Twenty-two countries with many social, cultural, political and life-style in common and with mostly the same challenges located in North Africa and East Asia form the Arab region. The current report features the current water realities and prospects and links to the motto set for the forum “Sharing Water” that puts water in the heart of the SDGs/Development Agenda 2030. The report intends to share the region’s experience dealing with water scarcity and best practices on issues of common interest with other regions worldwide.
Key Messages to Forum
The key message to the forum:
- The Development Agenda 2030 offers a strategic framework countries should commit to and implement to secure a better water future. Other global agendas such as Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Paris agreement should be aligned to ensure water security for all.
- The success in achieving SGD 6 calls for regional and international cooperation and solidarity to support countries in order to achieve the ambitious targets set by countries.
- Newer challenges add hazards and complexity to water Scarcity challenges in the region. They require new models of inclusive and anticipatory governance, innovative financing mechanism and sustainable partnerships.
- Transboundary water resources need to be put in the frame of regional development to share and optimize benefits of cooperation and mitigate potential tensions in the future
- Innovation, Science and Technology transfer will certainly contribute to achieve SDG 6 targets and water security for all requires commitments. It calls for consistent commitments from both developing and developed countries.
- Ecosystems health should be prioritized in development policies not only for the services they offer to communities but also as a buffer to climate change impacts and to make the economies climate proof.
- Peace and stability are a key to sustainable water resources management and human securities. They call for regional and global engagement and commitment to prevent conflicts, end occupation, forced mass displacements and migration.
- A better water future for the region and for the world needs pertinent policies, effective institutions with adequate capacities.
- The emerging trend to put water in the heart of other sectors’ policies and strategies in the some countries in region is key to achieve the SDG6 targets is to be sustained.
- The forum is an opportunity to share and learn from other regions innovative governance mechanisms related to groundwater management.
- International cooperation, commitment and solidarity is needed to bridge the capacity and knowledge gaps but also the necessary funds to deal with newly emerging international challenges such as mass migration and displacements and terrorism against water infrastructure in conflicts areas and countries.
The synthesis of contribution from government agencies, NGOs, CSOs, private sector, UN agencies and other international organizations was developed by an independant consultant, Prof. Safwat Abd El Dayem based on frame of ToRs set by the Regional Process Commission of the WWF 8. The report development was coordinated by Dr. Hammou Laamrani a Senior Expert at the Technical secretariat of the Arab Water Ministerial Council of the League of the Arab States.