Australia offers expertise in water sector
Acting Deputy High Commissioner of the Australian High Commission Mr Dave Preston has urged Pakistan’s vibrant private sector to explore collaboration with the Australian companies that have expertise in the water sector.
More than one-thousand Australian companies are operating in this area. They have expertise and technologies that can help Pakistan tackle challenges such as improving water supply for cities, water harvesting and recycling, and ensuring efficient agricultural water management and distribution. Mr Dave Preston gave these opening remarks in a seminar titled “Nexus Matters – Institutionalizing the Water-Energy-Food Narrative in Sindh Province”.
The Australian Government and The Asia Foundation, in collaboration with the HISSAR Foundation, organized a seminar on “Nexus Matters – Institutionalizing the Water-Energy-Food Narrative in Sindh Province”. The event was attended by civil society partners, policymakers, academia, and media representatives to stress on the nexus thinking as a way forward for socioeconomic and sustainable development in Pakistan.
Nisar A. Memon – Chairman, Water Environment Forum Pakistan, in his keynote address presented on the Global Perspective on Water Energy Food Nexus and emphasized for better understanding and coordination among the institutions.
For institutionalizing the Water Energy Food Narrative in Sindh province, the panel discussion identified the priority areas for engaging relevant stakeholders around the nexus narrative in Sindh. Dr Fateh Marri – Chief Economist and Project Coordinator, Planning and Development Department, Government of Sindh spoke about Sindh’s readiness on meeting the nexus sectors and how the provincial government departments can effectively collaborate to find solutions and the need for applied research to achieve these.
Afia Salam, Environmental Journalist stressed the role of media in promoting WEF and that media has to ensure that a well-researched narrative is promoted. Mr Syed Mahmood Nawaz Shah – Vice President, Sindh Abadgar Board expressed that the small-scale farmers have to be empowered with an understanding of the WEF nexus and the farmer organizations have to be revolutionized in order to achieve that. Favad Soomro – Director, Engro Foundation highlighted the potential of the private sector for finding solutions through unique and innovative products and through increasing market access and investment in the critical sectors of water, energy, and food. Dr Mahmood Akhtar Cheema – Country Representative, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added that for the adoption of the WEF approach in Pakistan, the global best practices have to be adapted to the local context which requires investment in WEF research and development capacity of our universities.
Wrapping up the seminar, Farid Alam stressed that ‘Nexus Thinking’ is the only way forward for achieving sustainable development in the country. The Asia Foundation will support the provincial governments and civil society partners to bring different stakeholders together for improved governance around the nexus and integrated management of WEF resources at the provincial level. NNI