Τετάρτη, 27 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

World Water Week

1-6 September 2013 | Stockholm, Sweden

This yearly appointment for water practitioners from around the world in 2013 will be entirely dedicated to Water Cooperation.

Visit the website

Welcome to Walking for Water!


Walking for Water is an awareness and fundraising initiative. School children aged 10-15 are sponsored by friends and family to walk 6 kilometres while carrying 6 litres of water in a backpack.

Children learn about global water issues, while raising funds to help solve them. Organise your own event! Read more »
 
 
 
 
 

Blog

Walking for Water 2013 bigger than ever! - February 21st, 2013 by CAmsinger
80 Schools! 21 Countries! More than 6000 kids!  Registrations for Walking for Water 2013 have really taken off!  As of mid-February the campaign has around 6000 students from over 80 schools around the world who have decided to Take the walk!  From Columbia to Pakistan,…

Greetings from Down Under! Maningrida Walks for Water - February 10th, 2013 by CAmsinger
Teacher J. Gannaway shared the following about the motivation of Maningrida CEC to join Walking for Water: “Our school is situated in an indigenous community on the mouth of a river, near the coast in the Northern Territory of Australia.  Many people in Maningrida call…

¿Quieres saber sobre la campaña Walking for Water? - February 4th, 2013 by CAmsinger
¿Quieres saber sobre la campaña Walking for Water?  ¡Nuestra presentación está disponible en español! Haz clic en el siguiente enlace: The introduction presentation of the Walking for Water Campaign is now available in Spanish.

 
 

 

Our partners



Click on the icons to go to the Partner webpages AMREF Aqua for All Simavi Zoa Akvo H2O for Life Pump Aid

Are you part of a Rotary? Click here!








Recent blogs

21 FebWalking for Water 2013 bigger than ever! 10 FebGreetings from Down Under! Maningrida Walks for Water 04 Feb¿Quieres saber sobre la campaña Walking for Water? 31 JanWelcome to Walking for Water SEK International School in Budapest!

Funded projects

In 2011 Walking for Water raised 1.2 million Euro, which funded over 20 projects. Below a random project is shown.
 

Logo builder

With the support of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), we have developed this aplication to allow you customize the official Water Cooperation 2013 logo by chosing the characteristics of its different elements.
Chose the language, colors and patterns of each number, the shape of the stream of water that runs through the numbers and download your logo!
At each step, click on the "Next step" button on the top left to move forward.

Declaration of the Youth participants of the launching of the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation

Pavillon de l'eau, Paris, France, 11 February 2013

-Preamble-
1. We, the youth participating in the launching of the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation, having met in Paris, France on 11 February 2013, are working together for the protection, restoration and better management of natural resources, particularly freshwater, a vital resource which is becoming increasingly scarce and polluted every day.
2. We affirm our commitment to cooperate and to find solutions to the challenges that are threatening the livelihoods of millions of people around the world, with emphasis on unequal access to water and sanitation, its linkages with climate change and a more equitable water governance, including aspects related to gender equality.
3. We affirm to work with honesty, transparency, with and for our communities, to join forces and share capacities; to be fair between human needs and natural resources, and, to act in good faith.
4. We also affirm our commitment to cooperate and contribute to our governments’ efforts in achieving “The Future We Want”, as well as in the implementation of other water-related international agreements, the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation, the International Decade for Action: Water for Life”, the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and the 2012 Declaration of the World Youth Parliament for Water.
-Our Concerns-
5. First, we recognize that the lack of strategic infrastructure and increase of pollution by human activities, including deforestation, industrial production, unsustainable consumption and uncontrolled waste, affects the quality and quantity of freshwater. These problems have a daily impact on millions of people, and if not addressed will seriously compromise the livelihoods of future generations.
6. Second, we are concerned about the insufficient knowledge and capacities at all levels regarding the causes and consequences of global changes including climate change, natural disasters, migration of populations, ocean acidification, desertification and rapid depletion of potable water resources.
7. Third, we acknowledge that enhanced cooperation, good governance and stakeholders’ participation at local, national, international and basin levels are essential for fair, and inclusive water distribution based on the local circumstances. We also highlight the role of parliaments in generating inclusive participation in cooperation with governments, civil society actors, water and sanitation experts, indigenous people, women, youth, and children, because we can altogether achieve great things with relatively small efforts.
8. Fourth, creating a more cooperative environment for the management of transboundary waters is still a huge concern for many countries. The challenge remains to put institutional development and cooperative thinking into practice through the development and implementation of sustainable projects that bring shared benefits to all partners, including future generations.
- Guidelines-
9. Solutions to water challenges must consider the particular needs and conditions within each water basin. To overcome water challenges, solidarity and cooperation must be stimulated among different actors, including leaders and youth to achieve a lasting impact. In a world facing food and water scarcity we believe that it has become crucial to reuse water and recover the nutrients for other uses such as agriculture.
Together we must endeavour to solve all the environmental problems afore mentioned;
10. We, the youth, strongly support initiatives including education and research, that foster cooperation and sustainable development in transboundary waters, all over the world.
11. We understand that to achieve universal access to water and sanitation, it is essential to promote and increase cooperation among different actors, including youth, to improve and exchange local knowledge, information, experiences, and innovation at all levels for access for all.
12. Achieving good water governance must be a guiding principle in all initiatives. We define water governance as a set of rules and actions taken to manage water resources. Consequently, good water governance is a set of actions that efficiently distributes the benefits of water resources between society, the economy and the environment. This is a central aim of sustainable development.
13. The proposed solutions must be promoted by world youth at local, regional, national and international levels in order to facilitate the installation of information. This information must address global changes in partnership with different actors at all levels for better results thanks to an efficient collaboration.
14. The government and civil society actors must create adequate mechanisms to increase stakeholders’ participation at all levels of society, including youth, in order to promote ownership of the initiatives at the local level.
15. In following the positions expressed above, as representatives of world youth, we accept the responsibility to take concrete actions according to the need and reality of our specific water resources, for water being accessible to everyone.

