Convention on Wetlands at UN 2023 Water Conference

14 March 2023
UN Water Conference 2023 logo

At a moment of historic global concern about water shortages and their impact on the health of the planet, the Convention on Wetlands is determined to play a crucial and proactive role at the historic UN 2023 Water Conference being held next week from 20 to 24 March. This Conference is happening 46 years after the first one was held in 1977.

The event marks the most important gathering for decades by the UN and the international community. It reflects the fact that water is a fundamental part of life that supports the achievement of many Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Conference will coincide with New York Water Week which will give the conference extra resonance.

The Convention will be represented by Secretary General Dr Musonda Mumba and Jerker Tamelander, Director of Science and Policy.


The key messages the Convention will take to New York are:

Clean drinking water

  • Well-managed wetlands, including those in protected areas, can provide clean drinking water, dramatically reducing ill health and infant mortality.
  • Wetlands support agriculture by providing a source of water for crops and livestock. This will be the focus of Interactive Dialogue 2: Water for sustainable development. 

In cities and urban areas such as New York

  • Urban wetlands can provide cities with multiple economic, social and cultural benefits. They have a crucial role in creating sustainable, liveable cities.
  • Wetlands are important in urban sanitation and water supply as well as in reducing vulnerability to climate change.
  • Cities accredited under the Convention on Wetlands have important stories to tell. This will be raised in Interactive Dialogue 2: Water for sustainable development.


New York City UN Water Conference

In detail: day-by-day involvement

On a day-by-day basis here is what Musonda Mumba and Jerker Tamelander will be involved in and speaking at:


Monday, 20March

“Earth observations in support of water action”  10:00-11:30 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

“Dinner and holistic conversation on water and resilience to help kick off NY Water Week” 18:30 EDT

An evening gathering of water leaders hosted by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.


Tuesday, 21 March

A series of one-to-one meetings with key wetland stakeholders.


Wednesday, 22 March

“Turning the tide on the freshwater biodiversity crisis” 11:00-12:15 EDT

“Local governments and municipal authorities (LGMA) constituency high level panel: The knowledge-policy-practice nexus between COP27, COP15, the Convention on Wetlands and its Wetland City Accreditation scheme and water” 12:30-13:45 EDT

“Radical collaboration for water resilience: Action with our greatest allies in the climate crisis” 15:00-18:00 EDT

“From UNEA to General Assembly: Taking action for sustainable lake management – as a catalyst to accelerate global commitment in the Water Action Agenda” 17:00-18:15 EDT


Thursday, 23March

“The freshwater challenge – Mobilizing action to restore freshwater ecosystems” 08:00-09:15 EDT

“From UN Water Conference to COP28: Accelerating water and climate action” 09:30-10:45 EDT

“Interactive dialogue: “Water for climate, resilience and environment”  10:00-13:00 EDT

“Water for nature, nature for water: Policies, solutions and commitments for sustainable development” 11:00-12:15 EDT

“Drought resilience: Transforming water scarcity into prosperity pathways” 14:00-15:15 EDT

“Source-to-sea collaboration: A game changer for the whole water cycle” 17:00-18:15 EDT


Friday, 24 March

“Water and adaptation to climate change in a transboundary context” 09:30-10:45 EDT

Science-based global water assessment 11:00-12:15 EDT

Public dialogue on the UN-Water SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2023 13:15-14:30 EDT

Dr Mumba is also having several bilaterals on the margins of this conference with the UN and other partners.

You can follow all of Musonda’s activities at the UN 2023 Water Conference either on her Twitter account @MumbaMusondam or @RamsarConv.


Convention on Wetlands participants in the UN Water Conference and New York Water Week:

Dr Musonda Mumba, Secretary General

Jerker Tamelander, Director of Science and Policy of the Convention Secretariat

For speaker availability and press enquiries, please contact David Tunney, Communications Officer of the Secretariat at


More reading - useful links

UN 2023 Water Conference About the conference | Department of Economic and Social Affairs (

Programme | Department of Economic and Social Affairs (


Ramsar Sites near New York

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge | Ramsar Sites Information Service

Connecticut River Estuary and Tidal River Wetlands Complex | Ramsar Sites Information Service