ECOSF Participated in the Virtual Dialogue on Valuing Water for a Stronger Pandemic Recovery

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As part of a series of events organized in the context of celebration of the World Water Day 2021, UNESCO Jakarta organized a regional experts’ discussion under the heading “Valuing Water for a Stronger Pandemic Recovery” on 20 April 2021, supported by the Government of Japan. The panellists suggested key elements be incorporated and considered for a stronger pandemic recovery.

With participation by over 50 members of the UNESCO water family, the online meeting introduced two case studies on water and COVID-19 – by the Regional Centre for Urban Water Management (Iran) and the UNESCO Chair at the Kazakh-German University (Kazakhstan) – along with regional perspectives on gender from COMSTECH (Pakistan) and watershed management at the Mae Sa-Kog Ma Biosphere Reserve (Thailand).

The panellists delivered their presentations focused on the impacts of and response to the pandemic across different sectors. They recommended the need for new thinking as the region emerges towards a new normal. COVID-19 has brought the importance of adaptable planning to the forefront.

Experts underscored the need for better planning and management need to be advocated at all levels and sectors, including urban planning, business, education and research, as well as protected areas. Incorporating women’s perspectives, knowledge, and values in water management may also enhance the resiliency of planning and serve as a key enabler in a stronger pandemic recovery. The experts concluded that pandemic has necessitated an innovative reorganization of learning and teaching modalities in water education, demonstrated by how the COVID-19 crisis response has brought with it innovation and new thinking.

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