Water is essential to food systems, and improved food systems are critical to meet SDG 6 on water and sanitation (Ringler et al, 2021), including targets on water efficiency, integrated water resource management and protection of water-related ecosystems. With climate change profoundly affecting our economies, societies and environment, water is one of the biggest deal breakers to achieve the international SDG goals and targets, including those related to hunger and food production.

World Water Day occurs every year on 22 March to celebrate water and raises awareness of the billions of people living without access to safe water and sanitation. A core focus of World Water Day is to inspire action towards the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. On March 22- 24, 2023 the UN plans to convene Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018–2028, or the “UN 2023 Water Conference”.

On the occasion of the World Water Day and recognising UN effort to mobilise action, the Swedish EU Presidency and the FAO Liaison Office in Brussels are hosting an online seminar to exchange knowledge about sustainable water and sanitation management for sustainable food systems and discuss the co-dependence of SDG2 and SDG 6, including working across sectors to identify synergies and minimise tradeoffs.

The seminar will address the challenges and obstacles as well as opportunities and innovative ways and means to support the implementation and acceleration of progress in water and sanitation management for sustainable food systems.

The Swedish Government is committed to support Swedish and international water and food stakeholders to facilitate learning and collaboration. With the establishment of impartial multistakeholder platforms such as the Swedish FAO committee, the Swedish International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI), the aim is to bridge the gap between science, policy, and practice, by creating meeting places for dialogue, coherence, cooperation, and knowledge exchange.

Introductory remarks will be delivered by
Dan Ericsson, State Secretary to the Minister for Rural Affairs and Chair of the Swedish FAO committee
Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist, FAO

Presentations from
Jennie Barron, Professor of water management in agricultural landscapes in the Department of Soil Science and Environment at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
Jippe Hoogeveen, Senior Water Officer, FAO
Adriana Soto, Research Associate Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Danièle Sebgo and Saidou Savadogo , WaterAid Burkina Faso
Linus Dagerskog, Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Concluding remarks
Raschad Al-Khafaji, Director of the FAO Liaison Office to the EU and Belgium Marija Milivojevic, AGRIFAO Working Party Chair.

The event will be moderated by Jens Berggren.