Integrated Water Resources Management
In order to effectively implement the recommendation of Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) on integrated water resources management (IWRM), monitoring of investment and results of the entire water sector at the national level is essential in order to support the formulation of effective policies for socio-economic development and environmental management. For this purpose, not only mechanisms for monitoring are necessary, but also a proper system linking the results of monitoring to policy making is essential.
System for IWRM policy making: JPOI recommended early establishment of IWRM plan to support socio-economic development. In this connection, it is recommended to strengthen existing systems on IWRM policy making or establish a proper system for policy making, if such a system does not exist. For this purpose, it will be necessary that each country establish a focal point at the Ministerial level to coordinate IWRM policy making, including linking findings of monitoring of investment and results to the formulation of water resources policies.
Monitoring mechanisms: In view of the complexity of the entire water sector, possible options for such mechanisms are identified as follows:
Option 1: Establishment of a permanent mechanism for overall monitoring of investment and results at the national level for regular monitoring at appropriate frequency;
Option 2: Establishment of a policy on overall monitoring of investment and results, through which ad hoc mechanisms could be established at specific time or frequency required.
In order to ensure synergy of regional efforts on strengthening the monitoring of investment and results, it is recommended that these regional efforts be integrated into the process of institutional strengthening of regional cooperation through APWF. For this purpose, the following courses of action are recommended:
• Establishment of a network of international organizations and financing institutions to support the process of strengthening monitoring of investment and results in the region and to study implications of findings from the monitoring of investment and results for more effective regional cooperation in water resources management, especially for consideration at the regular Summit.
• Establishment of a Water Ministers Council of the Asia-Pacific (WaMCAP) to assist developing countries to strengthen their capacity in policy development and to enhance benefits of regional cooperation (see concept note on WaMCAP)
• Integrate the findings of the monitoring of investment and results in water resources to the operation of the Regional Knowledge Hub to be established by APWF as part of the recommendation of KRA1.
• Develop a programme to build capacity of countries in the region on monitoring of investment and results and seek funding for its implementation.
Sectoral Water Resources Management
Development and ecosystem: Consultation between Theme C and KRA4 led to the following recommendations: Payment for environmental services (PES) is essential to ecosystem management and eco-efficiency development. The current socio-economic conditions of the region are not yet conducive to an effective implementation of PES. Further efforts on enhancing awareness on the importance of environmental services would be required and monitoring of investment and results in this area would be instrumental to policy making and changing mindset of the public.
Water-related disaster management: Cooperation between Theme B and KRA4 led to the following recommendations:
• Socio-economic impact of water-related disasters is increasing rapidly in the region. Although this fact is increasingly recognized by most of policy and decision makers in the region, the lack of consistent socio-economic data and information has made it difficult to effectively integrate preventive measures into socio-economic development policies. Despite the experiences of several successful countries in water-related disaster management, such as in Japan, where annual investment in water-related disaster management accounted for about 1 per cent of national income, in most countries, investment in water-related disaster management remains very small as pointed out by a recent study of UNESCAP.
• Monitoring of socio-economic impacts of water-related disasters is an essential part of the monitoring of investment and results for policy making in water-related disaster management. It is recommended that proper methodologies to assess socio-economic impacts of water-related disasters, such as the one adopted to assess socio-economic impacts of the 2004-Tsunami Disaster, be adopted for routine assessment.