The Watershed strategic partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Netherlands-based organisations Akvo, IRC, Simavi and Wetlands International is being launched at an event on 31 August during Stockholm World Water Week.
Over the next five years, Watershed will take up the challenge to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 6 of universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for all by 2030. The alliance will work within the Netherlands, at the international level, and on the ground in six countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, India, Mali and Uganda.
Watershed seeks to deliver improvements in the governance and management WASH, as well as the wetlands and water resources on which they depend. Watershed will focus on areas where water resources are scarce or contested and where environmental management is at the core of the WASH sustainability challenge. The programme will deliver improvements in sustainable WASH and water resources governance by strengthening civil society’s capacity for lobbying and advocacy.
According to the UN, water scarcity currently affects more than 40% of the global population and over 1.7 billion people are living in river basins where water use exceeds recharge, making sustainable solutions that protect and restore wetland ecosystems imperative to achieving SDG 6.
In many areas of the world, wetlands are an essential part of improving human well-being. Through the water cycle they provide drinking water and water security by lessening the impact of floods and droughts. Healthy wetlands also have natural functions that support sustainable WASH through the reduction of water pollution and water-borne diseases.
However, local stakeholders within catchments, watersheds and river basins, who depend on wetlands for their livelihoods and well-being, often lack the capacity to advocate for their own needs. Actions and investments in WASH by governments, donors and business are not sustainable if they degrade wetland ecosystems and result in water quality and quantity problems in the wider landscape.
Over the next five years, Watershed will build the capacity of civil society and advocate for an ecosystem-based approach to ensure that water providers, governments and the private sector take the responsibility to ensure the sustainable and equitable delivery of water and better management of wetlands across the landscape.
Watershed Launch Event, Stockholm World Water Week
Day: 31 August 2016
Time: 17h30 – 19h00
Booth: Number 11, 2nd floor City Conference Centre (WASH Alliance International booth)