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Study on Water-related Sustainable Development Goals

  • Mr. Muhammad Aslam Chaudhry
    Head of Office/Director
    United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD)
    Incheon, Republic of Korea
  • Mr. Zafar Adeel
    United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)
    Hamilton, Canada
  • Mr. Johan Kuylenstierna
    Executive Director
    Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
    Stockholm, Sweden
  • Mr. Andy Bullock
    "Water within Development"
    Ledbury, United Kingdom
  • Ms. Corinne Wallace
    Programme Officer
    United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)
    Hamilton, Canada
  • Ms. Nina Weitz
    Research Associate
    Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
    Stockholm, Sweden
  • Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna
    United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
    Incheon, Republic of Korea
  • Mr. Rashid Mbaziira
    IWRM Technical Advisor
    Deutsche Gesellschaft f�r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
    African Union Office(AUC)/African Ministers� Council on Water (AMCOW)
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Mr. Olcay Unver
    United Nations World Water Assessment
    Programme of the UN-Water (WWAP)/ UNESCO Programme Office on Global Water Assessment
    Perugia, Italy
  • Ms. Nina Odenwaelder (observer)
    International Water Policy, Deutsche Gesellschaft f�r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
    Bonn, Germany
  • Mr. Keneti Faulalo
    Inter-regional Adviser on Water Resources Management and Adaptation
    Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
    New York, USA
  • Mr. Hyeongsik Kang
    Research Fellow
    Division of Water Environment, Korea Environment Institute (KEI)
    Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Mr. Francois Fortier
    Senior Sustainable Development Expert
    United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD)
    Incheon, Republic of Korea
  • Mr. Sang-In Kang
    Senior Development Management Expert
    United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD)
    Incheon, Republic of Korea
  • Ms. Maimuna Nalubega
    Water Supply and Sanitation Engineer
    African Development Bank (AfDB)
    Tunis-Belved�re, Tunisia
  • Ms. Ni Ni Thein
    Founder and President of Water, Research and Training Centre (WRTC)
    Steering Committee Member of Global Water Partnership (GWP)
    Yangon, Myanmar
  • Mr. Henry Tachie-Menson
    Minister-Counsellor, Head of Chancery
    Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations
    New York, USA
  • Mr. Ahmed Abu Moussa
    First Secretary
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Cairo, Egypt
  • Mr. Frederick van Zyl
    Water Services Planning and Information, Department of Water Affairs South Africa
    Pretoria, South Africa
  • Ms. Kereeta Whyte
    First Secretary
    Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations
    New York, USA
  • Mr. Johan Gely
    Senior Water Policy Advisor
    Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
  • Ms. Mari Ahmed
    First Secretary
    Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations
    New York, USA

Rio+20 Conference clearly recognized the linkages between the water and green economy in general, and provisioning of safe drinking water supplies and adequate sanitation services for poverty eradication in particular. Accordingly, the outcome document of the conference "The Future We Want" called for providing universal coverage for safe drinking water and adequate sanitation services. In addition, the need to address inequities in access to water, which are closely linked to food and energy security, was stressed.

The global community will meet once again in 2015 to agree on the successor agenda to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), also referred to as post-2015 development agenda. This agenda, among other things, will define the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In all likelihood, water is expected to feature prominently in the SDG agenda. Towards this aim, the study, while drawing upon the lessons learned in implementing internationally agreed targets on water and sanitation, endeavored to define the scope of water-related SDGs together with an assessment of means of implementation required to achieve the SDGs.

Against this background, the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) in partnership with the United Nations University's Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) carried out a study on water-related SDGs. Other partners include the Stockholm Environment Institute.

This study aimed to provide evidence-based analysis on, inter alia, the following elements:

  1. Analyzing the existing trends in provision of services [abstracted from JMP 2012 Report], investments in the water sector [abstracted from the GLAAS 2012 Report] and of integrated water resources management [abstracted from the UN-Water Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches to Water Resource Management for Rio+20];
  2. Defining the scope and scale of investments, including other means of implementation, needed to achieve universal coverage of drinking water and sanitation, and a significant improvement in implementation of the IWRM principles; (iii) possible impact of different socioeconomic policy scenarios on achieving SDGs; and (iv) an assessment of major constraints and obstacles which could potentially impede the progress in achieving water-related SDGs.
  3. Informing the work already initiated by the UN Task Team on post 2015 development agenda, as well as to the intergovernmental process for establishing the SDGs. It will also serve to support the team at UN-Water, which is working on developing specific targets for the SDGs pertaining to water.
Scope of the Study
Based on the information included in the outcome document of the Rio+20 Summit The Future We Want,� the water-related SDGs should: (i) be action-oriented, concise, easy to communicate; (ii) complement the MDGs on poverty eradication, health, food security etc; (iii) take into account lessons learned in implementing the MDGs; (iv) integrate all three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced and holistic manner; and (v) have universal ownership but can be suitably tailored to differing national circumstances, including different levels of development.

Main tasks to be performed for the study include the following:

  1. Define data and information needs for the study, and develop an annotated outline for the report (preferably chapter-wise).
  2. Undertake a situation analysis covering trends in achieving/implementing internationally agreed goals and targets on access to water and sanitation and integrated water resources management; lessons learned and implementation challenges; and efficacy of existing monitoring indicators etc.
  3. Reaching out to the potential partners to secure relevant information and data, including relevant reports . For example, UNICEF/WHO will be approached to obtain data on water and sanitation coverage; UN-Water will be approached to get the results of IWRM survey carried out in several developing countries.
  4. Define the scope of SDGs on water, including a set of measurable and verifiable monitoring indicators.
  5. Develop a framework for analysis describing methodology for: (i) assessing as to what will it take to achieve the SDGs at global, regional and national levels ; and (ii) determining the impact of possible socioeconomic policy scenarios on the achievement of SDGs.
  6. Undertake analysis as per methodological framework developed under point (d) above, and prepare the draft report reflecting key results of analysis.
  7. Organize expert consultation to review the methodological framework of the study and next steps for finalizing the study
  8. Finalizing, launching and dissemination of the report.

Schedule of Deliverables
  • An interim report covering activities from 1-7 above. The work is in progress. This report will serve as background document for discussion during the expert consultation meeting to be held in Incheon on 13-14 June 2013.
  • Final report of the study as per activity 8 within two months after the conclusion of the expert consultation meeting
  • Launching of the report (tentatively in September 2013)
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