Launch of the World Water Development Report 2016, Water and Jobs

Panel shows the WWDR 2016 in English, French and Spanish

The World Water Development Report 2016 with theme ‘Water and Jobs’ was launched during the official World Water Day celebration at ILO Headquarters, Geneva. 

“Three out of four of the jobs worldwide are water-dependent. In fact, water shortages and lack of access may limit economic growth in the years to come.”

During the first part of the session, welcoming remarks were provided by Director-General of UN-Water, Guy Ryder, who pointed out the need for access to save water and decent work opportunities to provide the foundation of success for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Agenda. The Assistant Director General of UNESCO Flavia Schlegel introduced the World Water Development Report as an outstanding example of the UN-system to deliver as one. Following this, H.E. Mrs. M. Kaji, Chairperson of the ILO Governing Board and Mr. K. Rahman IOE Regional Vice President for Asia and Governing Body Employer member, and finally Mr David Boys, Deputy General Secretary of Public Services International, provided opening remarks to set the scene on the theme of Water and Jobs. 

WWAP Coordinator Stefan Uhlenbrook delivering the WWDR 2016 Technical Presentation

The technical presentation by Mr. Stefan Uhlenbrook, Coordinator of the World Water Assessment Programme, provided the core of the session through his dissemination of the main contents of the World Water Development Report 2016 on Water and Jobs.

A few remarkable highlights from the WWDR 2016 which Mr. Uhlenbrook mentioned underline the relevance of the Report and of the efforts needed to achieve water-related targets:

  • “3 out of 4 jobs globally depend on water, therefore water scarcity limits economic growth and employment opportunities” 
  • "Water scarcity and unreliable supply threaten the existance and growth potential of decent jobs in water-dependent sectors"
  • "Efforts to adapt to increasing water stress need to be increased, to avoid dramatic consequences for local employment, trade and migration."

Then the floor was given to Mr Alberto Bertoni, Deputy Permanent Representative to the Permanent Mission of Italy, Geneva, who again underlined the relevance of the Report.

The third part of the session consisted of a discussion between Mr. Stefan Uhlenbrook; Mr. Dominic Waughray, Head of Public-Private Partnership, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum; and Mr. Johan Gély, Head of Global Programme Water Initiatives, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). During this discussion, moderated by Mrs. Schlegel, Mr. Gely underlined the inseparable link between water and all sectors as core of the SDG Agenda and stressed the need for a ‘Blue Economic Revolution’; a change in water paradigm at the level of political leadership to reduce water use in all sectors and increase productivity/efficiency. Mr. Waughray commended the WWDR 2016 and stressed that ‘Good jobs require good water’. He stressed that economic resilience and water security are closely linked: Any disturbance in water availability may shock the economic system and slow down or even stop economic growth. He concluded that WEF will use the WWDR 2016 serving as feed into the High level panel for water recently established by the World Bank, the UN and WEF.

The session was concluded with a Q&A with the audience.

Next to the occurrence of the main launching event, there were a large number of world-wide regional launching events that took place at the same day.

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