The World Water Forum took place, last week, on the 22nd to the 27th of March 2022, in Dakar, and highlighted the urgency to allow for the sustainable management of water to achieve the sustainable development goals. As stated by the latest IPCC report, water systems are under significant stress due to climate change and other external factors such as pollution, overpopulation, and consumption patterns.

The goal of the government of Senegal and the World Water Council, was for the Forum to be a catalyst for action on commitments on water and sanitation, a Forum connected with the SDG agendas, and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The forum’ stakeholders, and the Senegal government, made a strong call within the summit’s Dakar Declaration, to adopt sustainable and integrated management plans to preserve water resources and ecosystems and ensure resilience to climate change and demographic pressures. It called for paying particular  attention  to  water  issues  in  bilateral  and multilateral cooperation, including at sub-regional, regional and international levels.

Regions4’s representative, Mr. Badara Samb, from the region of Louga in Senegal, was present at the Forum to represent the voice of regional governments notably African governments and insure for their recognition within the declaration of the forum discussions.

He intervened in several sessions, notably in a session regarding the launch of an initiative for financing climate action for African regional governments, and stressed the impacts of climate change on regional and local governments. He explained how regional governments are responding to the crisis and presented the work that Regions4’s climate initiative, RegionsAdapt, is undertaking to help regions build capacity and knowledge.

Regions4 called for more south to south and north to south support to raise the capacity of African regions in responding to climate change and protect and manage water systems. The Region of Louga, organized an important strategic meeting with Limoges Metropole, SAUR, Agence de l’eau Loire Bretagne and others, to look at how to strengthen decentralized cooperation between French regions and their water agencies, and the region of Louga. This type of cooperation are effective mechanisms that can be replicated to address and support African regions to gain capacity and knowledge to address some of the current climate impacts.

Mr. Samb, also made a call for all regions, notably regional government from Africa, to join the initiative RegionsAdapt and the Race to Resilience so as to show the work of non-government stakeholders within the climate conventions to raise ambitions and accelerate action on adaptation and resilience.

He stressed, that allowing for African Regions to be better equipped and armed to answer the current stresses on their water resource is particularly important in the lead of the climate convention COP27, that will take place in November this year in Egypt.

Consult the Dakar Declaration : Dakar declaration | 9th World Water Forum