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22 March 2023

Enabling food and water security for all through circularity and collaboration

World Water Day 2023 celebration


Water is essential to food systems, and improved food systems are critical to meet SDG 6 on water and sanitation (Ringler et al, 2021), including targets on water efficiency, integrated water resource management and protection of water-related ecosystems. With climate change profoundly affecting our economies, societies and environment, water is one of the biggest deal breakers to achieve the international SDG goals and targets, including those related to hunger and food production.

World Water Day occurs every year on 22 March to celebrate water and raises awareness of the billions of people living without access to safe water and sanitation. A core focus of World Water Day is to inspire action towards the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. On March 22- 24, 2023 the UN plans to convene Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018–2028, or the “UN 2023 Water Conference”.

On the occasion of the World Water Day and recognising UN effort to mobilise action, the Swedish EU Presidency and the FAO Liaison Office in Brussels are hosting an online seminar to exchange knowledge about sustainable water and sanitation management for sustainable food systems and discuss the co-dependence of SDG2 and SDG 6, including working across sectors to identify synergies and minimise tradeoffs.

The seminar will address the challenges and obstacles as well as opportunities and innovative ways and means to support the implementation and acceleration of progress in water and sanitation management for sustainable food systems.

The Swedish Government is committed to support Swedish and international water and food stakeholders to facilitate learning and collaboration. With the establishment of impartial multistakeholder platforms such as the Swedish FAO committee, the Swedish International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI), the aim is to bridge the gap between science, policy, and practice, by creating meeting places for dialogue, coherence, cooperation, and knowledge exchange.


Introductory remarks will be delivered by

Dan Ericsson, State Secretary to the Minister for Rural Affairs and Chair of the Swedish FAO committee and Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist, FAO

Presentations from

Jennie Barron, Professor of water management in agricultural landscapes in the Department of Soil Science and Environment at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Jippe Hoogeveen, Senior Water Officer, FAO

Adriana Soto, Research Associate Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Danièle Sebgo and Saidou Savadogo , WaterAid Burkina Faso

Linus Dagerskog, Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Concluding remarks

Raschad Al-Khafaji, Director of the FAO Liaison Office to the EU and Belgium and Marija Milivojevic, AGRIFAO Working Party Chair.

The event will be moderated by Jens Berggren.

Register  here.



Dan Ericsson 

State Secretary to the Minister for Rural Affairs and Chair of the Swedish FAO committee 

He holds studies in economics, political science, and law from Stockholm University.  

Mr. Ericsson has sat on the boards of a number of government agencies and inquiries, including the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Commission on Energy and the Committee on reforming the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Also, a former board member of the Östergötland County Administrative Board. 


Ismahane Elouafi 

Chief Scientist, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)  

She holds studies in agricultural sciences and a Ph.D. in Genetics (2001) from the University of Cordoba, Spain. 

Ms. Elouafi previously held senior scientific and leadership positions. She sits on the boards of the International Food Policy Research Institute; the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International; and the Professional Development Institute, Canada. 

She is a strong advocate for diversifying into neglected and underutilized crops and rethinking food systems as a whole. She is also internationally known for her work on promoting use of non-fresh water in agriculture and empowerment of women in science. 

Jennie Barron 

Professor of water management in agricultural landscapes Department of Soil Science and Environment at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) 

She studied engineering agronomy at SLU and holds a doctoral degree from Stockholm University.   

Ms. Barron has extensive experience with development research around water and land management in African and Asian agriculture. She still works part-time on water and land issues within CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research). 

Her research concerns water management in agriculture. Her interests include development and transformation of agro-ecosystems and landscapes, through water and land management, policy engagement and capacity building, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. In her research, she uses both empirical approaches and models, often in collaboration with researchers in other disciplines as well as with farmers and decision-makers. 

Jippe Hoogeveen 

Senior Land and Water Officer, FAO 

Mr. Hoogeveen holds a M.Sc. in agricultural engineering with irrigation as specialization from Wageningen Agriculture University.  

In 1997 he started to work for the Land and Water division of the Food and Agriculture Organization where he cooperated in activities in support of FAO’s efforts towards better assessment and monitoring of water resource availability and water use in agriculture, as well as development of tools for water resources planning.  

Currently Jippe Hoogeveen leads FAO’s work in Water Resources Assessments which includes FAO’s Information System on Water and Agriculture, AQUASTAT, and methodology development on Water Accounting and Auditing. He is also Chief Technical Advisor of FAO’s program on “Using Remote Sensing in support of solutions to reduce agricultural water productivity gaps”. 

Adriana Soto 

Research Associate Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) 

She holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. 

Prior to joining SEI, Adriana worked in research and development projects related to water management,  climate change adaptation and gender equity in her home country, Bolivia.  

At SEI she is part of the Sanitation and Health Team and provides technical and management support to different projects concerning water, sanitation, and agriculture. Her area of interest is interdisciplinary and participatory research focused on nature-based and context-oriented solutions for water and sanitation. 

Linus Dagerskog 

Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) 

He works with the Sanitation and Health Team at SEI and is pursuing a PhD in natural resource management at Stockholm Resilience Center. 

Linus has an MSc in Environmental and Aquatic Engineering from Uppsala University and more than 15 years of experience of working with the linkages between sanitation and agriculture, mainly in Burkina Faso, Niger, Ethiopia and Sweden. 

Saidou Savadogo 

 WaterAid Burkina Faso 

Danièle Sebgo 

Responsible for Research and Knowledge Management -WaterAid Burkina Faso 

Danièle SEBGO is an engineer by training. She holds an Engineering degree, with a Master’s degree in Water and Sanitation and a Bachelor’s degree in the same field obtained at the International Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE) .She has professional experience in various fields, including research. She participated in the promotion, popularization and development of the Sweet Potato with Orange Flesh (PDCO) variety that is resilient to water stress. In addition, she also has experience on issues of community conflict management related to water, development and implementation of innovative approaches, in entrepreneurship, acquired through coordination and project management. Finally, she has leadership experience, consolidated through a training course at the Regional Center for Leadership (CRL-Dakar) at CESAG.

Raschad Al-Khafaji 

Director of the FAO Liaison Office to the EU and Belgium 

He started his career at the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) in Austria and worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). In 2003, he joined FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department at headquarters where he worked as Liaison and Meetings Officer. From 2013 to 2019, he served as Attaché de Cabinet in the Office of the Director-General and, subsequently, became Deputy Directeur de Cabinet ad interim. He was Special Assistant to the Director-General since 2019 until he took up his position in Brussels.  

He holds a Magister in Economics with an emphasis on International Development and Marketing from the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration) in Austria. He is fluent in Arabic and German (both mother tongues) as well as English and French; and has basic knowledge of Italian and Spanish. 

Marija Milivojevic 

Working Party Chair of the Working Party on International Food and Agricultural Questions (FAO). 

Deputy Director Marija Milivojevic has been responsible for Sweden’s work with FAO and CFS for the past seven years. This includes the development of strategic policy orientation in the Strategy for Sweden’s cooperation with FAO 2018-2021 and 2022-2025 as decided by the Swedish government. She is also part of the team for the Swedish FAO Committee which is chaired by the State Secretary to the Minister of Rural Affairs.  

Deputy Director Milivojevic also has extensive experience from the Ministry for Education and Research and the Ministry of Culture where the work has focused on international and bilateral collaboration, and EU-affairs.  

Marija Milivojevic has a master’s degree in Diplomacy and Political Science and is the recipient of the Elvis Govender Price of Excellence in Diplomacy and Statecraft from the University of Birmingham.  



From 22 March 2023 at 10:30 to 22 March 2023 at 12:00