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Holistic water agenda for post-2015
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1 Dec 2013 - From 25 to 27 November 2013, a technical workshop brought together around thirty senior-level water managers, economic planners and statistical experts from fifteen countries to identify priority actions to strengthen institutional capacity for implementing a more holistic water agenda in the post-2015 development framework. The Workshop was organized by the Division for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Statistics Division supported by UNICEF, the World Bank, UNEP-DHI and UN-Habitat.

The participants highlighted the importance of water as a resource and a human right, and reinforced why a more holistic water agenda for the post-2015 development framework needs to go beyond water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) - the focus of the MDGs - to one that includes water resource management and water quality/wastewater management. The discussions placed emphasis on national context and realities. The participants shared experiences and lessons and identified key challenges for linking integrated water resource management (IWRM) to national planning, budgeting and priority setting. They highlighted as a high priority the importance of strengthening institutional capacity in integrated monitoring frameworks and systems in which all stakeholders across all sectors need to be actively involved.

The participants discussed the opportunities of implementing programmes that build on existing initiatives progressing measures to complement GDP - as called for in paragraph 38 of The Future We Want. This especially relates to the area of natural capital accounting, using the internationally adopted methodologies for the System for Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). A very important lesson from countries like Brazil, which implemented SEEA-Water, a sub-system of the SEEA central framework, is that the process itself and putting in place the necessary institutional arrangements for implementing SEEA-Water have already contributed significantly in strengthening integrated approaches to water management and development through better coordination and institutional cooperation. For more information please visit http://bit.ly/1b4ChE5, where a report will be made available when ready.