The Netherlands appoints new Dutch Special Envoy for International Water Affairs
Meike van Ginneken will succeed Henk Ovink, first Water Envoy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as of 1 August 2023. With this appointment, Van Ginneken will also become Programme Director for Climate Adaptation and Water International at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Reinforcing Dutch water ambitions
Water connects many challenges: from food security and energy to health and poverty reduction. Water and climate are inextricably linked. The effects of too much and too little water are becoming visible worldwide. Sea level rise and increased water scarcity are the new reality. At the same time, this offers opportunities to deal with water differently.
There is great international interest in Dutch knowledge and expertise, which also offers opportunities for the Dutch sector. The Water Envoy strengthens the Dutch International Water Ambition (NIWA), at home and abroad, on behalf of and for the Dutch ministries of Infrastructure and Water Management; Foreign Affairs; Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; and Economic Affairs.
In addition to the quantitative objectives in the field of water safety and water security, important themes are the link between water, climate and food security, biodiversity, nature-based solutions, water and sanitation, water governance and the Dutch learning and earning capacity.
“Water and climate are cross-border challenges. The Netherlands is a catalyst for putting water on the international agenda and sharing water knowledge. I am very much looking forward to contributing to this as a Water Envoy, together with an expert team,” says Van Ginneken.
About Meike Van Ginneken
With 25 years of experience, Van Ginneken is an internationally renowned water expert in the field of policy and financing of water, climate, energy and food. Van Ginneken worked for the World Bank from 2002 to 2017, from 2012 as regional director for Energy for West and Central Africa and as regional director for Water for South Asia. Subsequently, she was chair of the Executive Board of SNV Netherlands Development Organization and UN Assistant Secretary-General for Strategy & Knowledge at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
On Van Ginneken’s appointment, Director-General of Water and Soil Jaap Slootmaker says: “I am delighted to have Meike as water envoy and Programme Director for Climate Adaptation and Water International. Meike has a long history and extensive knowledge and experience in the international water world. In combination with her management experience and cooperation with the Government, I am convinced that Meike will be of great value in realising the ambitions of the Dutch International Water Ambition (NIWA) and our international policy on climate adaptation. I got to know Meike as a substantively driven and at the same time very collaborative personality; looking forward to the cooperation!’