Land & Water

FAO at the 9th World Water Forum

FAO was a strategic partner of the 9th World Water Forum that took place in Dakar from 21 to 26 March 2022. FAO co-led the priority theme on “Water and Rural Development” and was the main sponsor of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Infrastructure of Senegal.

Represented by the FAO Land and Water Division, the Senegal Country Office, the Regional and Sub-regional Offices in Africa and  West Africa, respectively, FAO made impactful contributions to the Forum from policy to technical sessions. The FAO Director General, Mr Qu Dongyu, addressed the world’s biggest water-related event through a video message during the Keystone Roundtable on “Water for Rural Development” on 23 March (see press release here) inviting the stakeholders to address water scarcity, an issue already threatening 3.2 billion people living in vulnerable rural communities.

Interaction with FAO was active for the five days of the Forum at two FAO- sponsored exhibition booths, one with all UN agencies and one with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment of Senegal visited on its opening day by Senegalese President Macky Sall. Visitors could also collect all recent FAO publications thanks to the FAO virtual booth.

FAO coordinated eight ordinary thematic sessions, special sessions and high-level panels and contributed to 17 additional out of a total 219 sessions and events organized during the Forum. FAO’s participation at the Forum has been widely disseminated through the dedicated webpage and FAO social media accounts (FAO Land and Water Division and FAO Senegal).

FAO Representative in Senegal and Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa, Mr Guei, participated with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Infrastructure, Mr Moussa Balde, to the Ministry’s Day on 22 March.

Embedded in the Forum, the World Water Day on March 22nd saw the launch of the World Water Development Report 2023 “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible” including a chapter dedicated to agriculture prepared by FAO and highlighting the importance of groundwater for irrigated agriculture, livestock farming and other agricultural activities, including food processing.

Three of FAO’s projects received the Initiative Dakar 2022 Label recognizing their real economic, social and environmental impact on the lives of populations: i) the WaPOR project monitoring water productivity through remote sensing, the KnoWat project combining water accounting and water tenure assessment for fairer and more sustainable access to natural resources, and iii) the one million citerns for the Sahel initiative.

FAO is looking forward to such a fruitful collaboration with the World Water Council and the host country at the 10th World Water Forum, which will be held in 2024 Bali, Indonesia.