Speech Of UNESCO Representative In Pakistan

Representative of UNESCO Pakistan, Ms. Patricia McPhillips speech Launching of Reports

Speech of Director General UNESCO Ms. Patricia Mcphillips
  1. UN World Water Development 2020 & Groundwater Investigations
  2. Mapping in the Lower Indus Plain and Consultation on Development of Groundwater Management Plan in Pakistan Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to be here today and partake in the launch of the these important reports.

 Excellency Mr. Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Science and Technology
 Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman, PCRWR
 Mr. Muhammad Nawaz, USAID
 Mr. Farid Alam, Director Programs, The Asia Foundation

Dear scientists, teachers, students and colleagues, Today, we are here to launch two important reports:

  1. UN World Water Development Report 2020.
  2. Mapping in the Lower Indus Plain and Consultation on the Development of a Groundwater Management Plan in Pakistan Indeed, today more than ever, water, its use and management, require local and global discussion, strategies and actions. As Dr. Ashraf has already briefed on the mapping and groundwater report, I will highlight the UN World Water Development Report 2020. UNESCO releases the UN World Water Development Report each year on behalf of UN-Water, with contributions from UN entities. The 2020 edition of the World Water Development Report entitled ‘Water and Climate Change’ aims at helping the water community tackle the challenges of climate change and informing the climate change community of the opportunities that improved water management offer in terms of adaptation and mitigation.

Key messages of the report are:

  1. Climate change challenges the sustainability of water resources, which are already under severe pressure in many regions of the world, including but not limited to, fires, floods and droughts, etc.
  2. Water is the ‘climate connector’ that allows for greater collaboration and coordination across the majority of targets for sustainable development such as:
     2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs
     climate change (Paris Agreement)
     disaster risk reduction (Sendai Framework)
  1. While the need to address climate change through water is well recognized, this is not being translated into concrete action. Lobby efforts and climate funds offer opportunities to provide financing and support for critical water initiatives.

The alteration of the water cycle pose risks for energy production, food security, human health, economic development and poverty reduction, thus seriously jeopardizing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 2020 United Nations World Water Development Report focuses on the challenges, opportunities and potential responses to climate change, in terms of adaptation, mitigation and improved resilience that can be addressed through improving water management.

Combining climate change adaptation and mitigation through water, is a win-win plan, improving the provision of the water supply and sanitation services and combating both the causes and impacts of climate change, including disaster risk reduction.

Over the last few years, UNESCO under its Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme, with our partners, have increased the capacity of stakeholders in flood early warning systems, rainwater harvesting and wastewater management. With our partners we are presently working on developing guidelines for Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) for Pakistan. UNESCO is ready to assist Pakistan in challenges related to water security.

The scientific evidence is clear: the climate is changing and will continue to change, and this change is affecting water availability and, as we all know, water equates life. Climate change will affect the availability, quality and quantity of water for basic human needs and survival.

I would like to congratulate PCRWR and other partners for coordinating and organizing this event. I wish you a fruitful consultation on the groundwater management plan that is very important for the country.

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