Asian water high level roundtable

The Water Corporation of South Korea (K-Water) has initiated a contribution to the scientific and technological process of the 7th World Water Forum (WWF) in the form of a special report (White Paper). To do this, K-Water has invited senior representatives from regional and national water management organizations from the Asian region to take part in this initiative in the format of the Asian water high level  roundtable (AWHoT).

The main AWHoT objective is to highlight the common water management issues in the Asian region and ways to solve them through the creation of a sustainable network of multilateral cooperation and finding a regional consensus, as well as AWHoT suggests contribute to the success of the 7 th World Water Forum.

AWHoT was set up during the Singapore International Water Week in June 2014, consisting of 15 members, including ADB, UNESCO, the World Bank, APWF, Mekong Commission, GWP and national representatives from Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Myanmar, Vietnam and South Korea. At the first meeting of the AWHoT there were discussed aspects of a common understanding of the regional water management issues in Asia.

The second meeting of AWHoT is dedicated to the International Water Week Nakdong River Basin in South Korea. The meeting was held on October 20-21 in Gyeongju - the capital of the future 7th WWF.

The meeting consisted of three sessions. During the first session of the meeting participants heard eight presentations on problems and prospects of water management in the region: Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal, Mongolia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Uzbekistan. Presentation on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan presented by the GWP CACENA Regional Coordinator Vadim Sokolov.

During the second session there was proposed a structure for the future report (White paper), which is supposed to present the 7 th World Water Forum, on behalf of AWHoT in April 2015. The common features are the presence in Asia of the political context of water issues, a crisis in all types of water uses, as well as the urgent need to find solutions for the future multi-purpose development of water management. The all members present unanimously agreed on the composition of the AWHoT’s future report, which will consist of two parts: 1 country profiles of problems and prospects in Asia, 2 pan-regional issues in Asia, including five themes:

a) Water infrastructure and financing (ADB team leader);
b) Water and Sanitation (Singapore team leader);
c) Problems of hydropower (Nepal team leader);
d) Cross-border cooperation - the Mekong river basin (Vietnam team leader);
e) Problems of aquatic ecosystems - the Aral Sea basin (Uzbekistan team leader).

During the third session, the Executive Director of the K-Water Institute, Mr. Choi presented the structure and format of national reports that each country should prepare for the next meeting of the AWHoT. At the invitation of Mr. Thapa, President of the Bagmati civilization association, the participants unanimously agreed that the third meeting of the AWHoT will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal in February 2015. This meeting should finalize the Asian country profiles and five thematic reports.