On 4 June 2021, a group of Thai youth representatives gathered for the webinar ‘Information sharing and Good Practices of Water Resources Management from Germany’ to discuss the benefits of using Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) as a strategy for addressing climate change impacts in the water sector. The webinar was hosted by the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) with guest speakers from the Thai-German Climate Programme-Water (TGCP-Water).
The webinar was part of the 10-episode series that aims to build the knowledge of 50 selected young leaders from Thailand’s 22 river basins under the ‘Youth Leadership Development Programme in the Water Sector’ that ONWR organised to celebrate the World Water Day 2021.
Participating youths had the opportunity to learn about a variety of EbA measures that can be applied to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. This included learning about the renaturalisation of the Isar River as a good practice from Germany and about bamboo-constructed living weirs as good examples of nature-based water management solutions in Thailand. These measures help reduce flood and drought risks. In addition, they provide natural and green scenery and can thus serve as recreational and leisure areas and help rehabilitate biodiversity.
The Thai youths expressed great interest in hearing about the opportunities for youth and public engagement in water resources management in Germany. They will take the lessons learnt to formulate youth action plans on water management and promote awareness raising on sustainable water use. On 6-8 August, an online workshop will be organised for participating youths to pitch their concrete ideas and plans with opportunities to receive funding for implementation by the young leaders.
The 10-episode webinar series was held every Friday between March and June. Among the other topics discussed were the conservation and rehabilitation of watershed and degraded forests and the prevention of soil erosion, management of water quality, management of floods and drought, and providing water security for the industrial, agricultural and service sectors.
Through this year’s World Water Day’s theme, ‘Valuing Water: Valuing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) with Youth Action’, ONWR aims to build youth networks in the water sector to bolster youth action in helping to tackle water challenges in Thailand and to drive the country towards a climate-resilient future.
World Water Day is held annually on 22 March to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The theme of World Water Day 2021 was “Valuing Water” to highlight the different values of water in our daily lives.