Strengthening Capacities and Awareness on Communication and Cooperation on Water Security Challenges and Water Goals within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Jordan
The Workshop – which pulled together more than over 20 participants from relevant national institutions and local communities across Jordan– revolved around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – in particular SDG6 on Water and Sanitation, Water Security and the Water, Energy and Food Nexus (WEF).
The Workshop was designed to accommodate a strong participatory approach; it used a dynamic methodology that interwove frontal lectures, group discussions and working group sessions to foster dialogue and cooperation among diverse actors who operate at different governance levels.
A stage-setting presentation introduced the centrality of water within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provided crucial information about the sustainable development process post-2015. Specific attention was granted to SDG 6 (Ensure access to water and sanitation for all) and its cross-cutting nature, along with its inclusiveness. This session also allowed participants to better understand the collaborative nature of the SDGs and the importance of multi-level, inter-institutional and inter-institutional stakeholder engagement and dialogue to achieve the set SDG targets. The group discussion underscored that for the national plans and policies to become reality, the join efforts of all actors is required. Overarching action plans - which also address SDG goals and targets - can be translated into tangible actions and results only through good cooperation among all actors involved. The existence of successful initiatives that have raised awareness and engagement of identified target groups at local level in certain regions across the country (Highlands and Jordan Valley), was also mentioned as a positive stepping stone to build upon for sustainable water management and attainment of SDG6 targets.
The second session provided an overview of how Jordan, and other countries, are approaching the challenge of implementing, monitoring and reporting progress on water-related development and SDG 6 targets, in the context of promoting a transformational approach to SDG implementation that accelerates collaborative knowledge creation and collective action and shifts the political-economic-environmental vision of our future. Policies, methodologies, best practices and tools were showcased, with a focus on how attaining the Global Goals benefits from coordinated action between local, national and regional players.
The participants mentioned sharing reliable data and information between relevant bodies, targeting the agricultural sector and increasing focus on SDG 6.3.1 (wastewater treatment) as key leverage points that will support the SDG process.
Participants then split into three small working groups to create a moment of dialogue between diverse stakeholders, operating at different levels within the country, to identify challenges and propose solutions and ideas to achieve the goals and targets set in SDG 6 as well as to fulfil the participatory approach advocated by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The leitmotiv of transformational approach through SDG implementation, explored in Session II, underpinned the group exercise. Outcomes and recommendations from the group exercise include:
- Embrace an inclusive approach and create partnerships that ensure that the “no one left behind” principle linked to the SDGs is fulfilled. Local-level dialogue should integrate national-level dialogue on SDG6 and connected SDGs. Ad hoc Committees could further support planning and implementation of on SDG6 projects and actions on the ground.
- Encourage action at local level to bring the public into the SDG picture and to boost engagement, increase ownership and reinforce trust between the public and the authorities. Ensure regular dissemination of progress and results connected to SDG6 through both traditional media and social media tools and channels. Engage the young generations through activities carried out across schools.
- The concept of resilience should be enshrined in all plans to ensure that they can react and adapt to future changes compared to the initial conditions.
- Map available human and financial resources that can be exploited for SDG6 implementation, and put an accent on the beneficial impact of SDGs to encourage actors and donors to join the cause. Focus should insist on the long-term impacts and the transformational approach that the SDG process carries along.
- Carry out donor mapping exercises and design clear programmes, projects and initiatives to attract resources from national or international funding mechanisms. Explore public-private partnership opportunities. Build stronger partnerships with donors and build on success stories.
- Enhance know-how about the SDGs among experts and water practitioners. Capacity-building training and exchange of experts among institutions at different levels should be encouraged, also through training programs promoted by the national authorities.
Day 2 of the workshop focused on Water Security and the Water, Energy and Food Nexus (WEF).
Session IV presented an integrated approach to water security that contributes to efforts to combat water scarcity, reduce the threat of conflict, halt environmental degradation and increase human wellbeing. Moreover, it underscored how water security is a keystone element in achieving the 2030 Agenda – not just for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 that focuses primarily on water security, but a number of targets embedded within other SDGs related to health, cities, consumption, marine resources, and terrestrial ecosystems. For the SDGs to succeed, water security must be achieved across all geographic scales – from international to national to sub-national to community – and across all social strata.
The next session focused on the dynamics of the water, energy and food sectors in Jordan as drivers to develop effective strategies for the sustainable use of these resources. It also discussed how policies and projects that contemplate the Water, Food and Energy Security Nexus contribute to creating opportunities for sustainable growth and to achieving the SDGs, and it introduced tangible tools and examples that address the challenges posed by a nexus approach to global and local challenges.
The Working Groups Session
The WATER POrT E-Practicum – a data-base-like online tool, including a collection of good practices on water scarcity and drought management that can offer valuable lessons and prospects of repeatability – was also introduced during the second day of the workshop.