Financing Implementation of the Water-Related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

11 Dec 2017 to 12 Dec 2017
Yangon, Myanmar

The 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit (APWS) held in Myanmar, 11-12 December 2017 (http://apwf.org/summit/myanmar2017/) had featured concrete actions, solutions, and innovations required at all levels and had unanimously adopted the Yangon Declaration: The Pathways Forward (http://www.waterforum.jp/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Yangon-Declaratio...). The Summit features the transboundary and multi-partnership cooperation through the improved Integrated Water Resource Management processes, as well as impactful investments into efficient and resilient water infrastructures. The outcomes of the regional discussions of 3rd APWS will be reported at the 8th World Water Forum (8 WWF) in March 2018 in Brazil (http://www.worldwaterforum8.org/) and other international conferences. The exchanges between high-level officials and policy makers had contributed to the development of the key regional policy messages, that would be further incorporated in the thematic regional reports, which would be providing baseline for thematic discussion among political leaders at the 8thWWF.

The theme of Financing, specifically in resilient water infrastructure and services, directly contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and impacts attainment of a number SDG targets. According to Asian Development Bank (2017), however, only 10 percent of water and sanitation infrastructure needs are currently being met in Asia and the Pacific region. The region is experiencing an enormous pressure on water resources due to the highly growing demand in agriculture and other sectors, low efficiency of water consumption, increased urbanization trends, as well as impacts of climate change.

The session, organised by ESCAP, Asia-Pacific Water Forum, Government of the Union of Myanmar, had focused on policy and actions, and in defining strategic framework to attain the SDGs by improving the financial sustainability and resilience of water systems and infrastructure, and the need to strategically mobilize public resources and augment opportunities for private investment. Given the diversity of the countries in the region, this session discussed options, highlighted rich experiences of policy makers, recognized that some countries have more developed financial systems and are financing resilient water and sanitation utilities. The session has identified common approaches that should provide guidance towards solutions for improving the overall sustainability of the water sector.

The session has covered the following potential areas of regional interventions on:
i) improving the planning and implementation processes by creating an overall strategy and scenarios to address inter-sectoral issues with cross-thematic interventions by enhancing the sustainable business models of water infrastructure;
(ii) bringing in commercial lenders and, where possible, the private sector as participants to help attain water-related SDGs and in implementing impactful investments from public and private sources; and
(iii) creating funding and oversight programs and policy frameworks for incentivizing decentralized water management financing system and collaborative partnerships

Programme

Opening Remarks (09:00-09:10 hrs.)
• Dr. Aida Karazhanova, Economic Affairs Officer, Environment and Development Division, ESCAP
• Dr. Wah Wah Maung, Director General, Center of Statistical Organization, Ministry of Planning and Finance, Myanmar
Moderator: Ms. Changhua Wu, Asia Pacific Water Forum, Governing Council Vice-Chair (Beijing)
Speakers: (09:25-10:45 hrs)
• Mr. Greg Browder, Global Lead: Water Security & Water Resources Management, World Bank
• Mr. Tomoyuki Okada, Director for International Coordination of River Engineering River Planning Division, Water and Disaster Management Bureau Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan
• Mr. Sangwoo Park, Deputy Director, Water Resources Industry Team, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Republic of Korea
• Mr. Hao Zhao, Division Director, Department of International Cooperation, Science and Technology, Ministry of Water Resources, P.R. China
• Mr. Tom Panella, Chief of Water Sector Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank
Discussants:
• Dr. Wah Wah Maung, Director General, Center of Statistical Organization , Ministry of Planning and Finance, Myanmar
• Professor Le Huu Ti, Danang University, Vietnam
• Professor Eduardo Araral, Vice-Dean, Research, Co-Director, Institute of Water Policy and Associate Professor of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Wrap up and Closing Remarks (10:45-11:00 hrs)
• Moderator: Ms. Changhua Wu, APWF GC Vice-Chair
• Mr. U Htun Lwin Oo, Secretary, National Water Resource Committee, Director General, Directorate of Water Resources & Improvement of River Systems, Ministry of Transport & Communications, Myanmar

Contact persons:
• Dr. Wah Wah Maung, [email protected], Director General, Ministry of Planning and Finance, Myanmar
• Dr. Aida Karazhanova, [email protected], United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Environment and Development Division (Thailand)