20 January 2016 - 22 January 2016
Manila, Philippines

Asian Irrigation Forum 2 - Securing Water and Food for the Future of the Asia-Pacific region

IIASA Water Research Scholars Yusuke Satoh and Peter Burek at the second Asian Irrigation Forum (AIF2) in Manila. Together with David Wiberg (IWMI Water Futures Theme Leader and former IIASA Water Program Director) they will set the scene for several sessions by presenting latest research findings on water futures and solutions in the Asian Region.

 © Elena Titarenco | Dreamstime

© Elena Titarenco | Dreamstime

In January 2016, the second Asian Irrigation Forum (AIF2) will take place at the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines. AIF2 is being organized by ADB, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

The Asian Irrigation Forum is a periodic event based on an initiative of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), IIASA´s close project partner in a newly established Knowledge and Innovation Support partnership, designed to generating new knowledge on the future trajectory of water sector issues in Asia and the Pacific region.


ADB responded to regional needs by hosting the first Asian Irrigation Forum (AIF) in 2012. The forum brought together stakeholders to share knowledge, best practices, and technological advancements; and identified future investment opportunities.

However, according to ADB, irrigation in Asia still faces limited resources, outdated system designs, institutional inefficiencies, and weak governance. Irrigation constitutes about 80% of the demand for freshwater in Asia. But with competing water demands for energy, industry, and domestic use and rapidly expanding urban populations irrigation becomes critical for regional food security. Asia’s agriculture sector is in transition. As more men leave farming for better job opportunities, women are increasingly managing farms and becoming responsible for agriculture. Coupled with the anticipated impacts of climate change and natural resource degradation, we require more sustainable and resilient agriculture to support food production. Investments for water and food security in the region are needed to provide farmers and farming communities with a viable economic future.

This video was first published by the Asian Development Bank (www.adb.org)

Asian Irrigation Forum 2 (AIF2)

Lessons learned from AIF1 and activities thereafter show that there is a need for more intricate understanding of the changing rural economy and for more novel and impactful solutions. The second Asian Irrigation Forum (AIF2) will address these challenges, building on the gains and advancements made at the first forum to work towards a water and food secure Asia-Pacific region.  

Objectives of AIF2:

  1. Seek regional participants’ views to better understand country-level perspectives; 
  2. Highlight practical solutions that apply latest knowledge and innovations in irrigation; 
  3. Identify the scale of required investments and appropriate financing mechanisms, and; 
  4. Understand the future challenges posed by declining population of irrigation practitioners.

Key themes of AIF2:

  1. Performance, focusing on challenges in achieving results through modernized systems, such as improved water productivity and strengthened performance bench-marking;
  2. Innovations, especially within the context of water-energy links, such as solar pumping, agriculture waste-to-energy projects, laser land leveling, and irrigation water re-use;
  3. Financing, exploring irrigation’s absorptive capacity and drivers for infrastructure investments, while addressing such topics as innovative financing options, private sector participation, and financing for operation and maintenance;
  4. Governance, addressing policy, institutional, and legal frameworks for more impactful investments and highlighting the youth’s role in securing water and food for the future.

Workshop Structure and Program of AIF2: 

The forum will be structured in thematic sessions and evening talks.

The three day program will comprise thematic sessions on:

  1. Revitalizing Irrigation Performance
  2. Innovations to Meet Future Needs for Water, Energy and Food
  3. Delivering Results through Improved Financing
  4. Promoting Good Governance in Irrigation

David Wiberg is giving a speech on the topic "Asia Drying Up:  Water Demands and Availability by 2050" in Session 1 on Revitalizing Irrigation Performance: Lessons from The Region by presenting the latest findings on the future landscape in the water resources, food and irrigation sectors.

IIASA has undertaken cutting edge work with ADB on future water demand in the Asia Pacific region. Socio-economic changes like population growth, changing energy and food demands have been superimposed with climate change projections up to 2050.

In an interactive discussion with the audience, IIASA research scholars Yusuke Satoh and Peter Burek, together with David Wiberg, will present the outcomes of these recent studies, including the identification of regional hot spots, their main drivers and solutions, in an evening talk on Wednesday 20 January 2016.

For more information:

Securing Water and Food for the Future

In a Concept Note prepared by the ADB further background information is provided on on how the main goal of Securing Water and Food for the Future will be approached.

It comprises the following sections:

I. Background

Asia is the world’s most dynamic region with fastest economic growth - yet 37 of 49 countries (assessed by ADB) are water insecure. (ADO 2013) If left unmanaged, this poses a real threat to continued growth and prosperity...continue reading.

II. Challenges

Finite resources, outdated system designs, institutional inefficiencies, and weak governance are powerful factors restraining irrigation performance. Moving forward, there is a need for more intricate understanding...continue reading.

III. ADB Operations in Irrigation

The post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) recognize water security as an important foundation in economic growth and sustainable development. Of relevance for irrigation are SDG goals related to hunger and poverty eradication sustained, inclusive...continue reading.

IV. Forum Objectives

The first Asian Irrigation Forum (AIF) held in 2012 brought together over 200 stakeholders (from government, development partners, civil society and the private sector)...continue reading.

Print this page

Last edited: 02 March 2016

Recent WFaS Publication

Modeling global water use for the 21st century

Participate in the Asian Irrigation Forum 2

20-22 January 2016, Manila

Who's growing tomorrow's food?

Youth Video Competition at the Asian Irrigation Forum 2

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313