Russian senators take part in a Parliamentary Conference held as part of the 10th World Water Forum

Alexander Dvoinykh and Andrey Denisov spoke on pressing agenda items and held a number of bilateral meetings.

Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Agriculture and Food Policy and Environmental Management Alexander Dvoinykh and First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Andrey Denisov took part in a Parliamentary Conference on Mobilising Parliamentary Action on Water Resources for Shared Prosperity. The Conference was hosted jointly by the Indonesian People’s Representative Council and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

The event was held in Nusa Dua, the Republic of Indonesia, as part of the World Water Forum which is a major water event held every three years that brings together the international community and key decision-makers to promote collective progress in order to eliminate acute environmental issues plaguing water areas.

According to Alexander Dvoinykh, the Federation Council delegation visited Indonesia at the invitation of IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong and Chairman of the People’s Representative Council of the Indonesian People’s Consultative Assembly Puan Maharani.

Puan Maharani and President of the World Water Council Loic Fauchon delivered keynote speeches at the opening of the parliamentary conference.

According to the Head of the Federation Council Committee, the Conference is a crucial part of the political process during the 10th World Water Forum. The parliamentarians from around the world had an opportunity to promote the adoption of laws to address water scarcity, to strengthen parliamentary cooperation and diplomacy in order to improve access to safe water, and to mobilise the water resources-related efforts to promote global security and prosperity. The Conference brought together about 200 parliamentarians from over 50 countries and six international organisations. “Russian senators took part in all parliamentary sessions held as part of the Conference,” Alexander Dvoinykh said. “In addition, in conjunction with the officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Foreign Ministry, the lawmakers took part in the 10th World Water Forum.”

Speaking at the conference, the senator pointed out that billions of people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water, sanitation services, and hygiene products. According to data on 140 countries and territories, 58 percent of domestic wastewater was safely treated in 2022.

Alexander Dvoinykh noted that over 20 percent of the world’s fresh water resources are found in Russia. State management of the water resources in Russia relies on a comprehensive approach. “The Water Code of the Russian Federation defines the basic principles underlying water legislation. Protecting water bodies takes precedence over using them, and using water bodies for supplying drinking water and supplying water to households takes precedence over other uses,” he said.

“The federal targeted programmes were largely behind the above changes and have led to more households gaining access to piped water supply. In 2023, 140 drinking water supply and wastewater disposal facilities became operational in the Russian regions under the Clean Water project, which fact improved the living conditions of 912,000 people,” he went on to say.

Alexander Dvoinykh conveyed that Russia was implementing the Ecology national project through 2024, and four federal projects — Clean Water, Reviving the Volga River, Preserving Lake Baikal, and Preserving Unique Water Bodies -were launched under the “water” part of this project. “Since a number of programmes under the water agenda will come to an end in 2024, the new federal project on the environmental improvement of water bodies of the Russian Federation should ensure sustainable functioning of the entire water management complex and, most importantly, reduce by half the levels of polluted wastewater discharged into water bodies,” the parliamentarian said. The senator explained that the main problems to be addressed as part of the project include high levels of wastewater pollution, degradation of water bodies, and high degree of wear and tear of hydraulic structures, as well as culverts, water supply routes, reclamation systems, and degradation of the water bodies’ fishery potential.

In his report on Water at the Focus of Climate Change Action, Andrey Denisov emphasised that climate change was not limited exclusively to changes in the average temperature on the planet, but its consequences also included an increase in the frequency and strength of extreme natural phenomena, such as hurricanes, heavy rains, droughts, floods, and heat waves. These phenomena are increasingly breaking previous records meaning that the damage they cause is increasing as well.

The senator described the difficult situation that the Russian Federation faced this year due to devastating spring floods. He apprised the audience of the disaster relief measures taken by Russia.

Andrey Denisov believes that in addition to taking greenhouse gas-reducing measures, the countries worldwide need to monitor climate change within their borders, to forecast potential natural and man-made disasters, and to draft and update plans for adapting to climate change. “This work has been underway for a long time in our country,” he said. “Russian legislation in the field of environmental protection and climate is regularly revised and updated. All constituent entities of the Russian Federation, including at the regional level, have adopted corresponding programmes. We are ready to share our experience in this area,” the legislator emphasised.

 “On the margins of the event, the Russian senators had a bilateral meeting with Chairman of the Committee on Interparliamentary Cooperation of the People’s Representatives Council of the Republic of Indonesia and a member of the Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the occasion of the 10th World Water Forum Fadli Zon.

According to Alexander Dvoinykh, diplomatic relations with Indonesia were established in 1950. “The Federation Council and the Parliament of the Republic of Indonesia maintain close ties. Systematic work is underway to increase bilateral interregional contacts. The upper chambers of the legislative assemblies from both countries maintain a trust-based dialogue.”

According to the head of the Federation Council Committee, the two countries are working to promote region-to-region cooperation in the economy, scientific research and technology and maintain regular delegation exchanges. “Overall, we note significant promise of the region-to-region cooperation. The Indonesian side is interested in joint projects in the halal industry and Islamic banking, as well as in the exchange of experience in countering extremism on religious and ethnic grounds,” the Russian parliamentarian said.