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The FAO Water Platform

The FAO Water Platform is designed to ensure programmatic coherence and operational effectiveness across FAO. It improves collaboration between FAO headquarters, departments and decentralized offices with the aim of fully achieving the Organization’s Strategic Objectives.

FAO works on the conservation, development and sustainable management of water resources for agriculture and food production, including responses to environmental challenges and climate change affecting food and agriculture. The establishment of the FAO Water Platform reflects the importance and objectives of water in FAO’s mandate.

Water in FAO’s mandate 

  1. Provide information and knowledge through the collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of information on water in the context of food and agriculture. FAO fosters knowledge management to improve decision-making and facilitates the timely availability of information for its member countries and partners.
  2. Provide legal, policy and technical advice and support, as follows:
    - Legal advisory services for the development, use and protection of freshwater resources, including national water resource legislation and legal issues related to international waters.
    - Support for the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of sustainable water resource policies and strategies and capacity development in public institutions dealing with policy issues.
    - Support for the development of technical capacities to manage agricultural water sustainably and efficiently through best practices on water use and conservation, from water sources to final uses.
  3. Contribute to the international water agenda, global knowledge and development as it relates to food and agriculture.
    - FAO is the lead organization in the UN system on water in the context of food and agriculture. FAO collaborates with other UN organizations and international bodies on the preparation of strategic studies, including the UN World Water Development Reports, and at forums such as the World Water Forum. FAO is an active member of UN-Water, which it chaired for two years (2008 and 2009).
  4. Advocate for agricultural water
    - FAO is a key partner in the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, all of which are directly related to agricultural water.

FAO’s water-related work is anchored in the Land and Water Division, which provides the FAO Water Platform with a dedicated secretariat to ensure collaboration, support and effective communication across FAO.