News.Feb 02, 2021

Why a source-to-sea approach can help us reach the Sustainable Development Goals

Integrated Water Resources Management (IRWM) is an appropriate approach to ensure that water is managed inclusively across sectors and administrative levels and a way to maximize the role of water for economic and social development. This was the message from Dr. Torkil Jønch Clausen, Chair of the Action Platform for Source to Sea Management, when he spoke at the Asia-Pacific Water Forum in November.

On 26 November Dr. Torkil Jønch Clausen contributed to the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF) webinar and presented Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as a critical tool for addressing challenges of water SDG6 and ocean SDG14.

He stressed that the oceans are paying the price for our global freshwater challenges and management practices. The way forward is to take a holistic view from source-to-sea by engaging with upstream and downstream stakeholders, especially with more marine actors, and to ensurethat stakeholders explore new innovate solutions similar to IWRM, Dr. Torkil Jønch Clausen argued.

He presented the source-to-sea approach to management as one such tool. Dr. Jønch Clausen stressed the need to understand the cycle and flows, addressing fragmentation and linking the implementation of the water SDG6 and ocean SDG14,  which was also emphasized in the 2019 IPCCC: Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

The source-to-sea approach to management focuses on taking a systems view of issues such as climate change, marine litter, and nutrient pollution. The foundation of the source-to-sea approach is recognition that land, freshwater, coastal and marine systems are interconnected so  that activities in one part of the source-to-sea system can have impacts both upstream and downstream.

Dr. Torkil Jønch Clausen highlighted the The Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management (S2S Platform) which was launched in 2014 as a multi-stakeholder initiative to exchange and generate knowledge, through bridging the knowledge-policy-practice space by mobilizing and drawing upon a diverse set of partners engaged in research, policy making, funding and implementation of source-to-sea actions.

“Let’s act together by thinking and acting with a holistic and integrated approach on water from source to sea” Dr. Torkil Jønch Clausen