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Launch of the APWF Webinar for the 4th APWS

The Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF), which Japan Water Forum is the secretariat, launched the APWF webinar series as a part of the important preparation process for the 4th APWS. The objective of the APWF webinar series is to widen and deep-dive into the knowledge of government officials from 48 countries in Asia and the Pacific, including those working in Japanese embassies, and to hold discussions on the latest water and water-related issues from different perspectives. The speakers will be invited from the network of APWF member organizations as well as from other international organizations. We aim to organize one webinar per month until the 4th APWS.

The APWF webinars held twice to date. We had roughly 100 listeners, respectively. The remarkable trend is that those, who would normally not be able to join a conventional international conference held in a venue overseas due to the time for movement and cost, actively joined the APWF webinars and learned from the knowledge of the speakers, and could exchange opinions by introducing the experiences of their countries.

The first APWF webinar was organized on 23rd September. Dr. Cecilia Tortajada, from the Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, talked about climate change and national security. Dr. Tortajada highlighted that what is foremost lacking is the understanding and the willingness by societies and by political leaders to commit to climate change issues in a multitude of ways, while each locality is making decisions regarding their climate change responses. Climate change is an overarching issue for the whole of humanity, for which everyone must work together. Societies must acknowledge the issues and put pressure on governments, and governments need to take decisions that require their societies’ support. She also emphasized the necessity to transform to an innovative system, in sync with the complex issues that stem from nature, policy, risk, security, and political variables, which interact and affect each other. Such an innovative system requires a comprehensive perspective that can propose alternatives that consider complexity and that are able to adapt to an uncertain future.

The reference documents and the recording of the 1st Webinar is available at:

The Second APWF Webinar was organized on 7th October. Mr. Howard Bamsey, Global Water Partnership (GWP) Chair, talked about Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Investors: More Risks, More Opportunities through better Governance.

In the Webinar, Mr. Howard highlighted the following:

Firstly, water is at the heart of climate adaptation and resilience. If we are going to deal adequately with climate change, water must be the primary focus.

Secondly, there is helpful trend that the global financial system is gradually focused on the activities for green and climate friendly, but investment to adaptation to the impacts of climate change is not sufficient. We must deal with the risks of climate change. The way to do it is through changing the pattern of investment. That means we must deal with a different set of risks perceived by the investors, and the way in which we deal with them must be wholly responsive to the circumstances that affect each country differently. The solutions must be tailored to those specific circumstances. There are no silver bullets.

Thirdly, while progress is being made to address climate change issues in the water sector, it is not quick enough. Improved governance is essential for increasing both public and private investment.

Fourth, water organizations need to get their act together and become much more coherent if they are to make a global impact in terms of the issues of water security. The fundamental issue is that the water sector is too fragmented. There are so many different organizations that overlap and face in the same direction or in different directions, but not sufficiently reaching beyond the horizons of the water world yet. To ensure water security, it is necessary that the whole universe of water organizations become much more coherent and join their voices more effectively to reach a wider community.

In addition, two video messages presented good practices implemented by the GWP Pan Asia. One presents some of the activities undertaken by the GWP Southeast Asia related to the promotion of financing for water and adaptation, and pre-investments for disaster prevention. The other is on the Youth program for Asia implemented in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The presentation document and the recording of the 2nd APWF webinar will be available from:

The announcements of the APWF webinars will now be posted on the APWF website, as well as on JWF’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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