Dr. Vinay Nangia makes a case for groundbreaking water innovation for sustainable dryland water use at the UN 2023 water conference
Mar 29 2023
The UN 2023 Water Conference was convened by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and co-hosted by the Netherlands and Tajikistan in New York from 22 to 24th March 2023 to urgently scale up action to address the water crisis and ensure a water-secure future. ICARDA’s Dr. Vinay Nangia was invited as part of the CGIAR delegation to present game-changing technologies in the sustainable management of water resources in agriculture and ICARDA’s contributions to international efforts and initiatives in this area.
Highlights of the conference include Iraq joining the Water Convention, the first MENA country to do so, the U.S commitment of up to US$49 billion in investments to support climate-resilient water and sanitation infrastructure and services, the Continental Africa Investment Programme (AIP) and the African Union Commission aiming to close Africa’s water investments gap by mobilizing at least US$30 billion/year by 2030 through a range of initiatives. The Asian Development Bank also committed to investing $11 billion in the water sector in the Asia-Pacific Region and $100 billion in the water sector globally by 2030.
Addressing the closing plenary, President of the General Assembly Csaba Kőrösi emphasized some game-changers to deliver transformative action that leaves nobody behind, such as integrated water and climate policy, global water information systems, early warnings for all, and inclusive transboundary water agreements. ICARDA is working on groundbreaking technologies such as ultra-low energy drip irrigation for MENA countries (with MIT and INRA-Morocco), precision farming and other digital agriculture solutions for smallholder farmers, low environmental footprint diversified cropping systems, open access platforms such as the MENA regional evapotranspiration network, AgMIP-MENA, and many more. ICARDA contributes to the sustainable management of water resources through its active participation in significant impact-driven events.
ICARDA’S ENGAGEMENT AT THE UN 2023 WATER CONFERENCE
The session titled “Implementing the 2023 Praia Call for Action through the Decade’s work streams” served as a space for dialogue on implementing the Praia Call for Action endorsed by WASAG partners and stakeholders. Dr. Nangia participated in the session hosted by FAO WASAG, bringing together prominent leaders in the field, such as the FAO Director General, Dr. Qu Dongyu, the Minister of Agriculture and Environment from Cabo Verde HE Gilberto Silva, FAO Director of Land and Water Division Dr. Lifeng Li, and key WASAG partners. ICARDA is a founding member of WASAG and served on the organizing committee of the recently held 2nd WASAG Forum.
The Action on Water Adaptation and Resilience (AWARe) initiative is the outcome of a multi-round consultation process and aims to catalyze inclusive cooperation to address water as a key to climate change adaptation and resilience. It aims at offering transitional adaptation solutions for the planet and people, starting with the world`s most vulnerable communities and ecosystems, in the African region as a first step. As an active supporter and contributor to the AWARe Initiative, ICARDA was invited by the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) to a session hosted by the Egyptian Permanent Mission to the UN titled “From COP27 to UN 2023 Water Conference”, led by MWRI minister HE Hani Sewilam. The side event aimed to present the operational arrangements of the AWARe Initiative and the official launch of its work plan and mechanisms of implementation.
Dr. Vinay Nangia was also engaged in a side event by the Sikh Human Rights Group titled “Water for smallholder farmers, food for all,” in which he delivered a lecture titled “Water for food, water for life: The drylands challenge,” which highlighted the need for adoption of contextualized water saving technologies by smallholder farmers, the need for changing cropping systems and diets to low environmental footprint options, and to create alternative water resources through non-conventional means.
Dr. Nangia also joined MENA regional colleagues from League of Arab States and UN ESCWA in session titled, “Arab Region joint commitment to accelerate achievement of water security for sustainable development” in which ministers of water from Egypt, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, Palestine, and Yemen reported on their countries progress towards SDG 6 goals.