World Water Day 2018

Taking the global theme of 2018, UNESCO Office Jakarta and Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN) jointly organized a half-day seminar to celebrate World Water Day 2018. The event brought together experts, relevant national stakeholders, universities, and development partners, to exchange their views on the “Nature for Water” on 4 April 2018 at Auditorium Yustinus, Atma Jaya Catholic University, Jakarta.

Nature for Water was opened with remarks from Dr. Asmin Fransiska, Head of Institute for Research and Community Services, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, Mr. YW. Junardy, President of Indonesia Global Compact Network, and Ms.  Anita Nirody, UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC), Indonesia.

This seminar was focusing on Nature-based solutions that have the potential to solve many of water challenges. As explained by Prof. Shabahz Khan, Director UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, that the demand for water has been increasing and will continue to increase significantly over the coming decades and Nature-based solution can be the solution for this. He adds, “Nature-based solutions (NBS) are inspired and supported by nature and use, or mimic, natural processes to cost effectively contribute to the improved management of water. The defining feature is not whether an ecosystem being used is ‘natural’ but whether natural processes are being proactively managed to achieve a water-related objective.”

UN Water reported that the global demand for water has been increasing at a rate of about 1% per year over the past decades as a function of population growth, economic development and changing consumption patterns, among other factors, and it will continue to grow significantly over the foreseeable future.Addressing the issue, Ir. Erna Witoelar MS, former UN Special Ambassador for SDGs in Asia and The Pacific who is also IGCN Board of Supervisor stated that partnership is needed to to upscale innovative knowledge & experience of nature-based solutions for water problems, also to bring stakeholders’ input together for policy reform / joint actions.

Aligned with what Mrs. Witoelar addressed, Mr. Abdul Malik Sadat Idris, ST, M.Eng, Director, Water Resources and Irrigation, Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) mentioned about the National policy directions to maintain water security among others, 1) Conservation, Maintenance and Recovery of water sources and ecosystem, 2) Fulfillment of the supply of water for basic daily use, 3) Managing the supply of water for economic productivity, 4) Increasing resilience to water related disasters and adaptation to climate change, and 5) Institutional Improvement.

Through this opportunity, Ms. Librian Angraeni, Chair of Indonesia Water Mandate Working Group and VP Environment IGCN, had a chance to elaborate about several Indonesian-based companies and NGOs committed ourselves for water conservation and water stewardship by pledging to The CEO Water Mandate. The Mandate encourage corporations to take active measures in managing its water consumption responsibly and to contribute in addressing water issues outside its operation boundary line. The CEO Water Mandate’s current project, Community-based Water Solution has a main goal as to increase community awareness on water & waste management.

In this seminar too, there was Prof Zainal Arifin, Chairperson of Indonesian International Hydrological Programme (IHP), Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) who presented about Natured-Based Solutions for enhancing water security: multiplying the benefits, and Dr Ignasius Sutapa, Executive Director of Asia Pacific Centre for Ecohydrology (APCE) who spoke about the role of Eco hydrology to contribute towards healthy ecosystems.

In addition, World Water Development Report (WWDR) 2018 was launched at this event. WWDR 2018 is an annual and thematic report, developed from joint effort of the UN agencies and entities that focuses on different strategic water issues each year and aims to provide decision-makers with the tools to implement sustainable use of our water resources.