Forum sessions were organized on six themes: water and migration; drought preparedness; financing mechanisms; water and nutrition; sustainable agriculture water use; and saline agriculture, with discussions relating to several SDGs.
In the ‘Praia Commitment,’ governments and stakeholders pledge to undertake 17 different actions to address water scarcity in agriculture.
22 March 2019: The first International Forum on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG) issued a commitment, which calls on governments and stakeholders worldwide to urgently adapt their agricultural and food systems to improve global food and water security. The Forum sought to identify practical solutions to water scarcity induced by climate change, focusing especially on challenges faced by small island developing States (SIDS) and West African countries.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Governments of Cabo Verde, Italy, and Switzerland convened the Forum in Praia, Cabo Verde, from 19-22 March 2019.
The Forum brought together 200 policymakers, scientists, and development professionals involved in issues of water scarcity in agriculture. Sessions were organized on six themes: water and migration; drought preparedness; financing mechanisms; water and nutrition; sustainable agriculture water use; and saline agriculture. Discussions related to several SDGs, especially SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 15 (life on land), and SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals).
The Forum provided a venue for discussions around the preparation for the ninth World Water Forum in 2021.
In the ‘Praia Commitment,’ governments and stakeholders pledge to undertake 17 different actions to address water scarcity in agriculture, including to: support farmers and farmers’ associations with improved access to financing and sound water management practices, while recognizing the value of their local and intergenerational knowledge; propose ways to “live with salinity,” and produce food from salinized areas; promote a culture of sustainable water use in agriculture through better water data; and identify criteria and indicators for sustainable agricultural water use.
The World Water Council noted that the Forum also provided a venue for discussions around the preparation for the ninth World Water Forum, which takes place in Dakar, Senegal, in 2021.
Governments, international organizations and stakeholders established the Global Framework on WASAG in April 2017 as a partnership to scale up responses to the threat of water scarcity in agriculture. WASAG was officially launched at the 22nd session of the Conference of Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC in Marrakesh, Morocco, and subsequently recognized by agriculture ministers of the G-20 in Bonn, Germany in January 2017. Its first Partners Meeting adopted the Rome Statement on Water Scarcity, and established an interim steering committee in April 2017. The 13th meeting of the COP to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September 2017 in Ordos, China, endorsed WASAG as a knowledge-sharing partnership to help countries develop their drought preparedness plans. WASAG Partners Meetings are hosted by FAO. [Praia Commitment] [FAO Webpage on WASAG] [WASAG Announcement] [WASAG Programme and Concept Note] [World Water Council News Post]