Technology & Water Sustainability Dialogue Communique
Australia-Pacific Connections for a Digital Future
Pacific Connect Network Virtual Dialogue
Technology & Water Sustainability – Building Water Resilience
28 May 2020, Honiara, Solomon Islands & Online
- We, the participants of the Pacific Connect Network Dialogue on Technology & Water Sustainability, met on 28 May 2020 online and in Honiara, Solomon Islands at the invitation of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP) with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
- We would like to thank our hosts – ICDP for taking the opportunity to convene a virtual dialogue and to enable Honiara-based participants to gather at the Heritage Park Hotel in person to link with online participants. We also thank Mr Shaun Kies-Ryan and Mr James Kana for facilitating the sessions.
- We congratulate the organisers on assembling an impressive group of participants from the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Australia. Participants had diverse backgrounds and experiences across a range of sectors, including, hydrology, IT, health, immunology, engineering, agriculture, and the environment.
- We believe the Dialogue enabled us to further contribute to the topic in a different way and provided a forum for open and honest discussion, expanding our networks and contacts and as an enabler for developing joint tangible projects to take forward.
- We applaud Australia’s step-up in engagement with the Pacific and its commitment to build stronger, long-lasting relationships with Pacific Island nations. We believe that Pacific Connect and the ‘Second Track’ process offer opportunities to collaborate in a way that encourages positive, fresh thinking and a personal interest in achieving practical results.
- We think that translating ideas into concrete projects that we can work on together is an effective strategy to support longer term sustainable relationships. We are inspired by the success of previous Pacific Connect Dialogues in the Solomon Islands producing projects such as ‘Every building is a classroom’ and ‘Less Than Container Load’, as they demonstrate what can be achieved through sustained collaboration.
- We recognise that addressing water and sanitation challenges in the Solomon Islands is a fundamental measure in addressing basic human rights and economic growth needed. We believe that technology can assist in addressing some challenges but recognise that by building local awareness and empowering communities particularly women and youth, to self-manage, collect data and report on water assets is essential to water sustainability.
- We appreciate having the opportunity to input to the topic pre-dialogue which enabled the group to further understand the challenges and to focus on several topics under the theme. In subgroups we were then able to elaborate on our areas of interest and collaboratively identify the following three projects for continued discussion:
- Development of a ‘Community Delivery’ strategy to support communication and community engagement on water issues
- Development of a water sustainability mapping tool to help communities self-manage and report
- Develop a single reporting point to support enforcement and empowering of water management in communities
- We will develop these ideas through further meetings, ICDP’s Slack forum and other online media. We understand that each idea will need a Champion to coordinate meetings and encourage the group progress to next steps. While every idea from the Dialogue may not come to fruition, we hope that the time and effort spent in the Dialogue and on project development will strengthen our personal links and form a foundation of longer-term relationships.
- We welcome the invitation to participate in future Pacific Connect activities including the online Pacific Connect Ideas Exchange, planned for September 2020, and look forward to forming connections with other members of the fast-growing Pacific Connect Community.