, UNESCO WWAP Coordinator, presented lessons learned from the global SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 and stressed the need to further support local governments, who have a key role to play in implementing SDG 6. Paola Piccione, UNESCO-WWAP’s Gender, Water and Human Rights Specialist discussed the importance of gender-mainstreaming in water-related decision-making and highlighted that “water scarcity disproportionately affects women and girls.  We have the responsibility to make the invisible role of women visible when it comes to water and sanitation.” 

Also read the workshop article on the UfM website

More on UfM Water Agenda

More on SDG 6 Synthesis Report

More on WWAP’s Gender and Water work

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