Myanmar hosted its fifth successful World Water Day celebration on 22 February, with addresses from key dignitaries and a thematic workshop focused around the theme ‘Nature for Water’.
The celebration, held a month in advance of World Water Day which falls on 22 March, was organised by the Myanmar Government’s National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) and Advisory Group of NWRC and attended by representatives from Myanmar, Australia, Korea, China and the Netherlands.
The event was opened by the Vice President H.E Henry Van Thio, who reiterated the importance of adequate preparation for future challenges related to the sustainability of water resources.
AWP Chair, Kaye Schofield AO, also delivered a congratulatory keynote address via video link, commending Myanmar’s NWRC on a successful year.
“Though sadly I can’t be there in person this year, I extend to Vice President Van Thio my congratulations for the many achievements of the NWRC,” she said.
“Australia has been honoured to be a water partner with Myanmar since 2015… We look forward to continuing our joint work with Myanmar and for Myanmar, and the World.”
Opening congratulatory addresses were also provided by others supporting Myanmar in their comprehensive water efforts, including the World Bank, Government of the Netherlands, Government of China, Government of the Republic of Korea, and UNICEF.
During the 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit which was held in Yangon, Myanmar, on 11-12 Dec 2017, a ‘Yangon Declaration’ was unanimously adopted by the Summit participants. The key messages which came out of the Yangon Declaration were discussed during one of the World Water Day sessions, as participants explored approaches to move forward with implementing the recommendations.
The other main output of the day was focused on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals in Myanmar, as it works collaboratively with all sectors to develop a Myanmar Action Plan for the International Decade for Action, Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028). The Myanmar Action Plan will be presented by a delegation from Myanmar at the upcoming World Water Forum in Brasilia, Brazil, on 18-23 March.
Tarek Ketelson, AWP’s Myanmar Coordinator, attended the event and said that the World Water Day celebration was a huge success.
“The World Water Day celebration was a great opportunity for people from diverse sectors and geographies to come together to celebrate the enormous progress Myanmar is making in sustainable water management,” said Ketelsen.
“It was great to take stock of what has been achieved and to ensure this passion and momentum continues into 2018 and beyond.”