ニュースレター

2020年02月19日

ニュースレター

【JWF News Vol. 184】The Era of SDGs - 'Water Conference for Future 2020' Symposium

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【JWF News Vol. 184】The Era of SDGs - 'Water Conference for Future 2020' Symposium
19 February 2020

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◇ Contents ◇

・Foreword The Era of SDGs - 'Water Conference for Future 2020' Symposium

・Report from the Japan Water Forum
- The 32nd UN-Water Meeting
- Symposium: World Water Day in Tokyo 2020, Water Conference for Future
- Participation in the OECD Water Governance Initiative 13th Meeting

・Bulletin board

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・Foreword The Era of SDGs - 'Water Conference for Future 2020' Symposium
By Kotaro Takemura, Chair of the Japan Water Forum

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SDGs and the Economy
 On January 24, 2020, the Japan Water Forum (JWF) held the 5th symposium of the Water Conference for Future 2020 marking UN World Water Day. Prof. Hidemitsu Sasaya delivered a keynote speech, followed by presentations and a discussion by panelists from various sectors. Details are included in this Newsletter.

 The symposium was aimed at understanding and discussing how the economic activities of companies relate to the SDGs through specific examples. I was surprised to hear Prof. Sasaya said, “The SDGs are scary,” at the beginning of his keynote speech. While I was wondering what was scary about the SDGs, I became caught up in the speech.

 According to him, what is to be purchased and used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be determined in accordance with a SDG-friendly code of procurement. Furthermore, Osaka – Kansai Expo 2025 will be aimed at showcasing a society where the SDGs have already achieved.

The SDGs are Realistic
 The various entities and purchasers involved in the Olympics and Paralympics are required not to select vendors just because they offer cheaper prices but to choose them according to the SDG standards, which requires demonstrating what kinds of efforts are being made with regard to the SDGs.

 Achieving the SDGs is no longer just a slogan, but a real objective. They are already incorporated into real businesses. In international business, this code of procurement is expected to spread. If we don’t understand the situation around us, Japan is in danger of being left behind in the international market.

When Prof. Sasaya referred to “scary SDGs”, he meant to say that Japan would be left behind unless we were aware of the importance of the SDGs.

Times have changed. The SDGs might have become a sort of constitution for future humanity. When I analyze the term “SDGs”, I can grasp its essence.

The SDGs are a Constitution
 Sustainability means handing over our current society to the next generation. In other words, sustainability is about the survival of the next generation.

 In 50 years, there will be no fossil fuels left for us. In 50 years, extreme and devastating weather events caused by climate change will hit our descendants. People of the next generation will have to survive by overcoming such difficulties. The “D” from SDGs no longer refers to conventional development. Rather, it suggests that we can advance only by conquering various challenges. Old-style development was a kind of expansion. We made everything bigger, consumed large amount of goods, and used up all the fossil-fuel energy. Social disparity has widened. People are divided amidst a flood of information and have become isolated. Big cities have accumulated human resources and wealth while rural communities suffer from declining populations and economies.

 However, development according to the SDGs will be entirely different. We will try to make things smaller and more efficient, and recycle everything. Solar energy, the gravitational energy of the earth, as well as magnetic field energy will be utilized. People will demand equality, not disparity. Information will be exchanged unbounded by place, policy or religion. Local communities will become enriched again. These are the “S” and “D” of the SDGs.

Images and Reality of the SDGs
 Recently, I saw a movie entitled Otoko-wa tsurai-yo, “Welcome back, Tora-san”. In the film, Mitsuo, Tora-san’s nephew, asked him what people live for. After a moment’s thought, Tora-san said, “You will sometimes feel happy in your life. That’s life, isn’t it?”

 He successfully described the essence of life in that it has no purpose. I agree with this. Our lives are part of the history of humanity over hundreds of thousand of years. I don’t think there is any purpose in this long continuity. We concern ourselves only with continuing life for the next generation.

 Continuing life for the next generation don’t necessarily mean literally leaving offspring. Rather, it is a concept created by our imagination, which encourages us to hand over our culture and civilization to the next generation. In that sense, the concept is similar to a constitution.

 A constitution is a product of our fertile imagination, in which we stipulate even things we can’t possibly achieve. In contrast, the Civil Code, the Penal Code, the River Act, the City Planning Act and real property laws can be used in the real world.

 The “D” and “S” of the SDGs have become a kind of constitution for humanity, a product of the imagination of those who cherish life. The “G” refers to 17 goals we must achieve in the real world. These are equivalent to the various laws and acts in our society.

 Under the constitution of S (Sustainability) and D (Development), we must achieve 17 Goals in the real world by enhancing imagination and creativity. I sat there in the audience of the Water Conference for Future 2020 Symposium, thinking of the future of the SDGs.

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・Report from the Japan Water Forum

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- The 32nd UN-Water Meeting

Japan Water Forum, the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF), participated in the 32nd UN-Water Meeting convened at the headquarters of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy, from 28 to 29 January 2020.
86 of the UN-Water members, partners and observers attended the meeting. They discussed the accelerating actions towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, the progress made by the Task Force of the UN-Water, the UN-Water Work Programme 2020-2021, and the report on World Water Day and World Toilet Day. The meeting also highlighted upcoming events related to water this year.
As one of the upcoming events, Japan Water Forum introduced the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit (APWS) taking place in October in Japan. It briefed the theme, agenda and background of the Summit, and also called for participation in the 4th APWS.

▼Please visit the following website for details▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/all/policy_recommendations/apws/2020/0217/?p=12878tag=en,rep_en

(Reported by Takashi Fukuwatari, Director)

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- Symposium: World Water Day in Tokyo 2020, Water Conference for Future

On January 24th, the JWF hosted a symposium entitled World Water Day in Tokyo 2020, Water Conference for Future.
Water Conference for Future is a symposium organized by the JWF. This initiative began in 2016 in the face of a new trends in water-related policy at home and abroad such as SDGs, the Paris Agreement, and the Water-Cycle Policy in Japan. It is aimed at presenting a broad long-term vision for future water action policies and contributing to the promotion of various water-related activities and innovation.

▼Please visit the following website for details▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/all/policy_recommendations/future/2020/0218/?p=12884tag=en,rep_en

(Reported by Sayoko Kuwahara, Manager)

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- Participation in the OECD Water Governance Initiative 13th Meeting

Japan Water Forum (JWF) participated in the OECD Water Governance Initiative (WGI) 13th Meeting held at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, France, on 9-10 January 2020, as a new member of WGI.
The OECD WGI is the international multi-stakeholder platform, where the government organizations, water policy experts, local network, NGOs, international organizations and private sector gather twice a year in a policy forum to share experiences on reforms, projects, lessons, and good practices in support of better governance in the water sector. It was established in 2013, under the Regional Development Policy Committee (RDPC), in line with the outcomes of discussions from the 6th World Water Forum held in 2012.
The JWF introduced the overview of the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit (4th APWS) to be held on 19-20 October 2020, calling on WGI members to share their knowledge and experience and to participate in the discussions on how to improve water governance.

▼Please visit the following website for details▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/all/policy_recommendations/2020/0219/?p=12931tag=en,rep_en

(Reported by Yumiko Asayama, Manager)

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・Bulletin board

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【Publication of ADBI】
Title:Water Insecurity and Sanitation in Asia
Publisher: Asian Development Bank Institute
Release: December 2019
URL: https://www.adb.org/publications/water-insecurity-and-sanitation-asia

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▼JWF News Archives▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/all/newsletter?tag=en,rep_en

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JWF News Vol. 184 / 19 February 2020
Japan Water Forum

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