On the United Nations World Water Day commemorated every year on 22 March, UNU-IAS Water for Sustainable Development (WSD) project co-organised a webinar on the ‘Value of Water in the Era of the SDGs‘ in partnership with the Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC) and UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU FLORES). The webinar invited renowned international experts who shared their perspectives on the different values of water and offered a platform for a rigorous discussion on how to find synergies among the various values of water for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. A total of 85 people participated in the event.
During the opening remarks, Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS) highlighted the need for the concerted actions and proper assessment of the word value of water. To support this, she also introduced the UNU Water Network, a network of UNU institutes that currently conduct research on water. Taikan Oki (Senior Vice-Rector, UNU) introduced the concept of virtual water and emphasised the value of this important natural resource, particularly for communities living in water-scarce areas and economically poor conditions.
Geetha Mohan (Research Fellow, UNU-IAS) shared the case study outcomes from Kaski district, Nepal and stressed the importance of striking a balance between the demand and supply of water while Saroj Chapagain (Research Fellow, UNU-IAS) aimed to increase the awareness of water value in the content of the environment, highlighting the importance of analysing water resource management by creating synergies between economic and environmental sustainability.
Panel members included Thomas Elmqvist (Professor, Stockholm Resilience Centre of Stockholm University), Binaya Kumar Mishra (Professor, Pokhara University in Nepal), Serena Caucci (Associate Programme Officer, UNU-FLORES), Mahesti Okitasari (Research Associate, UNU-IAS), and Giulia Roder (Research Consultant, UNU-IAS). The discussions were moderated by Kensuke Fukushi (Academic Programme Officer, UNU-IAS).