Recommendations to the High-Level Political Forum

Water is at the heart of sustainable development and resilience building. Its necessity for humans, society, and the economy means that water provides a holistic roadmap for the COVID-19 recovery and resilience efforts.

Addressing the water implications across all 17 SDG goals is critical to ensuring that the recovery from Covid-19 and other future pandemics is sustainable, resilient, equitable, and offers systemic solutions. In the context of promoting a sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19, SIWI especially wants to highlight the importance of:

Access to WASH for COVID-19 relief

Water, sanitation, and hygiene are essential tools to limit the spread of COVID-19, and in order to limit the infection, access to WASH needs to be improved, especially for poor and marginalized groups and communities. In the longer-term, stable, equitable, and affordable access to WASH must be ensured to improve resilience against future pandemics and lift people out of poverty.

Protecting nature and water resources for people and planet:

COVID-19 highlights that our current relationship with nature and natural resources is not a sustainable one. In the recovery efforts from COVID-19, focus must be on establishing a new pact with nature that ensures the sustainable use of natural resources, including water resources, that meet the needs of people as well as those of the planet.

Integrated and holistic approaches to sustainable development:

Recovering from COVID-19 requires accelerated action across the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainable development. This is also true for achieving the SDGs, as well as other global agendas such as the Paris Climate Agreement. We will not achieve our goals if we continue working in siloed approaches and isolated sectors. Cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approaches need to become the new norm for sustainable development. Since water resource management is essential for most of our social, environmental and economic needs, it can be at the forefront of offering such innovative approaches.