Source-to-sea management complements existing land, freshwater and marine management mechanisms through considering the upstream/downstream linkages that distribute impacts and benefits across the system as a whole. By taking upstream/downstream linkages into account, the source-to-sea approach to management contributes to achieving the SDGs – including the closely linked freshwater and ocean SDGs 6 and 14.

Engagement of financial institutions is crucial for accelerating the adoption of source-to-sea management. This interactive event aims to foster discussions and advance knowledge pertinent to financial institutions, donors, private sector, policymakers and governments at all scales and freshwater/marine professionals regarding the rationales, challenges and opportunities for incorporating a source-to-sea perspective when designing, assessing and funding projects. The discussion aims to strengthen cross-sectoral engagement and collaboration to devise new financial tools and practices that incentivize investments and projects that better consider upstream and downstream environmental, social and economic linkages.

Key questions to be addressed at the event:

  1. What does source-to-sea management mean for governments, businesses, financial institutions and donors when designing, assessing and funding projects?
  2. What barriers prevent a source-to-sea lens from being applied to investment screening?
  3. What are the benefits and challenges associated with addressing upstream/downstream linkages in investments or business activities?

Learning outcomes

  • Investors with an interest in integrated management of the land-water coastal-marine continuum, nature-based solutions and other innovative approaches to balancing social, economic and environmental values, the private sector and institutions involved in land, water, coastal and marine management including river basin organizations, regional seas and transboundary organizations will become aware of barriers to investment in source-to-sea action as well as potential solutions that will stimulate more holistic planning and finance.
  • Addressing development challenges requires finance that is not limited by economic borders, specific sectors or social geographies and includes assessment of risks and benefits across the source-to-sea continuum, evaluates trade-offs, and foster new forms of collaboraton. The need for finance mechanisms and enabling environments that incentivize investment in measures that improve upstream/downstream ecosystems will be understood and the path to their establishment explored.
  • Financiers and those seeking finance for source-to-sea action understand the applicability of innovative investment tools that could guide the consideration of upstream-downstream linkages and the viewpoints of stakeholders along the land-freshwater-marine continuum clarifying the pathway to funding projects that have benefits from source to sea.
  • Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management
  • Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
  • Global Water Partnership
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • Stockholm International Water Institute
  • Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management
  • UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility


The session is open to all registered participants of World Water Week 2021. Register below to attend.

Register for World Water Week 2021