Sweden’s Royal Family dedicated to water

Story Feb 27, 2017

Sustainable access to clean water and mitigating the effects of climate change have long been a source of collaboration for SIWI and the Swedish Royal Family. For more than 26 years, SIWI has worked closely with members of the Royal Family to promote innovation, efficiency and equity in water.

Beginning in 1991, with the patronage of the Stockholm Water Prize by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, efforts for collaboration between SIWI and the Royal Family have strengthened and diversified in recent years. In 2016, the Royal Family’s participation and commitment to achieving a water wise and climate stable world grew to its highest level with Crown Princess Victoria’s role as a UN Special Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals and an increased interest in water issues by His Majesty the King. In this retrospective we look back on some of our favourite “royal” moments from 2016.

Leading is not just about showing the way. It is also about listening, about learning from others, and being open to new ideas.

H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria at World Water Week 2016

King features water and climate in 2016 Christmas message
In his annual televised holiday message to the Swedish people, the King underscored the importance of clean water to all aspects of and the risks of taking the resource for granted. “The global water shortages can feel distant. But it concerns us all,” he remarked. He also reiterated the water challenges that Swedes face at home, such as shortages in Öland. Renewing the Royal Family’s commitment to water issues, he specially highlighted Crown Princess Victoria’s focus on water and seas in her role as Special UN Ambassador for the SGDs.

H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria addresses World Water Week
Crown Princess Victoria provided the opening address at a high-level meeting during the 2016 World Water Week. The event, ‘Building a Resilient Future through Water,’ highlighted possible strategies for delivering on the 2030 Agenda and strengthening climate resilience through wise water management.

In her capacity as UN Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals, the Crown Princess implored leaders to focus on building strategies through water that work towards achieving a climate resilient, more equitable and more sustainable future.

His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden awards 2016 Stockholm Water Prize to water quality champion, Joan Rose
As the patron of the Stockholm Water Prize, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav is charged with presenting the Laureate with this prestigious award at the official ceremony at Stockholm City Hall during World Water Week. In 2016, the Prize was awarded to Professor Joan B. Rose for her tireless contributions to global public health through assessing risks to human health in water and creating guidelines and tools for decision-makers and communities to improve global wellbeing.

H.R.H. Prince Carl Philip awards Stockholm Junior Water Prize
For the first time, H.R.H. Prince Carl Philip awarded the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Three students from Thailand – Sureeporn Triphetprapa, Thidarat Phianchat and Kanjana Komkla were recognized for their innovative water retention device that mimics the Bromeliad plant.

“The theme of the 2016 World Water Week is Water for Sustainable Growth. The winning project addresses future water security and rural livelihoods using an elegant leap-frog technology which looks simple, but its beauty masks its complexity! The project embodies the theme well through its journey from the idea to application,” the Jury said in its citation.

The award is traditionally awarded by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria, the patron of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. In 2016, H.R.H. Prince Carl Philip stepped in during the Princess’ parental leave.

King of Sweden celebrates 70th birthday with roundtable on land and water ownership
In October 2016, Sweden’s leading environmental science, policy and advocacy organisations held a roundtable on ownership of land, water and biodiversity for the King of Sweden to celebrate his 70th birthday.

Stockholm International Water Institute, The Stockholm Environment Institute, World Wide Fund for Nature and Stockholm Resilience Centre hosted a roundtable titled ‘Who Owns the Planet?’ on the rights to nature and ownership of common pool resources. The dialogue was initiated in response to His Majesty’s interest to learn more about these issues and how they are connected to development possibilities and challenges.