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.
Roughly 80 members comprising of policymakers, practitioners, researchers, NGOs, etc, joined the 13th WGI meeting. Some WGI members shared the outcomes of their relevant international conferences held in the second half of 2019. The others introduced the opportunities of upcoming international conferences by March 2021, including the 9th World Water Forum, and discussed how to reflect OECD WGI initiatives which the WGI members are expected to provide as their contributions. 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.
Following the session, the outcomes of the research that analyzed water governance in Argentina and Peru as an application of the OECD Water Governance Indicators Framework and the lessons from Israel, The Netherlands, and Portugal on localizing and measuring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)were shared.
As to water governance in Asia, the OECD introduced overviews of their research analysis on water governance in Asia for the 2020 Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO 2020), which was prepared by the Asian Development Bank. The OECD also introduced its Multi-Dimensional review of Thailand, as a practical example of the application of the OECD Water Governance Indicator Framework. Furthermore, the OECD also shared their work on the integrated urban policies and disaster risk management in the Asian region. The WGI members then discussed the potential to improve water resources management in Asia.
OECD WGI emphasized a sense of crisis regarding the fragmentation of the water sector and the big gap that exists between the plans and the implementation. The JWF intends to report the trends in research and activities to improve water governance throughout the world, making use of the opportunities like this meeting provided by OECD WGI.
(Reported by Yumiko Asayama, Manager)