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The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has signed a MoU with the government of Australia and the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) for the improvements in fresh water management in Asia

FAO AUSIThe MoU focuses on management and governance of surface and groundwater for agriculture. (Imagw source: ployyim/Adobe Stock)

With Australia being known for its water management expertise worldwide, the MoU is expected to provide opportunities to leverage this experience and increase its reach and impact to the benefit of Asian countries.

As the population of Asia expands, the competition for natural resources, particularly water, is set to intensify. Hence the need for improved water management is vital to achieve the world’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said FAO.

“Improving agricultural water management and increasing food security across the Asia-Pacific region are major priorities for FAO,” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, assistant director-general and regional representative of FAO.

“FAO’s network of Representative Offices in many countries of Asia and the Pacific, and its close working relationship with governments and resource partners in those countries, provide both venue and opportunity for the AWP to work with FAO to improve water management, revitalise irrigation schemes and safeguard future food security in our region.”

As climate change mitigation and adaptation in agriculture is an important regional priority for FAO in the Asia-Pacific region, and as climate change has a significant impact on the water cycle, developing mechanisms to help farmers and other land users cope with increasing uncertainty and vulnerability will be of critical importance.

Therefore, collaboration under the MoU will focus on ensuring maximum reach and impact of Australian and FAO expertise in water management for agriculture in the region, FAO noted.

Joint activities will include producing new technical training materials and policy advice, developing new analytical programmes to inform large-scale water investments and the hosting of a range of new learning and knowledge exchange opportunities.