Bonn Dialogue for water in the 2030 Agenda

News Jun 28, 2021

How can countries and organizations speed up progress on water to achieve the 2030 Agenda? The topic will be discussed at the Bonn Water Dialogues for Results in July, with SIWI as part of the Steering Committee.

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On 1 July 2021, the Bonn Water Dialogues for Results, organized by the government of Germany, will be held virtually as a high-level culminating event of an initiative to accelerate the implementation of water-related goals and targets in the 2030 Agenda. SIWI serves as a member of the Steering Committee along with more than 25 governmental and non-governmental organizations across a wide range of sectors.

SIWI has contributed to the preparation since early 2021 and has helped shape the Bonn messages, building upon the main issues identified in the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework This UN-Water initiative has the same overarching goal as the Bonn Water Dialogues – to accelerate action on water for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The Global Acceleration Framework specifies five areas where action is needed to enable progress on achieving the goals: financing, data and information, capacity development, innovation, and governance.

The Bonn Water Dialogue messages, which have been refined over the course of the last six months, take these five areas and provide concrete recommendations for local, regional, and national governments, as well as for multilateral organizations and the UN system. Here are some  examples:

  • Governments at all levels are recommended to manage water in a more integrated manner. This can be achieved through coordinated planning, regulation, and finance processes between the water, energy, agricultural, environmental and waste sectors
  • Multilateral organizations are encouraged to support investments in innovation and to scale up innovative pilots, especially those that incorporate nature-based solutions.
  • Finally, it is recommended that the UN system supports local and national monitoring efforts and strengthens its data hub. The UN should also compile and recommend best practices for capacity development.

In the lead-up to the Bonn Water Dialogue, SIWI also hosted an Expert Roundtable on Innovation, together with UNICEF and Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.   The Roundtable focused on topics such as nature-based solutions, indigenous knowledge, and innovations in governance. Innovation is also a topic of the key messages for the Bonn Water Dialogue,highlighting how they to be developed together with the communities they are intended to benefit, so that they consider the cultural and social values of the community. For example, in the Mayan culture, flushed toilets are shunned because of the belief that water is sacred and should not be mixed with excrement, meaning that other sanitation solutions are needed.

The Bonn conference and the messages emanating from it contribute to the preparations for the 2023 UN Comprehensive Midterm Review of the International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development”. There will be a series of upcoming conferences and event, including a freshwater symposium in connection with the Ocean Conference in 2022 and the 2022 Dushanbe conference. This, will build momentum and help develop the messages for the 2023 Midterm Review Conference, the first high-level conference of water hosted by the United Nations since 1977.

SIWI will continue to be an engaged partner in the process to ensure that the Midterm Review addresses water in a holistic manner, highlighting its importance for the implementation of the global agendas for to accelerated action on water across society.