The objective of the Saline Water & Food Systems Partnership (SW&FS) is to strengthen cooperation between the Dutch water and agrifood sectors to address the challenge of salinity in low and middle-income countries. The Partnership was launched on 10 March 2022, when stakeholders from the Netherlands’ water and food sectors gathered to explore how they could work together on a shared goal.
The participants supported the SW&FS initiative and committed to being part of joint activities to intensify cross-sectoral collaboration, stimulate national and international knowledge exchange, and initiate new projects. And with the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality as an important contributor, the Partnership got off to a flying start. As the facilitators of the SW&FS Partnership, Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP) and Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) published a report on the first meeting. SW&FS has been supported in several ways since then, and support will continue in the coming months.
In connection with the FAO Science and Innovation Forum 2022, Wageningen Environmental Research and the SW&FS Partnership are organising an online side event on Thursday, 13 October 2022, entitled 'Salinity, a complex global challenge with a need for an integrated approach'. NWP, NFP and the coordinator NWP member Wageningen University & Research, invite anyone interested to join the online event and contribute to an interactive discussion.
Since March, meetings have been held with various organisations such as universities, private sector organisations, Kenniscluster Verzilting, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Agricultural Counsellors network etc. to discuss objectives, explore strategic collaborations and identify new project initiatives in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). This includes exploring and supporting new initiatives in Senegal and Morocco.
In the meantime, we are sharing information about the SW&FS Partnership’s objectives and activities on the NFP and NWP websites to engage the food and water networks in the Netherlands. Further, VU-IVM has developed the SALAD Database with wide ranging information on 100 international initiatives supporting saline agriculture. In collaboration with the SW&FS Partnership this database will be made accessible to a larger audience in the future.
We are now exploring opportunities to put salinisation on the agenda of COP27 (Sharm el-Sheikh, November 2022) and the UN 2023 Water Conference (New York, March 2023).
Do you have ideas about new initiatives such as starting projects in LMICs, setting up meetings to exchange knowledge (national and international), presenting Dutch expertise on salinity (ranging from mitigating to adaptive interventions) at international forums?
If you can use support from the SW&FS Partnership, please contact us. An important criterion is that it contributes to the collective ambitions of the Partnership.