ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Water Week 2023 was successfully concluded in Islamabad with putting more emphasis on the importance of water for life and development and seeking sustained initiatives for water conservation.
The Ministry of Water Resources, UNICEF, GIZ Pakistan, and IWMI collaborated to make it happen. IWMI played a crucial role, highlighting the importance of managing water and research in addressing issues like water scarcity, fragility, conflicts, and migration. Alongside FCM Initiatives and PCRWR, the event celebrated achievements and stressed the vital role water plays in shaping a nation’s future. This year’s international conference, themed “Transformative Pathways for Water and Food Systems in a Climate-Resilient Pakistan,” addressed the pressing issues of water scarcity and disasters that have become the new norm, particularly in Pakistan. The Pakistan Water Week 2023 stands as a testament to the collective commitment to addressing the critical challenges posed by water and food security in the face of a changing climate. The outcomes of the conference are anticipated to guide and shape future endeavors in sustainable water management for Pakistan. Recognizing the interconnectedness of water security with food security, human health, energy needs, and economic development in the Indus Basin, the conference brought together academics, government officials, NGOs, policy experts, and stakeholders to deliberate on the challenges posed by the current climate crisis. Dr. Mark Smith, the Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), during a recent symposium said, “Ensuring water security is undeniably a pressing priority, and this imperative holds not only within the borders of Pakistan but also on a broader global scale that transcends geopolitical boundaries and resonates across diverse ecosystems.”
Over the three days, the conference focused on fostering systematic cross-sectoral thinking across water and food systems to promote climate-resilient development in Pakistan. Opportunities to mitigate adverse impacts on marginalized communities in the Indus Basin were explored, with Pakistan Water Week poised to influence the focus and agenda of water and food system planning and management in the future.
The discussions revolved around three thematic areas: climate-resilient pathways encompassing adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development; inclusive water governance exploring pathways and perspectives; and technologies and innovation responding to the challenges of water and food security.
Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, Director of Water, Food, and Ecosystems at the IWMI, said, “The purpose of Pakistan Water Week is to pinpoint gaps in current approaches, policies, and practices concerning water and food security. Our objective is to encourage solution-oriented discussions, transitioning from the exclusive identification of problems to the generation of new data, concrete ideas, and evidence-based approaches. These efforts are aimed at addressing challenges related to water and food and advancing climate-resilient solutions.”