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Strengthening partnerships at World Water Week 2019


At an informal session on sharing experiences hosted by FAO during the World Water Week 2019 in Stockholm, Water Ecosystem Livelihood Leaders came together to brainstorm on concrete actions on better water and drought management as well as activities to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 on clean water for all. 

The event brought together government officials from several countries, researches, UN agencies and the civil society, attracting an audience of more than 60 people.

Opening the session, Sasha Koo-Oshima, Deputy Director of the Land and Water Division of FAO, summarized the major areas of FAO including the One Water, One Health Program; the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG); the work on water productivity in agriculture (WaPOR); the issues of water and migration; and the work on climate change adaption and mitigation through the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

A series of prominent stakeholders from various countries were in attendance to this gathering, including the Deputy Commissioner David Palumbo  from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the representatives of the U.S. Delegation, Australian Former First Secretary of Agriculture-Water Mr. Anthony Slatyer and the Australian delegation as well as the Head of Cabo Verde’s Agency for Water and Sanitation Mr. Miguel Angelo and Ms. Gunilla Ekland from the Swedish Government. 

Mr. Palumbo has engaged in work on drought and indigenous people’s rights and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. He has great experience on drought management. Mr. Slatyer from Australia was on the UN High Level Panel for Water. While Ms. Ekland has been a champion on Antimicrobial issues in agricultural areas within the Government of Sweden.

Ms. Koo-Oshima, took the opportunity to explore the new opportunities to increase and improve partnerships between FAO and key partners to move forward the agricultural water agenda including innovation, finance and technology. FAO’s publication on Antimicrobial movement in the environment was also launched during the event.

One major outcome of the event was that the U.S. and the Australians are about to join the WASAG. This would bring a solid foundation and reputation to the partnership and FAO’s interventions as both countries are well known internationally for their experience and expertise on water programs specially those related to drought and water scarcity.

Another important outcome was the renewed commitment of the Government of Sweden to continue collaborating with FAO to further develop the work on Antimicrobial movement in the environment focused on agricultural areas. The Swedish Government also showed interest to contribute to the rollout process of the “environmental flows” methodology under the SDG 6.4.