GEMS/Water regional workshop for Asia Pacific held in Bangkok
The GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre hosted a successful Workshop at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok from the 6th to 8th of November 2017. The workshop was entitled “Ambient Water Quality: monitoring for management and SDG indicator 6.3.2 reporting” and brought together 16 national focal points and country representatives from the Asia Pacific region.
The purpose of the workshop was (i) to introduce GEMS/Water, (ii) to discuss the principles of best practice in water quality monitoring, and (iii) to explore how the GEMS/Water programme could assist with capacity development needs for water quality monitoring and data reporting in the region. The workshop also discussed the methodology for the Sustainable Development Goal indicator 6.3.2, for which GEMS/Water is the supporting mechanisms on behalf of UN Environment (UNEP).
Participants were given the opportunity to share the current status of ambient water quality monitoring in their countries and to highlight their capacity development needs The major capacity needs that were highlighted by a number of countries included quality assurance and database management, but other issues such as resource availability and lack of expertise were also mentioned.
Based on the outcomes of the Workshop, both the GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre and the GEMS/Water Data Centre will provide training and support in ambient water quality monitoring and assessment to these countries. This training will enable countries to produce reliable data for inclusion in the GEMStat database, which will contribute to providing a global picture of ambient water quality. The data will further inform management decisions to protect aquatic ecosystems and assist with the formulation of appropriate water policies at national and regional levels.