11 May 2016, Rotterdam, Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Seventh Meeting of the High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (7HELP) was held on 11 May, 2016, at Bilderberg Parkhotel Rotterdam, hosted by The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Kingdom of the Netherlands. Approximately 60 participants from HELP member organizations representing national governments, international organizations, civil societies and private sectors joined. Delegates of the governments who joined the Delta Coalition Ministerial Conference which was held on 10 May, 2016, also joined the High Level Dialogue on Water and Disasters. Dr. Keizirul bin Abdullah joined 7HELP as a chair person of NARBO, and Mr. Tadashige Kawasaki also joined as the representative of JWA and contributed to the discussions.
In advance of the meeting, field visit to Dordrecht was held on 10 May, 2016. Participants learnt the long history of flood management in the cities of the Netherlands. The old city of Dordrecht was protected by dykes, and some buildings for housing were constructed on the dykes to prevent flood damage. In addition, the smart way the residents in the cities were living by taking floods into consideration was seen through the field visit.
Photo of Field Visit on 10 May, 2016, at Dordrecht
7HELP was chaired by H.E. Ms. Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Kingdom of the Netherlands instead of Dr. Han, Seung-soo, Chair of HELP.
Firstly, 7HELP approved Dr. Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Public Works and Housing, Republic of Indonesia, to join HELP as a new member. Then, Minister Schultz moderated the High Level Dialogue on Water and Disasters and stressed the necessity to raise awareness of disaster prevention among policy makers, establish financing, and enhance investment for water including disaster reduction on water.
Following the High Level dialogue, HELP secretariat explained the relationship between HELP actions and the High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) established by the United Nations and the World Bank, and the Global Water Architecture (GWA). After the intensive discussions, HELP decided to contribute to HLPW and GWA more by applying to become a member of Water Friends group of HLPW after clarifying the role of HELP.
After lunch, discussions on Investment and Financing for Water-related Disasters, Drought and Climate Change, HELP’s actions to COP 22 and HABITAT III were held, and representative of the international organizations and governments shared their current studies. Regarding drought, HELP will issue the HELP’s Second Flagship Document, Special Issue of Water Policy on Drought. Through the discussions at 7HELP, it was decided that HELP would put together a group of volunteers who would draft a proposal on international architecture to be more concrete and practical about how to translate SDGs into actions. It was also agreed that HELP would go deeper into the financing discussions. Dr. Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Public Works and Housing of Indonesia, has kindly agreed to host the next meeting which will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The next meeting will be a good opportunity to increase the influence of NARBO among international society.
Photo of 7HELP meeting at Rotterdam
Chairperson of NARBO and H.E. Dr. Koji Ikeuchi, Vice-Minister for Engineering Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan exchanged their opinions on IWRM in Asia after the meeting. Dr. Ikeuchi mentioned that NARBO had been contributing to implement IWRM in the field as a front-runner and that it was well recognized in MLIT. Based on their conversation, it is expected that confidence in NARBO on IWRM in Asia will increase in the future.
Photo of exchanging opinions on IWRM between NARBO and MLIT