'Water for People' Partnership finalized with Metropolitan Waterworks Authority

22 Jun 2011

imageUNDP Thailand/Mark S. Cogan : UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Yuxue Xue and Metropolitan Waterworks Authority Governor Chareon Passara talk to the media after finalizing a four-year partnership to preserve Thailand's two major river basins.

Ceremony marks the start of four-year partnership to preserve water basins, livelihoods

BANGKOK - UNDP Thailand and the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) finalized a ฿20 million baht (USD $857,000) small grant programme on June 24 that will facilitate a set of 20 projects that will address key environmental issues in Thailand’s most important river basins--the Chao Phraya and the Mae Klong. The ceremony was held at the UNDP Thailand Country Office in Bangkok.

The ‘Water for People’ partnership will carry on over four years, with each one-year phase providing at least 5 grants to targeted communities along the river basins. There is a clear connection between the natural services the environment provides and those who depend on them for their livelihoods. The partnership aims to increase participation from local communities along the river basins in improving the quality of the water.The new agreement joins MWA and UNDP Thailand, using the Global Environment Facility Small Grant Programme (GEF/SGP) as a mechanism. It is based on the MWA’s vision to ensure the quantity and quality of the services, to fulfill its mandate of providing ‘water for people.’ The Chao Phraya and Mae Klong Rivers are the main sources of their raw water supply.

“This partnership is in line with the key environmental issues that UNDP Thailand takes as key priorities in supporting Thailand in the next 5 years--water resources management and climate change,” Yuxue Xue, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative said, delivering his opening remarks at the June 24 ceremony.

Mr. Xue thanked MWA Governor Charoen Passara for MWA’s commitment and confidence in UNDP. He said that this new collaboration between the two agencies will provide a strong foundation for MWA and UNDP to work together under this ‘Water for People Partnership’ in the next 4 years.

Over a period of four years, the joint partnership aims to 1) Preserve water quality and improve environment in target river basins; 2) Enhance community-based co-management efforts along river basins; 3) Promote local awareness and capacity building in river basin management; 4) Promote the exchange of best practices and lessons learned among stakeholders; 5) Support MWA in meeting its CSR mandates in cost effective, sustainable manner.

UNDP Thailand’s Environment Portfolio has managed the GEF/SGP for over a decade. The programme has become a well-established financial mechanism to channel resources to community-based environmental conservation. Since 1993, GEF SGP has provided supported to 388 community-based organizations, totaling over $5 million across Thailand, covering issues such as climate change, water, land degradation, biodiversity, organic pollutants, and more.