Strengthening youth involvement in the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar

On the occasion of the 5th General Assembly of the World Youth Parliament for Water and one year before the next World Water Forum (WWForum) in Dakar, ISW-SWE is committed to concrete actions in favor of greater participation of young people in the preparation and holding of this flagship event of the water sector.

Participation of ENGEES students in the Forum’s consultative process

On March 19th, the ISW-SWE co-organized a workshop with a group of students from ENGEES, the School of Water and Environmental Engineering in Strasbourg

The aim of this day was to allow young people to take part in the Consultative Process of the 9th World Water Forum (Dakar, 22-26 March 2022), by formulating proposals and recommendations on one of the 23 action plans proposed by the Forum’s thematic working groups. More specifically, the students worked on theme 1F: Building resilience to climate change and natural disasters.

This action plan highlighted the importance of better balancing “green and grey” infrastructure (1), building resilience through strategic planning, capacity building, and knowledge, and increasing funding and experience sharing in climate project development.

Through the critical analysis of this action plan, the students highlighted the following proposals:

  • Do not separate “hard” and “soft” solutions (2), but rather systematically integrate them into projects;
  • Provide more funding for climate change adaptation strategies and promote capacity-building mechanisms accessible to all project leaders, including in the most vulnerable areas;
  • Not to evacuate the reflections related to the mitigation of climate change in front of the measures related to adaptation;
  • Make more room for citizen science (3) for data collection;
  • Make sure to systematically clarify the objectives of the projects and provide tools to evaluate and measure the results, both for hard and soft solutions.

 

The students’ recommendations were then incorporated into the consultative process form; it will be up to the Forum’s Action Groups to take into consideration the contributions received through the consultative process and incorporate them into their action plans. Once finalized, the document will serve as a basis for further preparation of the Forum and will contribute to the definition of the various thematic sessions to be held in Dakar.

The organization of this workshop was made possible thanks to the participation of:

  • Sandra Nicolle, ENGEES
  • Joana Guerrin and Sara Fernandez (UMR Geste – INRAE)
  • Edouard Boinet, Global Alliances for Water and Climate (GAfWaC)

Notes :

1) Grey infrastructure includes man-made infrastructure for water resources, such as water and wastewater treatment plants, pipelines, and reservoirs. Green infrastructure can be broadly defined as a strategic network of high-quality natural and semi-natural areas and other environmental features that are designed and managed to provide multiple ecosystem services and protect biodiversity in rural and urban environments.

2) We call “hard” solutions, the use of material and physical infrastructures (dams, concrete dykes, treatment plants…) as opposed to “soft” solutions, which are more focused on the implementation of systems to ensure the proper functioning of the service (regulations, staff training, awareness and involvement of the population…)

3) The term “citizen science” or “participatory science” refers to forms of scientific knowledge production in which non-scientific-professional actors – whether individuals or groups – actively and deliberately participate.

Organization of a session “Mobilizing the voice of youth for the 9th World Water Forum” during the online GA of the World Youth Parliament for Water.

This session was organized by the 9th WWF Youth Steering Committee and the Youth Delegates of the World Water Council and aimed at sharing ways for young people to take an active part in the preparation of the 9th World Water Forum and to make their voices heard.

Speakers highlighted several opportunities for young people to participate directly in the preparatory process of the Forum, including:

  • Participate in the consultative process and give their opinion on the action plans proposed by the different working groups of the Forum;
  • To have its project labeled within the framework of the “Dakar 2021” initiative aimed at promoting exemplary projects in the water sector;
  • Organize parallel events to the Forum in order to mobilize and bring together young people;
  • To engage in the concrete implementation of the recommendations that will emerge from the Forum.

This session, which brought together about 50 participants, included presentations by:

  • Fatimatou Sall, 9th WWF Secretariat, 9th WWF Youth Steering Committee
  • Philipp Kruse, Youth Delegate – Europe, World Water Council
  • Karishma Asoodani, Youth Delegate – Asia and Pacific, World Water Council
  • Mamadou Guissé, Secretariat of the 9th WWF

The recording of this session will soon be available on the ISW youtube channel.

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