Strategy Development and Coordination Meeting in Manila

 

Note of GWP Nepal/JVS for next GWP strategy

By Upendra Gautam

 

GWP Nepal/JVS Working Committee (WC) meeting held on 13 February, 2013 had a preliminary discussion on next GWP strategy. The WC members followed the discussion through e-mail exchanges. Dr. Upendra Gautam, Regional Council Member, GWP Nepal was entrusted to prepare a synthesis note on the discussion and its follow-up comments to facilitate GWP Nepal's  participation at the GWP meeting (10 - 14 March 2013) in Manila on the next GWP strategy.  

Approach

·       The next GWP strategy should be reviewed in a way that maintains continuity incorporating timely reform in the GWP core mission, policy and goals.

·       The next strategic goals should be relatively more achievable; meaning the resultant benefits must be tangible for the greater number of people.

·       The regional GWP strategy, for example, the South Asian strategy, should have a regional character in terms of it water resources base, capability and critical challenges so that the regional water issues are not only conceptualized in IWRM sense rather they are moved on to a resolution expressway.

Some comments for next strategy design

·       Three overarching and inter-related goals will be adequate to appropriately focus GWP efforts. These goals will be: 1) Mainstreaming IWRM for sustainable water security and development, 2) Promoting regional alternatives for sustainable water security and development, and 3) Strengthening organizational and knowledge networks for sustainable water security and development.

·       For South Asia, IWRM has generally remained as a distinctive policy framework, which needs to be internalized and mainstreamed across the sectors.

·       It seems GWP has now regained its primary focus, that is, sustainable water security and development. This focus was hijacked by climate change lobby, and the GWP leadership, in the excessive climate change noise, could not duly recognize and prioritize sustainable water security and development link with climate variability. GWP Nepal/JVS had expressed concern about "the hijacking" in the General plenary of the GWP consultative partners meeting in Stockholm in 2009.

·       To mainstream and operationalize IWRM concept for sustainable water security and development, program specific to a region and its water resources characteristic should be promoted. For SA, the suitable program may be focused on water conservation and development employing storage and rain water harvesting technologies. This program will help both flood and drought management and mitigation actions. Such program actions not only help mainstream and operationalize IWRM concept for sustainable water security and development, but also will have close climate variability nexus in terms of enhancing mitigation, adaptation and resilience. These actions will provide opportunities for innovative and targeted resettlement, benefit sharing and compensation mechanisms, and in turn support conflict resolution and community development at the local level-the foundation for up-scaling IWRM.

·       The mentioned program actions make the next GWP strategic goals relatively more achievable; meaning the resultant benefits are tangible for the greater number of people.

·       To mainstream IWRM and promote suitable alternative actions, organizational and knowledge partnership networks for sustainable water security and development should be strengthened. These partnership/networks should be inclusive, representative and balanced from gender, youth and media perspective and up-scaled bottom up (local community, local government, river basin/region) with private sector, academic organization, national government, international agency's involvement and support. 

 

Conclusion

IWRM focus on SA should be on promotion of
conservation of water resources, through approaches like rainwater harvesting and development of storage capacities, to address the emerging water security concerns and resilience building around water
resources. This is where the future of water security and regional cooperation in water resources in the region lies.

Conservation and management of water resources and developing national and regional capacities would not
only be instrumental to achieving water security at the national level but also addressing conflict and promoting cooperation at the regional
level.