UNDP urges enhanced impact measurement and sustainability of Pacific Regional Water Project

02 Aug 2012

(Nadi, Fiji) - Will effective management of water resources in the Pacific form part of the region’s response to climate change? Have the needs of girls and women been adequately met through a regional project on water resource management? Are the results of the project translating into policy?

Toily Kurbanov, the Acting United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative (UNDP) raised these issues at a regional meeting to take stock of the integrated water resource management (IWRM) demonstration projects funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) earlier this week.

“There is a lot of talk these days about climate change and most of it happens to be around the doom and gloom scenario for Pacific island countries. However I believe, and have no doubt, that Pacific Islanders will effectively respond to and overcome this new challenge as well, garnering and mobilizing your internal resources and inner strengths of Pacific societies. Therefore the big question in front of us is: will IWRM become part of the region’s integrated response to the dangers posed by climate change?” he said.

Mr Kurbanov said that the regional project “Implementing Sustainable Water Resources and Wastewater Management in Pacific Island Countries” had been active since the past three years, and should increase its focus on three key points in its remaining years: impact of its national projects, their sustainability and meeting the needs of women and girls.

Through the regional project, 13 national projects are being undertaken in 12 countries. The projects are executed regionally through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC). The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are implementing agencies.

Mr Kurbanov emphasized the need to measure the impact of national demonstration projects designed to show the practical benefits of integrated water resources and wastewater management.

“We should bear in mind that beneficiaries of this crucial information won’t be just us, the implementing partners and Regional Steering Committee, but also the much broader constituency of development practitioners and policy makers in the Pacific.”

He urged the project team to measure the impact of its projects, ensure their sustainability and meet the needs of women and girls.

The 4th regional Steering Committee meeting of the Integrated Water Resource Management Project ends tomorrow.