Asia-Pacific Water Summit Preparatory Meeting Discusses MDG Targets, IWRM

3 April 2013: The Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF) and the Government of Thailand organized a preparatory meeting for the Second Asia-Pacific Water Summit (APWS), which featured thematic sessions on: economics, food and water security; urban water security; environmental water security; household water security; water risks and resilience; and integrated water resources management (IWRM).

The session on economics, food and water security, which was facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), considered, inter alia, the water, energy and food nexus, including: aquaculture and fisheries; irrigation; water policies; a Lower Mekong Basin case study; and the Zero Hunger Challenge.

Water security sessions underlined challenges and opportunities in meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for water supply and sanitation (WSS). The session on urban water security, led by the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), stressed the Asia-Pacific region is unlikely to meet the MDG WSS target and concluded “soft components,” such as capacity, commitment, leadership, governance and legal and regulatory frameworks hinder urban water security. The household water security session, led by ESCAP, discussed an APWS recommendation for an action framework on water access and sanitation at all levels as part of a green growth strategy.

Several sessions recommended addressing water security within the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On water risks and resilience, participants considered global disaster risk reduction (DRR) processes and discussed possible DRR goals, targets and indicators. On IWRM for a water secure world, led by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), participants supported addressing water-specific challenges and water-related global challenges, including ecosystem management, food production and health within the post-2015 development agenda.

The preparatory meeting was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 19 March 2013. [Preparatory Meeting Website] [APWS Website]