Decentralised cooperation for sustainable water management and sanitation between European regional, local authorities with their counterparts across the globe is key to help localise sustainable development goals, stakeholders say.
“Faced with the urgency of the global climate crisis, many regions in the world face more frequent, severe, and longer lasting extreme weather events, water cycle and temperature changes, or sea level rise putting people’s livelihoods and ecosystems under additional stress,” the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell and the European Commission’s environment, oceans and fisheries boss Virginijus Sinkevičius said in a joint statement a month ago, on World Water Day.
“Based on our long experience of transboundary water management, the EU strongly encourages and where possible directly supports increased cooperation and transparency in water governance at all levels,” they added.
However, an often overlooked benefit of engagement across the EU’s borders between municipalities is how decentralised development cooperation can alleviate water stress at home, an increasing problem in Europe.
Currently, only 40% of Europe’s surface water bodies have achieved a good ecological status, the European Environment Agency’s data has revealed.
Vanesa Corrales Argumánez from Fons Mallorquí, the Majorcan fund for solidarity and cooperation, said her organisation is working on helping to develop indicators to measure their contribution to achieving the UN’s water-related goals.
However, their work in Bolivia and Burkina Faso has implications at home where the island’s freshwater reserves are limited.
“We are sharing these metrics and these indicators with local authorities here, in Majorca,” Argumánez said, adding that the ultimate goal is to develop a common approach to water issues.
“It’s also an old tradition of alliances that we have been developing between local authorities and here in Majorca and in the South,” she added.
There is much to learn, since often municipalities and regions in the global South have more developed strategic plans than their counterparts in Europe, often required by international aid institutions.
Read full article at: EURACTIV.com