World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, ended this Friday with participants concluding that water must be recognised as the enabler of successful implementation of the entire 2030 Agenda as well as the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Water – the lifeline of our planet – will be needed to achieve nearly every Sustainable Development Goal, and to face the challenges that climate change presents,” said Karin Lexén, Director of World Water Week at Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
World Water Week 2016, themed “Water for Sustainable Growth”, welcomed 3,100 participants from over 120 countries.
Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including the goal on water (Goal 6) was one of the key issues discussed by high-level policy makers, development and water professionals, researchers, civil society and private sector representatives.
Throughout the Week, there was a focus on implementation and action, particularly on local and city level, marking a transition from the global discussions and negotiations that led to the adoption of the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.
“In order to achieve the SDGs; city and local leaderships are crucial; that is where we will find the drive. It is also important that civil society, businesses and social entrepreneurs are engaged, to learn from each other to create smart, viable and sustainable partnerships. Water is too important to keep inside the water community – water is a central part of the entire society,” said SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren.
This was underlined by Sweden’s Environment Minister Karolina Skog: “Water is a shared resource and a shared responsibility. The private sector has an important part to play. It has the competence, the technology and the ability to invest. Responsible water usage is an economical advantage and will pay off both for sustainable business models and for new innovations.”
This year, World Water Week offered an opportunity for key actors to meet and take stock of progress towards the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement, from a water perspective.