Building a stronger Platform in 2019: A letter from the Chair

News Jan 31, 2019

Torkil Jønch Clausen, Chair of the Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management shares reflections on the work of the Platform in 2018 as well as what to look forward to in 2019. 

Dear Source-to-Sea Platform members and supporters,

On behalf of the Secretariat and Steering Committee, I thank you for your ongoing and unwavering support of our mission to improve management of land, water, delta, coastal and marine environments through addressing source-to-sea linkages. 2018 has seen many S2S Platform highlights demonstrating the value of taking a source-to-sea approach to resource management, which you can read about in the 2018 Progress Report.

During 2018, the Platform maintained a high momentum, engaging in 13 key international events on five continents. Most notably, the first High Level Panel on Source-to-Sea Management was organized at the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia. A truly collaborative effort between S2S Platform members and distinguished panellists, including Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean. As a result, source-to-sea approaches were acknowledged for the first time in the World Water Forum Ministerial Declaration, and now have a firm place as part of the discussions in preparation for the 9th  Forum in Senegal in 2021.

Supporting these engagements, the S2S Platform has delivered a number of knowledge products, including: “Water quality management from source to sea: from global commitments to coordinated implementation” published in the scientific journal Water International; Water Resources Governance from Source to Sea was contributed as a chapter for the massive open online course (MOOC) on SDG 6 prepared by SDG Academy; and two policy briefs highlighting the importance of source to sea management in transboundary waters and climate change mitigation, respectively.

Today, the Platform is at its strongest, with 27 members representing key UN organizations, research institutes, international environmental NGOs, conventions, and intergovernmental sea and river basin commissions active in this field. To further support these global relationships and foster greater collaboration, we have recently launched the S2S Platform Document Hub. Here Platform members can share resources, work simultaneously on documents and find information on internal processes. S2S Platform members will receive information on how to access the Document Hub in a separate message.

2019 looks to be even more exciting as we leverage the power of Platform even further. The expansive attention being paid to the impacts of marine litter and calls for action to prevent plastics from reaching the oceans has generated increasing interest in the linkages of land-based activities across the source-to-sea system. Following on this, the S2S Platform is excited to build stronger connections between the freshwater (SDG6) and marine (SDG14) communities and will be pursuing opportunities to build a shared source-to-sea agenda. Building on our contribution to the recent COP 24 in Katowice, we are also committed to promote source-to-sea approaches in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

We are looking forward to the creation of initially three thematic working groups on key issues that will engage three or more Platform members in collaborating on concrete outputs that can drive meaningful impact. We shall also very soon launch the Implementing the source-to-sea approach: A guide for practitioners and Source-to-sea framework for preventing plastic leakage to riverine and marine environments, an ongoing project funded by BMZ.

In our newly launched newsletter, we shall share source-to-sea news from the Platform and beyond. By bringing news of source-to-sea engagements from around the globe to a dedicated and interested audience, we hope to build new relationships and stronger international and regional networks.

I am encouraged by the potential of the year ahead.  We are planning events and partners’ meetings in Stockholm World Water Week in August 2019, and if not before I look forward to interacting with many of you in the work of the Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management.

With best regards,

Torkil Jønch Clausen

Chair, Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management