Technical Lead Pacific
Based in Christchurch but regularly spending time abroad, Jan has progressively directed her science contributions towards supporting government thinking and planning for safe and secure drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.
On a global scale, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) sets the agenda. SDG6 calls for universal access to safe and affordable drinking-water, adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and ending open defecation. SDG6 is widely recognised as an enabling goal critical to the achievement of health, education and other SDGs.
Jan is most connected to Pacific regional and national level action throughout the Pacific islands and in New Zealand. It is important to Jan that the countries themselves have the lead. “We need to listen. Our role is to support countries achieve their goals, articulated in regional and national and sector sustainable development plans," says Jan.
In late 2019, Jan supported the Pacific High-level Dialogue on Water and Sanitation which made a call to action; “Something more - something different - is needed to improve the rate, reach and effectiveness of action to meet the region’s commitment to safe and resilient water and sanitation for all by 2030". In too many cases, national efforts are not keeping pace with population growth, disaster setbacks and the accelerating impacts of climate change. New Zealand too is rethinking its approach to freshwater management and water services to improve resilient environmental and public health outcomes for all. “The same environmental and public health risk-based thinking applies whether the Pacific or New Zealand, requiring strengthened leadership and governance, cross-agency working, knowledge, practical skills, community engagement and financing," Jan says.
Jan loves working in this multi-perspective area that is essential to life, helping bring people together to make the connections and articulate their chosen direction.