Water and Beyond session event “With knowledge and skills: water as the engine for economic development and jobs”

Water and Beyond: EU transformative approaches for international partnerships was hosted by the European Commission DG-DEVCO and the Government of Slovenia, with the support of Government of Portugal as the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The event was addressed to policy-makers, decision makers who can contribute to ensuring the availability and sustainability management of water and sanitation for all. Water is linked on various levels including an environmental or social perspective. Therefore, water stress and the lack of decent work can exacerbate security challenge. Water is, therefore, essential to decent jobs as well as sustainable development. In mean way the research and studies show a growing lack of qualified workers in the water and water-related sectors.

On Wednesday 20 January 2021 the Session 5 titled “With knowledge and skills: water as the engine for economic development and jobs” was organised by UNESCO and Women for Water Partnership”.

Murray Bieder, UNESCO and Lesha Witmer, Women for Water Partnership, opened the session and introduced the first keynote speakers.

Michela Miletto, UNESCO, WWAP Coordinator introduced Driver for Employment and sustainable growth. She said that 3 out of 4 jobs that make up the entire global workforce are water-dependent.

Prof Moshood Tijani, African Minister’s Council on Water introduced the background in water resources and jobs and analysed capacity building gaps and the implication for decision making.

Afterwards, the PoVE Water, Young Water Solutions, ILO, Union for the Mediterranean and JRC, EU Scinces Hub in this panel discussion speakers gave a review of curricula as well of how water can create economic development and growth.

Pieter Hoekstra and Erna van der Werff, introduced PoVE Water main results of the project so far. They highlighted that “current and future water sector professional have the work attitude, knowledge, and competences that the rapid changing EU Water industry demand.”

Antonella Vagliete, introduced Young Water Fellowship and main aims on how to empower early-stage young entrepreneurs from low and middle income countries to set up social businesses that can trackle water, sanitation, and hygiene and water scarcity issues.

Almotaz Abadi introduced showcase commitment by the government from an institutional and stakeholders side.

Lastly, a parallel session of break out groups discussed two key thematic issues and allowed reflection on water cooperation and role of water in education engagement.

Event presentation will available soon at this link.


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