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Friday , January 13 2017
2017 Season's Greetings from GIWEH’s Director General

Dear all,

Water issues are not to be tackled by a single region or nation but require global solidarity and joint countermeasures. Interested parties (governments, academia, the private sector and civil society) strive to find solutions to address global water challenges. With this in mind, the strategic goal of the Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health (GIWEH) is to strengthen its contribution to the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda through a focus on integrated water resources management, water governance as well as on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6 “Clean Water and Sanitation” and its relation to the other SDGs.

In 2016, GIWEH started implementing its 5-year strategic plan to integrate water as a tool for inclusive growth and sustainable environment. We are devoted to target the most vulnerable groups of society and to create “green” jobs for the youth through raising awareness on water management and investing in innovative technologies for agriculture and irrigation. With these aims we promote human security, justice and equity.

Additionally, GIWEH managed to achieve its second phase of development by having extended its strong network, created a national and international cooperative database that withholds targeted information and networking events, and by having built upon GIWEH’s corporate identity. The area of GIWEH’s work extended in 2016 from the Middle East to North and East Africa (especially the Great Lakes Region), the Caucasian region, Europe and Asia.

2016 was a very fruitful year; GIWEH was consistently represented in national and international water key events. At the local level, GIWEH showed strong commitment and was actively engaged with the Swiss Water Partnership (SWP) and its activities. At the European level GIWEH took part in the European Union activities and strategies concerning smart water as well as water security in The Hague, Holland and Brussels, Belgium. At the international level, GIWEH had the great honor to be elected as a member of the Board of Council of Asia Water Council. It was also nominated as a member of the International Steering Committee of the 8th World Water Forum to be held in Brazil March 2018.

As a result, and even more this year, GIWEH continued to participate, co-organize and/or be a member of key water events and initiatives including:

  • The OECD Water Governance Initiative (WGI) as a member
  • Asia Water Council as the vice chair person of the Knowledge Base and Dissemination Special Committee and as a Board of Council member
  • The World Water Council as a member
  • The 8th World Water Forum 2017, as a member of the International Steering Committee of the Citizen Process, co-organizing the event
  • Budapest Water Submit 2016, as the organizers and participants of an expert meeting: “Using international law to implement and monitor SDG 6.5; 6.6 and 6b”
  • Singapore International Water Week, presenting our project “Asia Dynamic Hub for Water: the power of information”
  • Stockholm International Water Week, with a delegation of 10 participants
  • Conference of the Parties 22 (COP22), representing the civil society’s voice on water issues
  • Korea Water Forum, as speakers and coordinators for the organization of the event
  • The 1st General Assembly of Asia Water Council in Bali, Indonesia, as a member and the vice chair person of the Knowledge Base and Dissemination Special Committee
  • The 2nd World Irrigation Forum in Thailand
  • The 1st Kick-off meeting of the 8th World Water Forum in Brazil as member of the International Steering Committee of the Citizen Process
     

GIWEH’s Main Projects of 2016:

We launched and initiated three projects in Tunisia:

  • Water for Rural Development in Tunisia
  • Building the Capacity of Water Users Association
  • Planning GIWEH’s 4th International Conference on Water Resources and Environment (ICWRE) to be held in 2017

We also continued our work with dedication in the following projects:

  • Monitoring Freshwater in Kenya
  • Geographic Information System (GIS): Monitoring the SDGs’ implementation
  • Asia Dynamic Hub for Water: the power of information
     

GIWEH has completed its ninth year as a Swiss, non-profit, policy research institute as well as a dynamic think-tank fostering local and regional cooperation. We have enhanced technical abilities and capacity building of different stakeholders and worked closely with the most vulnerable groups of society to target the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We have created and nurtured a vibrant community to research how virtual reality tools can affect decisions about water governance and water resources management.

We are determined to make sure that research findings do not stay locked away in academia but reach the people who can most benefit from them. Therefore we will keep working closely with policymakers and business leaders to bring academic findings to decision makers.
We are grateful and appreciative of the support of our donors, partners, collaborators and friends. As you read about the achievements of the institute, we hope that you agree that GIWEH is making a real difference.

Dr. Nidal Salim
Director General of the Global Institute for Water Environment and Health