Strengthening the international focus on sustainable water use

A report entitled 'A Matter of Survival' is on the table.
Launch of the final report of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace in Geneva. © Presence Switzerland FDFA

The SDC is working to ensure that the ‘water goal’ in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is implemented rapidly and that water is afforded greater prominence at the international level. Switzerland's actions are based on the firm belief and its own experience that the sustainable management of water resources is essential to promote social, economic and environmental development and to maintain global peace.

SDC Focus

International efforts have already given rise to major improvements, for example in relation to drinking water and sanitation services. However, the results are still insufficient. At present, 844 million people still lack access to clean water. Furthermore, one-third of the world's population is still living without adequate sanitation facilities.

The SDC is committed to strengthening the implementation of the ‘water goal’ enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Alongside a group of countries, the SDC is supporting global political dialogue to ensure that international obligations are met and specific activities undertaken that will help achieve this goal. With its many years of experience in water management, Switzerland is making a considerable contribution to identifying comprehensive transboundary solutions. Moreover, the SDC is strengthening the voice of young people in policy dialogue both regionally and globally, for they are the potential water specialists of the future.

Water management is a particularly complex issue and one which the international community is addressing: Switzerland possesses broad expertise in this field. As stretches of two major European rivers, the Rhône and the Rhine, flow through the country, and a number of lakes extend across its borders, Switzerland has long experience in transboundary water management and can assist in developing solutions for other parts of the world.

Background

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: a stand-alone ‘water goal’

Under the auspices of the SDC, Switzerland worked successfully together with a coalition of other countries to have water included as a stand-alone objective in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 6 covers the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems as well as access to drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene. A further objective is to promote cross-border cooperation between states in order to ensure comprehensive water resources management that involves all users at all levels.

Water and human development

If a reliable supply of drinking water and access to adequate sanitation services are guaranteed, the population is more likely to remain in good health, thus reducing medical costs, while healthier children mean lower school absenteeism rates. Water points located close to human settlements help save precious time – time otherwise devoted to fetching water, a task often assigned to women and children.

Water is also essential to ensuring the livelihoods of people in rural areas, producing food and energy, and driving growth in industry and the services sector.

Furthermore, shortages of water can give rise to tension or even conflicts. 153 states share rivers, groundwater reserves or lakes with one or more neighbouring countries. Rivalries over water therefore have direct repercussions for peace and security. By contrast, commonly agreed, peaceful management fosters peace and stability.

Documents

Current projects

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Capacity Building for Low Carbon and Climate Resilient City Development in India (CapaCITIES)

16.07.2019 - 15.07.2023

India is rapidly urbanizing. The growing Indian cities are affected by climate change but are also important emitters of greenhouse gases. Phase 2 of CapaCITIES aims at enabling climate responsive urban planning in eight cities and two states. Swiss expertise in waste management, transport, water and climate finance will support development of solutions for low-carbon and climate resilient cities. The results of the project in India will be shared through global reporting mechanisms and city coalitions.


Municipal environmental management

01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023

Based on its significant expertise in the field of sustainable waste and wastewater management Switzerland supports Bolivia in addressing its environmental challenges by consolidating models of sustainable management of wastewater treatment services and solid waste management for small and intermediate cities. In coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Water, it contributes to the implementation of public policies reinforcing the quality and efficiency of environmental services, involving local populations and institutions. This will reduce harmful effects on the health of the population.



DRR Backstopping services for Lima DRR Hub

01.03.2019 - 31.12.2022

It has been considered necessary and strategic for the Lima DRR and RR Hub to hire a backstopper in order to provide DRR technical assistance for specific actions in design, implementation and / or follow-up processes of Lima Hub. The backstopping activities will be aligned to the first two Programmatic Pillars of the DRR and RR Regional Concept for the Andean Region which are: Disaster Risk Reduction and Policy Dialogue.


Peru, Regional Hub Lima, Participation from Latin America - Carribean in Global DRR Platform - Geneva - May 13-17, 2019

01.03.2019 - 30.11.2019

From May 13 to 17, 2019, will be held in Geneva, the VI session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and will be hosted by the Government of Switzerland. In addition, the session will be cochaired by Switzerland and UNISDR. The GPDRR 2019 represents an opportunity for DRR partners in Latin America and the Caribbean as an important step in the process of capitalizing and consolidating contributions on DRR as relevant inputs for the Sendai Framework.


Small Actions Credit Line (Quick Impact)

01.03.2019 - 31.12.2021

The Small Actions Credit Line (Quick Impact) is a humanitarian instrument of the Swiss Embassy's cooperation office that allows a fast response to requests for moderate one-time funding of limited duration. It enables the Embassy's cooperation office in Lebanon to fund small scale development or humanitarian activities that addresses needs of refugees, IDPs, vulnerable migrants or communities at risk, supports the strategic strengthening of the portfolio of the Swiss Cooperation Strategy Middle East and which contribute to the visibility of Swiss presence in the region.


Peer to Peer Review: Towards systemic change for a water- secure world

01.02.2019 - 31.12.2030

Switzerland has a leading role in carving out solutions for the global water crisis. In order to better contribute to a water-secure world and strengthen the Swiss expertise in the water sector, synergies and alignment among strategic actors are needed. In that sense, this initiative applies a yearly peer to peer review mechanism focusing on mutual learning, innovative thinking and networking.


Water Security Middle East (Blue Peace)

01.02.2019 - 31.12.2021

In the Middle East, the dire situation of water resources demands stronger regional cooperation than ever before. The Blue Peace Middle East Initiative is the only regional platform engaging six countries around water issues. Together with its partners from academia, international organisations, civil society and the private sector, Switzerland is able to promote policy and concrete solutions for serving the most vulnerable populations leading to sustainable development and peace building. Stability in the region is in the interest of Switzerland.


Gestión integral del agua

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

In Bolivia, Switzerland has been supporting the Ministry of the Environment and Water in improving integrated water and watershed management for several years. In this last phase of the project, support is given to the consolidation and implementation of the “Plan Nacional de Cuencas” (National Watershed Plan) to ensure water security and increase the climate resilience of vulnerable populations. Consolidation includes better coordination among various state levels, sectors and institutions and the systematization and capitalization of experiences and results.


SDC Education Fund

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2021

As part of its increased commitment for Education and of the implementation of SDC’s Education Strategy, the SDC launches an Education Fund in order to incentivize innovation and the application of new approaches in basic education/vocational skills development and through educational activities across sectors. Innovation can have a catalytic effect on the effectiveness of programmes in and through education. Education is a core enabler for sustainable development and is an important lever in Switzerland’s commitment to promote human and economic development, peace and stability. 


Contribution to the International Secretariat for Water (ISW) - Solidarity Water Europe (SWE)

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2023

The International Secretariat for Water (ISW) supports and empowers civil society and youth to be active, recognized and credible stakeholders in decision-making around water and sanitation. It is recognized for its holistic and participatory approach involving wide networks of partners, including numerous Swiss-based organisations. The contribution aims to strengthen the strategic partnership with ISW in order to remain an efficient and innovative advocate for civil society and youth.


Transboundary waters governance for Sustainable Development and Blue Peace

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2021

With increasing tensions around the rarefication of water, Switzerland, with its central position within the European continent, has chosen the path of regional water cooperation. This programme relies on the synergistic expertise of three international partners. It endorses the approach that increasing regional dialogue and fostering joint management and financing for the shared water resources contributes to socio-economic development and regional stability in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

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