Land & Water

FAO launches the Global Dialogue on Water Tenure for Food Security, Climate Adaptation and Social Inclusion

At the high level side event on National Leadership for Inclusive Water Governance which took place on 23 March at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York, FAO launched the Global Dialogue on Water Tenure. The initiative, a key FAO commitment for the Water Action Agenda, aims at identifying principles for the responsible governance of water tenure engaging with Member States, as well as partners from the UN system, civil society, academia and the private sector through an inclusive and consultative process. 

“The Dialogue will address the increasingly pressing issue of water allocation under scenarios of diminishing freshwater resources due to climate change and evolving needs for water”, said Sasha Koo-Oshima, Deputy Director of the FAO Land and Water Division, at the launch. “Increasing water demand, coupled with the predicted impacts of climate change, poses a significant challenge for all countries in the context of food security.” To feed a projected global population of 10 billion in 2050, agricultural production will need to increase by almost 50 percent, with much of this growth being achieved through irrigation. It will be necessary to strike a balance between the security necessary for investment and a sufficient flexibility. The responsible governance of water tenure can be an important vehicle for achieving this balance.

Water tenure arrangements can derive from formal law, while others are customary arrangements, which secure water tenure of a wide range of individuals and groups, including vulnerable populations, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and which may or may not be recognized by formal law. 

FAO and its partners have spearheaded initiatives which show that a water tenure approach offers a unique perspective to understand the complexity of water rights and allocation systems and identify actionable and context-specific avenues to improve the governance of water tenure, as well as increase equity and security for water users. “Today, we are taking a bold step, to make sure access to water is guaranteed for all, including vulnerable populations and ecosystems, to foster prosperity, livelihoods, food security, and environmental sustainability, through the Global Dialogue on Water Tenure”, said Koo-Oshima.

Launch of the Global Dialogue on Water Tenure at the UN 2023 Water Conference:

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