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Integrating freshwater data into sector-wide decision making to improve the protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems - pilot project

Overarching objective: Encourage and promote the integration of environmental data within relevant decision-making processes through multi-stakeholder engagement, to improve the protection, management and restoration of freshwater ecosystems. Outcomes and outputs: Outcomes: Target countries have increased capacity and political will to protect and/or restore freshwater ecosystems and/or watersheds; Key stakeholders in target countries have prioritised key ecosystems and/or watersheds for protection and/or restoration and endorsed related action plans. The overarching objective and outcomes stated above will be achieved through the implementation of pilot projects in three countries, through two outputs at the country level: Enhance the awareness of decision-makers and build the technical capacity of key institutional actors to protect and/or restore freshwater ecosystems and/or watersheds; An ecosystem-specific cross-sectoral action plan to preserve and/or restore targeted watersheds and/or ecosystems is prepared.

Expected impact

Output 1: Enhance the awareness of decision-makers and build the technical capacity of key institutional actors to protect and/or restore freshwater ecosystems and/or watersheds. Through a close collaboration with the lead mandated institution and building on a capacity needs assessment, output 1 will comprise of delivery of capacity development activities through live demonstrations and subsequent tailored national trainings, on the role, value, and importance of protecting and/or restoring freshwater ecosystems, and on the use and interpretation of the 6.6.1 Explorer to that end, further complemented by existing national level data, to identify key trends and threats per country, for key watersheds and/or per type of ecosystem1. The activities will aim to enhance the awareness of decision-makers and build the capacity of the lead mandated institution and other key sectoral institutions. This should lead to decision-making capable of: Understanding the role and value of freshwater ecosystems within different sectoral contexts, through the services provided by those ecosystems; Understanding possible actions and management solutions to protect and/or restore freshwater ecosystems; Being well versed with national and sub-national efforts and platforms for data collection and analysis of freshwater ecosystems, and understanding how this contributes to policy making at different levels; Understanding how to use and interpret the SDG 6.6.1 explorer and complementary data portals as relevant; Understanding national/basin/ecosystem level trends and how to apply and integrate data and knowledge from different sources to discern causal factors behind changing extent and quality of freshwater ecosystems, identifying adverse freshwater ecosystem trends and articulating any associated social, economic and environmental impacts. Output 2: An ecosystem-specific cross-sectoral action plan to preserve and/or restore targeted watersheds and/or ecosystems is prepared. Output 2 will entail technical assistance to carry out a consultative multi-stakeholder process applying the learnings from output 1, in order to prioritise ecosystems within the national context and develop an action plan which includes a high-level implementation roadmap for protection and/or restoration of priority ecosystems/watersheds, that also identifies potential funding sources where possible. The scope of the prioritisation and roadmap must clearly consider environmental as well as social and economic factors. Selection criteria are being used to identify the countries to take part in this pilot, looking for a diversity of ecological and socio-economic environments, geographic diversity, and drawn from countries assisted by the SDG 6 IWRM Support Programme and where the project partners have operational capacity. This would enable those countries to draw parallels between SDG indicators 6.6.1 and 6.5.1, among others, while also allowing for shared learning and synergies between the action plans.



Goal 2
Goal 5
Goal 6
Goal 14
Goal 15
Goal 17
Financing (in USD)
Staff / Technical expertise
GWPO and Cap-Net UNDP staff time
Basic information
Start: 01 October, 2020
Completion: 01 July, 2021
Cap-Net UNDP/GWP/UNEP (United Nations / Multilateral body)
The United Nations Environment Programme (United Nations) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The UNEP-DHI Centre for Water and Environment is a United Nations Environment Programme centre of expertise. The role of UNEP-DHI in this pilot project is two-fold: to guide the conceptual design and scope of the pilot project and deliver capacity development training through the provision of live demonstration(s) using the Cap-Net Virtual Campus for each of the in-country facilitators, in order to ensure streamlined understanding of the technical language, identification and interpretation of the national trends in order for them to be able to conduct demonstrations themselves for the target audience (multi-stakeholders) in each of the countries. This would provide basis of future curricula and transfer of knowledge, providing significant opportunity for scaling-up. The United Nations Development Programme (United Nations) works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results. Cap-Net endeavours are supported by the Global Water and Ocean Governance Support Programme. As part of the UNDP Global Policy Network, UNDP’s work on protecting the Planet includes addressing climate change, disaster risk reduction and recovery, sustainable energy, as well as Environment and Natural Capital, where the water and ocean governance pursuits align closely with that of biodiversity and ecosystems management. Cap-Net UNDP (United Nations) is a global network for capacity development in sustainable water management. It is a United Nations Development Programme (United Nations) delivery mechanism within the Water and Ocean Governance Programme (WOGP). Its 23 affiliated networks are the spearhead at the core of the Cap-Net programme and a number of them will be mobilized for the in-country activities. They mobilise the best of available knowledge globally, for practical capacity development implementation of the ground. The Global Water Partnership (Intergovernmental Organization) is a global network mobilizing action on the global water crisis through a unique combination of social capital, shared values, credibility within the global water community, bottom-up orientation, and expertise. Its network of 65+ Country Water Partnerships and 13 Regional Water Partnerships convenes, and brokers coordinated action by government and non-government actors. It is supported by a global secretariat hosted by the GWP Organisation (GWPO). Through joint collaboration, GWPO and Cap-Net will ensure the effective implementation of this pilot project across all three countries. Both parties have a strong presence on the ground, and will leverage expertise respectively through the Regional and Country Water Partnerships and through their networks on the ground, drawing on each other’s strengths for effective and improved outreach and impact.
Initiative focused on COVID-19 pandemic response, prevention and recovery efforts
Geographical coverage
Latin America and the Caribbean
West Asia
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficiaries
To be scaled up based on outcomes and lessons learned, as well as available resources
Contact information
Themba Gumbo, Director Cap-Net UNDP, themba.gumbo@cap-net.org,
Stockholm, Sweden
United Nations