ICHARM’s action commitment “Water Cycle Integrator”
globally known through the UN 2023 Water Conference


On March 22-24, 2023, approximately 10,000 participants gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York or online for the UN 2023 Water Conference. This was the first UN conference dedicated to water in 46 years, since March 1977 in Mar del Plata, Argentina. This conference was held as a forum for the mid-term review of the International Decade of Action "Water for Sustainable Development" 2018-2028, which was established by the United Nations to accelerate action toward achieving SDG6 and other water-related international goals.

“Interactive Dialogue 3: Water for Climate, Resilience and Environment” [Photo by MLIT]
“Interactive Dialogue 3: Water for Climate, Resilience and Environment”
[Photo by MLIT]

On the 23rd, Egypt and Japan co-chaired “Interactive Dialogue 3: Water for Climate, Resilience and Environment: Source to Sea, Biodiversity, Climate, Resilience and DRR." After the discussion, the meeting decided to adopt Key Messages, which include the following statement that ICHARM has been advocating for in past major international conferences:

An excerpt from Key Messages

Water can and should play a critical role to build a post-COVID-19 society that is more resilient and adaptive to both sudden and slow onset disturbances. Decisions by leaders should be both evidence-based and timely. Here, science and technology play a critical role.
Position science and technology as “a game changer” towards a fully resilient post-COVID society through three actions: 1) Promote water cycle consilience by accelerating the Open Science policy, particularly focusing on observation, modelling, and data integration; 2) Foster "facilitators," that is, catalytic individuals who can lead the way toward resolving problems by providing professional advice on-site using a broad range of scientific and indigenous knowledge; and 3) Work together across disciplines and sectors, and among different levels, while taking an end-to-end approach.

The Key Messages were reported by Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, the special envoy of prime minister of Japan and a member of the House of Representatives, during the plenary meeting on the final day of the conference.

Prior to the conference, ICHARM registered the three concepts in the "Water Action Agenda," compiling them as "Water Cycle Integrator (WCI)." The Water Cycle Integrator also appears in the summary of the proceedings published by the president of the UN general assembly after the conference among the recommendations from thematic dialogues (key messages emerging from the interactive dialogue), which helped WCI widely spread around the world (see the box below).

Co-chairs of the Interactive Dialogue 3
(Left: Mr. Hani Sewilam, the minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt Right: Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, the special envoy of prime minister of Japan)
[Photo by MLIT]
Co-chairs of the Interactive Dialogue 3
(Left: Mr. Hani Sewilam, the minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Right: Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, the special envoy of prime minister of Japan) [Photo by MLIT]

Ms. KAMIKAWA reported during the plenary meeting [Photo by MLIT]

The “Water Cycle Integrator” appears in one of the key messages from the interactive dialogue in the summary of the proceedings by the president of the UN general assembly:

  • Establish a Global Water Information System, based on the “Hydrological Status and Outlook system (HydroSOS)” and water reporting, as a prerequisite for improved water management, climate resilience, early warning, and risk-informed decision-making for climate action and disaster risk reduction. This should be among the top priorities of water-related climate action and supported by the Water Cycle Integrator (WCI).

ICHARM will continue to carry out its domestic and international activities in line with the concept of WCI.

〈UN Water Conference 2023〉

〈UN Water Conference 2023 Interactive Dialogue 3 Chair’s Key Messages〉

〈UN Water Conference 2023 Summary of Proceedings by the President of the General Assembly〉

Water Cycle Integrator: ICHARM’s commitment in Water Action Agenda

The Water Action Agenda is among the important achievements of the UN Water Conference 2023. It is the structured collection of more than 700 voluntary commitments to accelerate progress in the second half of the Water Action Decade 2018-2028 and the second half of the 2030 Agenda. The president of the UN general assembly mentions them as key to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 in his summary of the Water Conference 2023.

The following briefly describes the Water Cycle Integrator, which was proposed by ICHARM and included in the Water Action Agenda. Please visit the websites below for more information.

〈Water Action Agenda〉

〈 「Water Cycle Integrator」 〉

Water Cycle Integrator (WCI)

ICHARM has conducted e-learning workshops in Davao City, Philippines, and eleven West African countries to develop systems for early flood warning and climate change impact assessment and to train facilitators.

Building on these experiences, ICHARM rigorously promotes WCI as part of the Kumamoto Initiative and strives to put it into practice at local, national, and regional levels in cooperation with UN member states, UNESCO category 2 centers, and the UNESCO Chairs. WCI is also closely linked to the activities of the Intersectoral Working Group on "Hydrological Systems, Rivers, Climate Risks, and the Water-Food-Energy Nexus" of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme for the Ninth Phase (IHP-IX).

The Water Cycle Integrator consists of three functions: knowledge integration, capacity integration, and process integration, as follows:

  • Knowledge integration: WCI promotes “water cycle consilience” by integrating the knowledge of water cycle, climate, agriculture, and energy using well-organized observation, modeling, and data and information systems based on by the Open Science policy.

  • Capacity integration: WCI fosters the integration of "facilitators" to work as catalysts capable of providing expert advice based on a broad range of scientific and indigenous knowledge about climate change in the local context. Facilitators can bridge the gaps between scientific society and local stakeholders, support education and training, and inform ways leading to practical solutions.

  • Process integration: WCI establishes cross-sectoral frameworks at local, national, regional, and global levels to link cutting-edge science beyond disciplines with on-site decision-making and action using an “end-to-end approach”.

WCI-related activities will be occasionally reported in ICHARM Newsletters.