Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

16 October 2023

World Food Day

Civil society plays a key role in pushing for new laws and in collaborating with governments to deliver on their commitments to address water concerns while ensuring that the most vulnerable are not left behind. 

Ensuring good relations with governments and other partners in joint policy development and planning is key to promoting water action. Collaborating with stakeholders plays an important role as bridges between vulnerable communities and those with the power to enact policies can help protect people from the impacts of water scarcity, pollution and degradation of aquatic food systems.


In the climate change process, where only governments can negotiate and take decisions, civil society has a critical role to play as “observer”, alongside other non-state actors, by campaigning for water action, developing innovative ideas and presenting the viewpoints of specific stakeholders.


Civil society needs to advocate for greater inclusion in decision-making processes and bring people from the countries most affected by water scarcity to the centre of the discussions including agrifood and aquatic food system workers, smallholder farmers and fishers, indigenous communities, women, and youth.


Provide access to skills-based training and promote knowledge about integrated water resources management and wastewater management. CSO's can also promote a circular bioeconomy through solutions and innovations that reuse and recycle waste materials and improve resource efficiency. Civil society organizations have a role to play in encouraging everyone to be more respectful of water and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.


CSOs should promote and invest in innovation for the sustainable use and management of water and ecosystems. This includes ensuring access to skills-based training and encouraging knowledge sharing among communities of producers, to help create more resilient agrifood and aquatic systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life.


Wasted food means wasted water. Invest in food banks as they strengthen vulnerable communities, while also providing solutions to food waste and its impact on our environment. Food that is still fit for consumption that might otherwise be wasted, creating C02 emissions and increasing water and energy wastage, can help feed those in need.


It's important to ensure that the public has access to credible information on water-related issues, in particular its impact on food and agriculture. This includes supporting responsible media reporting and access to public records on food.