A “global failure with far-reaching implications” is how the President of the UN General Assembly described the global water crisis at the UN High-level Meeting in March this year. How far-reaching the consequences will be if we failed to reach SDG 6 by 2030 becomes clear when understanding that the achievement of almost all other SDGs is highly dependent on water. Healthy ecosystems, resilient food production, productive industries and global health are only some examples. What can be done to defeat the global water crisis and foster development?
To act upon the human right to water and sanitation and to increase international efforts to achieve SDG 6 by 2030, the International Decade for Action on “Water for Sustainable Development” was launched in 2018, and as a part of it, UN-Water’s SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework. It is a unifying initiative that identifies five accelerators that can help governments to deliver faster results for SDG 6 at an increased scale: Financing, data and information, capacity development, governance and innovation. This is where the BMU-initiated Water Dialogues for Results stepped in to shed light on the cross-sectoral nature of the water-related Goals and targets, enriching the preparatory process with key messages and action-oriented recommendations towards the Mid-term Review 2023. The five key messages emphasize that only an approach beyond silo thinking can lead to safe water and sanitation for all.
Five accelerators for safe water and sanitation
1. Financing for Acceleration – A new paradigm
Governments, national and international financial institutions and multilateral actors need to improve targeting and effective use of existing funding, mobilize domestic resources, and attract additional investment from private and public sources.
2. Data for Acceleration – Data-based decision-making
Decision-makers (from household to policy level) need access and to be enabled to employ quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data for analysis, planning and implementation of effective cross-sectoral action to leave no one behind.
3. Capacity for Acceleration – An inclusive approach
Capacity development needs to holistically transfer knowledge beyond training to foster cross-sectoral decision-making, planning and implementation, intensifying horizontal and vertical cooperation on all levels.
4. Governance for Acceleration – A cross-sectoral, cooperative, good water governance approach
Growing water demands given increased water uncertainty call for improved vertical and horizontal governance and intensified cooperation among stakeholders, sectors and countries.
5. Innovation for Acceleration – A transformative pathway
Decision-makers need to combine traditional knowledge with modern technology and innovative methods by involving multiple stakeholders to increase the efficiency of water use and ensure sustainable fresh water supplies, especially in water-stressed and transboundary regions.
A common approach for SDG 6
Governments and civil society worldwide need to embark on those actions on local, regional, national, multilateral and UN levels and, above all, understand the unique opportunities to create synergies between sectors on all levels of governance to make progress on SDG 6. Only by transforming dialogue into results can the global water crisis be defeated.
This post was originally published on the website of the Water Dialogues for Results and was republished with their kind permission.
Find here the complete policy recommendations that resulted from the Water Dialogues for Results.
- High-level Conference // Water Dialogues for Results
- Blog // Water Dialogues to accelerate cross-sectoral implementation of the 2030 Agenda
- Sustainable Development Goal 6 // Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation
- Policy Paper // BMZ Strategy for Interlinkages - Practical Implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Synergies and Conflicts between water (SDG 6) and other goals
- SDGs // Integrated Approaches for Sustainable Development Goals Planning: The Case of Goal 6 on Water and Sanitation