25 April 2022

In Japanese Kumamoto, the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit began its work

On April 23 of this year, the Asia-Pacific Water Summit, the largest conference of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum, began its work in Kumamoto, Japan.

The Asia-Pacific Water Forum was created in 2006 at the initiative of Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to promote sustainable water management to achieve the Millennium Development Goals – 8 priority development goals. Among these priorities are improving public access to clean and drinking water, improving water infrastructure, restoring river basins and water bodies, and other areas.

The Summit was attended by Heads of State, Heads of Government, Heads of relevant Ministries, representatives of the private sector and international public organizations from 49 countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade S. Umurzakov presented the Republic of Uzbekistan at the event.

The theme of this year’s Summit is “Water for Sustainable Development: Best Practices for the Next Generations.” The event is intended to facilitate the exchange of best practices and the discussion of topical issues related to the use and distribution of water resources, taking into account the need to ensure the water security of the region and the needs of the population for drinking water.

The Summit was moderated by Yoshiru Mori, Chairman of the Joint Executive Committee of the Asia-Pacific Water Summit, President of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum, and President of the Japan Water Forum.

For reference: The Japan Water Forum, formed in 2004, serves as the secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum. Its objectives are to conduct research and make recommendations in the field of global water problems, to promote familiarization with the know-how and technologies accumulated in Japan related to effective water use, as well as to develop cooperation between stakeholders in the field of water resources in Japan and abroad. The corporate members of the Japan Water Forum are 85 leading Japanese companies. The forum is a consolidating platform for attracting investments in the water sector and expanding regional cooperation in this area.

During the opening of the Summit, which was held in a hybrid format, Emperor of Japan Naruhito spoke about the country’s experience in promoting mechanisms for the effective use of water resources, and outlined Japan’s national priorities in further promoting multilateral cooperation in this area.

At the end of the opening ceremony, meetings of the heads of delegations of the countries participating in the Summit, as well as other events included in its business program, were held.

An important item was the high-level plenary meeting, during which key issues on the agenda of the event were discussed. Speaking at the meeting, S. Umurzakov voiced Uzbekistan’s position on solving the existing problems in the use of water resources in the Central Asia region. It is noted that the country has developed and approved the Strategy for Water Resources Management and Development of the Irrigation Sector for 2021-2023, as well as the Concept for the Development of the Water Sector until 2030, providing for the large-scale introduction of water-saving technologies and high-tech systems in agriculture and industrial enterprises of the country. Particular emphasis was also placed on the current challenges posed by the Aral crisis and the measures taken by the Government of Uzbekistan to overcome them. In addition, proposals were put forward to create a platform for the younger generation within the framework of the Summit and an effective mechanism for the exchange of experience, information and strategies in the field of reducing water consumption and effective water use in agriculture.

In this vein, the importance of the practical activities of the Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Human Security for the Aral Sea region was emphasized, bearing in mind the implementation of projects to improve the economic situation in the region, improve the quality of life of the population and overcome the environmental consequences of the drying of the Aral Sea.

Following the first day of the Summit, the Kumamoto Declaration was adopted and announced, containing specific proposals for transforming society and its orientation to improve the quality of life, supporting efforts to increase investment and human capacity-building, as well as expanding regional cooperation and resource mobilization and existing tools for multilateral cooperation on water issues in the countries participating in the Summit.

The declaration also called on the scientific and technical community of the countries of the region to unite efforts to develop and implement innovations in the field of water management, taking into account specific climatic, geographical, national conditions to solve water problems.

The summit will continue its work on April 23 and 24. During the two-day event, 9 parallel thematic sessions, sectional exhibitions, as well as 4 integrated sessions are planned.