World Water Day 2016 Cambodia

World Water Day 2016

“Water and Jobs”

At Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center, March 26, 2016


1- Background and Introduction

Water is arguably one of the most precious resources of our planet. From 50 to 90 percent of the weight of living organisms, including human being is water. Without water life would be impossible on Earth.

Water scarcity is a major global challenge. According to WHO and UNICEF, more than one in six people worldwide – 894 million – don’t have access to this amount of safe freshwater. FAO predicted that by 2025, 1 800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.

As a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The International World Water Day was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, UN-Water — the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation — sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge.

The theme in 2016 is Water and jobs. Under the theme ‘Water and Jobs’, the year 2016 provides an important opportunity to consolidate and build upon the previous World Water Days to highlight the two-way relationship between water and the decent work agenda in the quest for sustainable development.

Better water, better jobs: Today, almost half of the world’s workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights. The theme in 2016 – water and jobs -show how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies.

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2- Why do we celebrate World Water Day 2016?

World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. Last year theme was “Water For Sustainable Development”.  Joint efforts by various organizations including Ministry of Rural Development, International Water Centre, and Enrich Institute and funded by WHO and UNICEF organized the event to provide an opportunity to academia, practitioners, and government staffs to learn about water issues in the context of Cambodia. The group of similar organizations agreed to organize again this year and commit to continue this momentum in next years.

3- Linking WWD’s Theme 2016 with Cambodia Context  

It is estimated that over 1 million additional water related workers are needed in the South Asia and Pacific region in order to tackle the challenges posed by population growth and climate change. Capacity development has so far concentrated on providing mixtures of different skills but some are related to water[1].

In Cambodia, water related workers working in Cambodia are various typically either civil engineers, medical doctors or have high school education /vocational training.  Very few are actually trained in a broad range of water skills.

Water sector is not a famous interest among many people while our future is lying on water. Shaping water talent is crucial for a nation but difficult to bring everyone on the same page.  Attracting more people to participate in this agenda requires willingness to build motivation and needs to be supported to work together especially to engage young generations in water issues.

4- Objectives

  • The event is organized with the following objectives to:
  • Raise awareness among participants on the link between water and jobs
  • Provide networking opportunity for professionals in the water sector
  • Built the capacity of the participant on water related knowledge
  • Explore research and project activities to address water challenges in Cambodia
  • Expected outcomes from the participants:
    • Increased awareness and understanding on water-jobs link
    • Expanded professional network
    • Improved capacity on water and job knowledge

5- Participants

The event expects around 200 stakeholders including representatives of line ministries, university students and lecturers, water supply operators, institutions and civil society organizations.



[1] World Bank’s report on water challenges and skills (2012)

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