Unesco holds water workshop
Following the El Niño dry spell earlier this year and the recent urban flooding, it’s very apparent that Cebu has a water problem – either small or big.
Cebu’s water problem is not new either, but climate change and an increasing demand for water due to the rapid urbanization of the metropolitan area has rendered the situation even more critical.
It was timely then that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) teamed up with Mega Cebu and other local partners to organize an International Workshop on Water Tariffs, Water Governance and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.-Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center last August 10 to 12 to bring together international and Filipino participants to discuss important issues pertaining to water.
International resource persons from South Korea, Australia, Portugal, Indonesia and Malaysia shared their experiences from their respective countries and other areas. Local speakers from Cebu, Manila, Davao and Zamboanga also discussed their experiences and approaches in water resources management.
Participants of the workshop came from the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board, national government and regional line agencies, water districts from Cebu and outside of Cebu, local government units, universities, the private sector, and nongovernment organizations. They were separated into smaller discussion groups to have more in-depth discussions on specific water issues such as water pricing and tariffs, challenges of water governance, IWRM for sustainability, and climate change, and propose multi-pronged solutions to address the challenges.
Unesco Jakarta has expressed willingness to support Mega Cebu as it continues to bring together various stakeholders to find solutions to overcome the water problem.
The Unesco-Mega Cebu partnership may then, in the future, serve as a reference for other city-regions in Asia.
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