26 August 2005 | Stockholm, Sweden Innovative mechanisms are needed to finance development in the water and sanitation sector, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). That was the main message from a World Water Week in Stockholm seminar entitled “Finance for Water Solutions.” The seminar was organised by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), World Economic Forum Water Initiative (WEF), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) / DRM World Institute for Disaster Management.

Main Points

  1. Financing for water solutions requires an integrated effort amongst all stakeholders to achieve the water-related MDGs, yet it is often omitted as part of national development strategies. Water strategies can only be successfully implemented if sustainable financial mechanisms exist and are created in accordance to regional needs and context.
  2. To strengthen and catalyse more finance for water, Official Development Assistance (ODA) should be used carefully to scale up effective initiatives and stimulate innovative approaches that can deliver water sustainability.
  3. There are multiple opportunities and entry points for a variety of financial approaches ranging from micro-finance to large-scale infrastructure investments. The private sector can contribute its specific expertise, such as business planning, accounting, engineering, risk management and investment in close collaboration with the public sector.
  4. The current understanding of public-private partnerships needs to be expanded to include a wider range of possibilities, such as the domestic financial community, capital markets, industry, technology companies, local communities and governments at regional, national and local level.
  5. Good environmental management of natural resources is key to maintain sustainable economic development that can enforce the objectives set out in the MDGs.

Seminar Panelists

  • The Hon. Maria Mutagamba, Ministry of Water, Lands and the Environment of Uganda
  • Mrs. Robyn Mc Leod, Department of Sustainability and Environment of the Victorian Government (Australia)
  • Mr. Jakob Stram, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden
  • Mr. Dirk Reinhard, Munich Re Foundation
  • Mr. Gerard Payen, Member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation
  • Mr. Peter Bahrs, UMGENI


  • Ms. Koko Warner, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF)
  • Ms. Rachel Cardone, Environmental Resource Management
  • Mr. Peter Bahrs, World Economic Forum
For more information, please contact Alberto Pacheco Capella at alberto.pacheco@unep.ch.