Japanese Funds-In-Trust Sustainability Insight #17: Pathways for Realising Water Security Across Borders

UNESCO Jakarta organized 17th interview session of the “Sustainability Insight” on 24 September 2020 from 12:00 to 12:50 (GMT+7). In this series, we invite implementing partners and learn from their knowledge, experience, and view the post-pandemic new normal.

Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, requested speakers to share their perspectives on key terms. Mr Shinsuke Ota, Vice President Honorary, International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) described the concept of the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in simple key word – “Gross Basin Happiness”. Dr Narayanan followed that Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is also an element which contribute to Gross Basin Happiness, and thus these concepts should be dealt holistic manner.

Dr Ota was involved in the development of IWRM guideline in 2009, responding to the need to translate the concept of IWRM into the advice for implementation. In the guideline, IWRM was introduced as a cooperative approach which brings stakeholders with different interests, and an open-ended process that evolves helicoidally over time. He addressed IWRM implementations in Tokyo which were implemented in response to water shortages and hazard mitigation.

Dr Narayanan emphasized the importance of bridging the telescope and microscope, by referring IWRM as telescope and WASH as microscope. He also shared his view on the governance and emphasized the importance to carefully analyze the applicability of the approach by taking socio-economic contexts of the areas into account for different players across Asia and the Pacific share their knowledge.

For attaining better water security, speakers recommended: involving more individuals and help them acquiring understanding of IWRM; building capacity of institutions and individual professionals; developing good institutional governance with including relevant government organizations.