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Sustainable Development Goals: a water perspective – indicators, interlinkages and implementation

The Global Water System Project (GWSP) and its International Project Office (IPO) is organizing with financial support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) an international conference on Sustainable Development Goals: A water perspective.The conference will focus on the three “I”s – Indicators, Interlinkages, and Implementation.In the face of global change, sustainable development represents the major challenge for human development while dealing with the increased demand for scarce resources under environmental and socio-economic constraints. It is very strongly connected to the availability of sufficient and good quality water for the preservation of healthy ecosystems and is critical for socio-economic and human development. Water is and remains a crucial factor of adaptation to the intertwined challenges that humankind faces in the light of global change.

Currently, UN member states with the help of international community of experts, stakeholders and policy makers are involved in finalizing the formulation of sustainable development goals (SDGs). The emerging resolution includes a dedicated water goal addressing water resources management and service provision for sustainable development aims of societies, and promote human dignity. However, given several dimensions of water governance and management problems, there are several challenges related to the implementation of this goal, and particularly on how the targets could be monitored, their achievement measured and assessed. They also pose a number of conceptual as well as implementation challenges that will require enhancing the close collaboration between the policy and scientific communities and other stakeholders, including industry.

The conference intends to play a key role in helping the science community to interact with the international policy consultation process to inform, and catalyze action by key actors – including policymakers, non‐governmental organizations, the private sector, educators, and researchers as agents of change.

This conference will bring together available information, identify knowledge and action gaps, share lessons on viable instruments and approaches, facilitate networks, and create a platform for moving toward action on the SDGs. It will create an opportunity for co-production of knowledge, incubate ideas involving scientists and different stakeholders to be partners in the post-2015 development process, and develop knowledge-to-concrete actions and innovative solutions while implementing and monitoring the achievement of the SDGs.