WASAG – The Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture

The Praia Call for Action


Endorsed at the Second WASAG International Forum on Water Scarcity in Agriculture with the theme “Making agriculture resilient for climate change: Water scarcity, an opportunity for action and collaboration” 

7–10 February 2023, Praia, Cabo Verde


Water scarcity remains one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century, especially for the agriculture sector. The Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG) embodies the active commitment to deal with this challenge collaboratively as manifested in the adoption of the ‘Rome Statement on Water Scarcity in Agriculture’ on 20 April 2017 during its first meeting of partners.  

The First WASAG International Forum – which took place in Praia, Cabo Verde, from 19 to 21 March 2019 with the theme of ‘’Leaving no one behind” – adopted the Praia Commitments as a firm first step towards decisive actions.  

Soon after, WASAG developed a strategy for 2021-2024 with the title "Turning Water Scarcity into opportunities for sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition". Its partners, driven by this objective, work together freely and innovatively to implement the strategy, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. WASAG has held webinars and virtual workshops, resulting in several knowledge products as published on its website.   

WASAG also continues steadily to receive recognition and the mandate to support countries in finding solutions to cope with climate change in agriculture in the face of climate change, as expressed during the meetings of the Committee of Agriculture (COAG) and the Committee on Food Security (CFS) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).    

Consequently, while in the aftermath of COVID-19, the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, His Excellency Mr Ulisses Correia e Silva, together with the FAO Director-General, Mr QU Dongyu, invited the partners and stakeholders of WASAG to reconvene in Praia, Cabo Verde, from 7 to 10 February 2023 for the Second WASAG International Forum. The theme of the Second WASAG Forum is: "Making Agriculture more resilient for climate change: an opportunity for action and collaboration". 


We, the participants of the Second WASAG International Forum, consisting of government and Intergovernmental Organizations, UN agencies, Academia and Research Institutions, Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations, Professional and Private Sector Organizations, consisting collectively of partners and stakeholders of WASAG, 

Recognizing the confirmation of the continued and extraordinary commitment and leadership demonstrated by the Government of Cabo Verde at the highest level by hosting for two consecutive times the WASAG International Forum and by providing adequate resources for a successful forum,  

Recognizing the resilience of the people of Cabo Verde to water scarcity in agriculture and the opportunity provided to experience uniquely in the field all the facets of water scarcity in agriculture and the efforts to find solutions in the country, 

Appreciating the consistent supportive role that the Government of Cabo Verde, Switzerland and Italy provide to WASAG, both politically and otherwise, 

Appreciating the continued mandate given to WASAG to support its Members in finding solutions to water scarcity, 

Recalling the endorsement of WASAG by 83 Ministers of Agriculture during the 9th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, 

Acknowledging that water scarcity in agriculture will only get worse in the future, 

Adopting the offer by the Government of Cabo Verde to make Praia the Capital city of WASAG, 

Recommend that: 

1. All Members Countries are invited to become partners of WASAG.

2. A Member Country is designated to Chair WASAG, starting with Cabo Verde.

3. FAO convenes, every two years in its headquarters in Rome, a Water Dialogue on WASAG with all the Member Countries, where WASAG will report on the progress made, receive an updated mandate and mobilize the required support.

4. The WASAG Forum is convened in Praia every other second year to provide space to partners and stakeholders for sharing solutions and progress towards tackling water scarcity in agriculture. 

Call for Action

Emphasizing the continued relevance of the 17 commitments from the First WASAG International Forum of March 2019, 

We, the participants of the Second WASAG International Forum, further call for the following actions: 

1. Mobilizing greater political support, for an enabling environment to address the effects of water scarcity and climate change on global food and water security and positioning agriculture at the core of international climate change discussions;  

2. Promoting national ownership and leadership of the Members to implement strategies to cope with water scarcity in agriculture, taking into account local perspectives; 

3. Stepping up collaborative actions on water scarcity in agriculture among countries, accelerating strategic actions, including policies and investments and committing the required resources; 

4. Adopting international and or cross sectoral collaboration and multidisciplinary approaches, adaptive governance, involving all concerned institutions – including those representing farmers and agriculture –, role-players, women and the youth in any action, including the design, decision-making and financing of projects as well as in capacity building on topics such as droughts, irrigation, saline agriculture, etc.; 

5. Using innovative financing mechanisms, including blended financing, to enhance inclusive technology access and incentivize farmers and private sector actors in accelerating sustainable water management practices at scale; 

6. Developing the knowledge-base on viable and innovative business models promoting farmer-led irrigation, and effective ways to support entrepreneurs – especially youth and young entrepreneurs – in agricultural water management on farms and in the relevant value chains; 

7. Sensitizing, sharing knowledge and support “proof of concept” projects, to couple agricultural water management (AWM) with food and nutrition and with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) development objectives to accelerate progress on SDG 6 ‘Clean water and sanitation’, SDG 2 ‘Zero hunger’, SDG 3 ‘Good health and wellbeing’, especially in off-grid rural and urban small and medium scale farming systems;  

8. Promoting actions as a “community of practice of water and nutrition”, to elevate attention to water security and food and nutrition security, in global development policy and investments, including the follow-up of UN Water Conference 2023, UNFSS2021 and UN actions in adaption 

9. Including the safe reuse of wastewater and other non-conventional water resources in agriculture as one of the key components contributions to addressing water scarcity in agriculture and addressing water quality for the production of healthy and safe food and the conservation and protection of the environment; 

10. Developing climate-sensitive and water-productive interventions for dryland agriculture, with special attention to the needs of women, youth and the elderly; 

11. Tackling droughts urgently and proactively through early warning, assessing impacts and building resilience across social sectors and ecological systems; 

12. Addressing the linkages between human mobility and water scarcity at local, national, regional and international levels in dedicated policies with whole-of government approaches, and facilitating the access to finance for the most vulnerable to water scarcity, including migrants and displaced persons; 

13. Intensifying the monitoring of soil and water salinity in order to provide the best customized solutions for the soil and water management in salt-affected areas, selecting the proper salt-tolerant crops and suitable biosaline farming systems that can strengthen food and nutrition security for farmers affected by salinity;

14. Establishing capacity building programs, and particularly inclusive of women and youth, on farm and in the value chain, to strengthen the saline farming proposition in salt-affected areas;  

15. Promoting and adopting farmer-led agricultural management as an important pathway to achieve inclusive, equitable and sustainable agriculture water management under climate change;  

16. Applying digital agricultural water management and the early inclusion of users, including farmers, in the development of the tools as a condition for success; and 

17. Understanding the “water, energy, food and environment (WEFE) nexus” and the policy trade-offs needed for improved resource governance and management, and upscaling optimal utilization from these resources under increasing uncertainty. 

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