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Future, what we want to be.
-Brief report on NARBO 10-Year Anniversary Meeting -


Tadashige Kawasaki
NARBO Secretariat




What happened in Manila?

  NARBO held the 10th Anniversary Event on 19-20 November, 2014 at the Oakwood Hotel, in Manila, Philippines. Approximately 100 delegates including the respective resource speakers from 40 member organizations joined the Event, celebrated NARBO’s 10th Anniversary by reviewing our achievements and discussed the future direction of NARBO.


[Day 1: November 19]

  Day 1 was the day of celebration. At the opening, introductory remarks were offered by Dr. Naoyuki Yoshino, Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). Following the remarks, keynote speeches to celebrate NARBO were offered by Dr. Olivia La O'Castillo, Member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Deputy Director and Senior Science Program Specialist, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Dr. Kenzo Hiroki, Director of Water Resources Planning Division, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Government of Japan and Member of UNSGAB.

  Dr. Gil-Hong Kim, Senior Director, Sustainable Infrastructure Division (RSID), Regional and Sustainable Development Department (RSDD), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Dr. Keizrul Bin Abdullah, Chairperson of NARBO offered the speech at the awarding ceremony for contributors to NARBO activities and awarded 18-selected NARBO members including the Secretariat, ADB, ADBI and JWA with the plaques of appreciation. At this session, announcement of the appointment to new Vice-Secretary Generals of NARBO, Ms. Yasmin Sadia Siddiqi, Principal Water Resources Specialist, RSID, RSDD, ADB and Dr. Kentaro Kido, Director, International Affairs Division, Water Resources Engineering Department, Japan Water Agency (JWA) was also released.

  Before closing the program of Day 1, the video clip which introduced NARBO’s achievements was aired and interaction session was held to note opinions from the participants. Many useful and helpful opinions and observations for the future activities of NARBO were presented.


[Day 2: November 20]

   Day 2 had a special lecture and two high-level panel sessions after the introductory remarks by Mr. Herman Idrus, Vice-Chairperson, NARBO/President Director, Perum Jasa Tirta II Public Corporation. In the special lecture, Mr. Fraser MacLeod, Head of Global Projects, Global Water Partnership expressed that about 80 % of countries globally had embedded IWRM into their policies and plans. However, there were still some 80 countries that had not publicly stated. In order to overcome this situation, broad alliances and working together should be committed and the biggest challenge was explaining IWRM in a minute to a non-expert in a way that can s/he can pass it on.

   Session 1 focused on ‘What Has Been Achieved by NARBO’ by four panelists who were Ms. Doan Thi Tuyet Nga, Deputy Director, Department of Technology and International Cooperation, Directorate of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development (MARD), Vietnam, Dr. Mochammad Amron, Senior Advisor, NARBO/Former Director General of Water Resources, Ministry of Public Works, Indonesia, Dr. Apichart Anukularmphai, Senior Advisor, NARBO/President, Thailand Water Resources Association (TWRA) and Mr. Juichi Kamimura, Secretary General, NARBO, moderated by Mr. Wouter T. Lincklaen Arriëns, Senior Advisor, NARBO. Major outcomes of Session-1 were as follows;

NARBO has helped networking horizontally and vertically and sharing of many IWRM experiences through the network.

NARBO promoted RBOs etc. to change their mindsets and perception of WRM with the enhanced WRM, i.e. IWRM, and helped incorporate it in their policies and master plans, and institutionalize IWRM process into governments and improve involvement and collaborative works at community level.

Changes in IWRM perception came not only from not water sectors but also people outside the water sectors.

NARBO developed new tools; Benchmarking Peer Review and IWRM Guidelines and utilized them for RBO capacity buildings. Other activities including Twining Program and Thematic Workshop worked well.

   Session 2 centered intensively on ‘Future NARBO’ by seven panelists who were Prof. Mikiyasu Nakayama, Division of Environmental Studies, University of Tokyo, Dr. Gil-Hong Kim, Ms.Tshewang Lhamo, Environment Officer, National Environment Commission, Bhutan, Dr. Kentaro Kido, Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Mr. Takashi Matsuo, Director of Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division, South, Asia Department, ADB and Mr. Akmal Siddiq, Director of Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division, Central and West Asia Department, ADB, moderated by Dr. Kezrul Bin Abdullah. Major outcomes of Session-2 were as follows;


There are countries which need NARBO‘s assistance in knowledge sharing and capacity building since IWRM is a new concept in these countries (i.e. Bhutan). NARBO should share more experiences and technologies on water, involve knowledge partners and knowledge hubs, work on different challenge areas, build on what we have done and shift to higher gear in the next decade.

Water sharing principle including transboundary water allocation has not been common yet. NARBO should extend its network and collaboration to the area where the problems arose.

New knowledge should be produced (ground water management, transboundary waters, urban water supply, water quantity and quality, climate change mitigation and adaptation, etc.)

There is not much emphasis on gender equality in IWRM process. The gender issues/roles should be tackled in the future NARBO activities.
Mentoring program to develop youth leaders should be incorporated into the future NARBO activities.

All RBO members should have a strong sense of ownership of their activities.

   Ms. Marisha Wojciechowska-Shibuya, Water Resources Writer (Consultant) for ADB for the NARBO's 10th Anniversary Report, assumed a role of a rapporteur to promote the discussions in Session-1 and 2.

   Summary of the discussions above, presentation materials of the speakers and panelist will be put on the database of NARBO soon (http;).


What are NARBO’s achievements?/How should NARBO take actions for the future?

  Based on the summary of what were discussed and recommended, ‘Manila Declaration’ was released as one of the outcome documents of the Event. NARBO’s achievements and its future directions will be summarized and launched at the 7th World Water Forum in April, 2015 as “A Decade of NARBO Achievements (2004-2014)” including the discussions and recommendations at the NARBO 10th Anniversary Event.





Group Photo
Discussions in Session 2
Reading out ‘Manila Declaration’ by ADB Youth Group