World Water Day: launch of best practices on water governance
On the occasion of World Water Day, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a new guidance on water governance that aims to strengthen policy making for water institutions.
The new guidance builds on the work of the OECD Water Governance Initiative and it’s 12 principles that were launched at the World Water Forum in 2015.
‘As a toolkit, it comprises of good practices from the countries that have already used the principles’, commented Secretary-General Angel Gurria of the OECD in his opening statement at the virtual meeting.
Gurria has always been a source of inspiration for strong water governance. In May he will retire as Secretary-General and took this event as his last opportunity to call upon the global water community to make good use of all the experiences that the OECD has gathered. ‘Continue to deliver on the water agenda’, Gurria urged.
The new guidance allows policy makers to self asses their water governance. Initially, it was the OECD itself that conducted assessments of water governance. In 2013 the policy making and governance structures in Mexico were evaluated, soon to be followed by the Netherlands.
Stop undervaluing water
Dutch infrastructure and water management minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen was one of the speakers at the OECD meeting. In her message she stated that the new guidance could not be more timely. ‘Not only do we have to address the extreme weather events that are becoming more frequent, also the ongoing pandemic makes it more important to create a more resilient future’.
´Let us use this momentum and take this opportunity to overcome undervaluing water and take action on climate adaptation and the underinvestment of these issue’, she continued. ‘We have a choice to make. We can invest in short term quick wins or invest in green and blue resilience for the long term.’
According to Van Nieuwenhuizen all plans to meet the UN Sustainable Development goals, such as the Sendai framework and the Paris Climate agreement, are there. ´It is important that we keep our promises. Especially in the run up to the next Climate Summit COP26 later this year and the UN water conference organised by the Netherlands and Tajikistan in 2023. Water must be mainstreamed in all national determined contributions and national adaptation plans.'
The presentation of the new OECD guidance on water governance started with a series of webinars, one of which will feature the latest national assessment report on Peru that will be released and discussed during the webinar.
The OECD wants the guidance to be a living document and hopes to include all future developments and new experiences.
Read the full OECD-document ‘Toolkit for Water Policies and Governance'
See the programme of the OECD Water Days 2021