Cap-Net UNDP / Global Water Partnership / UNEP-DHI Partnership / UNESCO International Hydrological Programme / United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

SDG6.5 on IWRM: From Global Status Reports to Accelerated Implementation

Tuesday 28 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: NL 353
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Protecting and utilizing the intrinsic value of freshwater ecosystems lies at the heart of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), and is captured in SDG Target 6.5, which provides fundamental underpinning for achieving the 2030 Agenda goal on water and other water-related SDGs. The challenge in the coming period is to fully understand and overcome barriers to advancing on-the-ground implementation - as highlighted in the baseline surveys for SDG indicators 6.5.1 (IWRM) and 6.5.2 (transboundary water cooperation).

This session will present the key findings and recommendations of the baseline surveys for SDG indicators 6.5.1 and 6.5.2 from 2017/2018. This will be followed by a diverse range of speakers and panelists who will inspire session participants to consider why IWRM and cooperation concerning transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers are crucial as entry points to the achievement of other water-related SDG targets. Special attention will be given to discussing ways in which the SDG 6.5 data can be used to identify areas for most needed and impactful interventions on the ground, before exchanging ideas on how the implementation can be further accelerated.


1) Welcome, outline of session and opening remarks (Gareth James Lloyd, UNEP-DHI Centre))  

3) Presentations on SDG6.5 indicator baseline monitoring results and recommendations  

      a. Indicator 6.5.1 (Peter Koefoed Bjornsen, UNEP-DHI Centre)

      b. Indicator 6.5.2 (Francesca Bernadini UNECE & tbc UNESCO-IHP)

4) Country rep perspectives in a brief panel Q&A (Callist Tindimugaya, Uganda & Sérgio Soares, Brazil)  

5) Participants discussions on:

      a. Globally, the key barriers to IWRM implementation are [from report findings]. What are your best ideas on how                    they can be addressed?

      b. Station 2: Globally, the key weaknesses to transboundary cooperation are [from report findings]. How is it possible             to reach operational arrangements?

       c. Station 3: IWRM is a silo within the water silo. How can IWRM break out to better support other targets and goals?

6) Reporting back to plenary and reactions from the room (Damian Indij, UNDP Cap-Net, Maija Bertule UNEP-DHI         Centre & Joshua Newton, Global Water Partnership) 

7) Closing remarks (Gareth James Lloyd, UNEP-DHI Centre) 


Headline Findings from the Session Interactions

1) Key barriers to IWRM implementation: 

• Defining stakeholders in basins, define roles

• Stimulate interstate cooperation / interinstitutional cooperation

• IWRM needs dedicated long term financing

• Small plans at smaller scales

• Improving capacity building in order to minimize regional differences

2) How can operational arrangements be achieved? 

• High level institutional agreement and action plan

• Start with common objectives, get all parties involved, cover specific issues

• Involve environmental, water, foreign affairs, and other Ministries to create an action plan with a well-defined agenda

• Delimitate adequately the extension of aquifers in the world

• Build and communicate the benefits of cooperation (beyond water sector)

• Describe the hazards of not cooperating

• Report progressive efforts for cooperation as motivation for operational arrangements

• Showcase different arrangements types in order to find fit-for-purpose mechanisms.

3) How can IWRM break out to better support other targets and goals?

• Place stakeholder mechanisms for participation at different levels

• Emphasize stakeholder engagement aspects and the opportunities it represents to other themes / sectors

• Establish multisector cooperation groups for IWRM

• Economic case of water contribution to other targets and goods

• Strengthen regulation

• Fold into a larger agenda, like green economy

• Communications & technologies

• Multi-level governance

• Reach out but don´t forget core business

• How IWRM can contribute to other SDGs

• IWRM is an operational agreement to develop the water agenda in the countries. These activities have relationship with other targets and SDGs

• Create a joint vision

• Approach IWRM from the outside to the inside