Τετάρτη, 20 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

*The Right to Water*

Μου αρέσει! · · · Πριν από 23 λεπτά ·
A quote from GCI Founding President, Mikhail Gorbachev for today’s Water Wednesday: “Failures to provide water and sanitation are failures of governance. Recognizing that water is a human right is not merely a conceptual point; it is about getting the job done and actually making clean water widely available.”

Read Gorbachev’s op-ed, “The Right to Water”, in the International Herald Tribune at: http://nyti.ms/XeD92b

Find out more about GCI’s Smart Water for Green Schools at: http://bit.ly/Klyvaz
A quote from GCI Founding President, Mikhail Gorbachev for today’s Water Wednesday: “Failures to provide water and sanitation are failures of governance. Recognizing that water is a human right is not merely a conceptual point; it is about getting the job done and actually making clean water widely available.”

Read Gorbachev’s op-ed, “The Right to Water”, in the International Herald Tribune at: http://nyti.ms/XeD92b

Find out more about GCI’s Smart Water for Green Schools at: http://bit.ly/Klyvaz

Warming seas frustrate Zanzibar's seaweed farmers

Interesting article on the effect of warming seas on the Tanzanian seaweed farming industry. This is only the beginning of the negative impacts climate change will have on humanity.

Full article here: http://bit.ly/XD8k45

Find out more about GCI's Value Change programme here: http://bit.ly/OH1NHY
Interesting article on the effect of warming seas on the Tanzanian seaweed farming industry. This is only the beginning of the negative impacts climate change will have on humanity. 

Full article here: http://bit.ly/XD8k45

Find out more about GCI's Value Change programme here: http://bit.ly/OH1NHY
Μου αρέσει! · · · Πριν από 19 λεπτά ·

Δευτέρα, 18 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

11 February 2013 UNESCO Headquarters and Pavillon de l’eau, Paris, France

Launch of the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013

By declaring 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation, the international community recognizes the importance of the peaceful management and use of water resources, working together towards a common goal, in a way that is mutually beneficial.

Official kickoff event

11 February 2013
UNESCO Headquarters and Pavillon de l’eau, Paris, France
Follow the event live below (10:00-13:00 and 14:30-18:00).
The International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 will be launched officially by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Michel Jarraud, Chair to UN-Water and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on 11 February 2013 with a high-level event.
Representatives of governments, local communities, specialized NGOs and UN organizations will join eminent specialists and youths to discuss:
  • How water cooperation can best contribute to the Global Agenda on Sustainable Development for the post-2015 era so as to effectively address the needs of all societies,
  • Harnessing cooperation at all levels to address water-related challenges, including:
    • Regional cooperative mechanisms    
    • Government action at the national level
    • Action at the local level
    • Cooperation at the basin level, and
  • Science, capacity building and partnerships.
The official slogan for the year will be revealed during the ceremony as the winner of the slogan competition is announced. The slogan was selected among 12,151 proposals sent by 5,654 people from 180 countries!
An exhibition entitled “Water at the heart of science” will also be presented on the occasion. Prepared for the Year, the exhibition was co-produced with the French Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) and the Centre de Culture scientifique at technique de la region Centre. Presented first at UNESCO, it will be shown throughout 2013 in the network of French cultural establishments around the world.

Children and Youth

© Eau de Paris. Pavillon de l'eau
Young people will play a significant part in the celebrations.
Children will take part in water-related activities at UNESCO headquarters while youths from Japan, the Netherlands, UNESCO Associated Schools (ASPnet) and the Paris area will hold their own meeting at the Pavillon de l'eau (water pavilion) managed by Eau de Paris, the institution that manages drinking water for the city. Together they will finalize a Youth Declaration on water cooperation, which they will present to the participants of the high-level meeting as they join them at the Pavillon. The Declaration will be followed by a cocktail.
The celebration will also include an exhibition and other cultural activities organized in partnership with the Mairie de Paris.

The United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation 2013

In 2010 the United Nations declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation. Within UN-Water, the group of 31 UN agencies working on the many issues related to water, UNESCO was appointed to lead the Year in view of its multi-dimensional mandate in the sciences, culture and education and its significant and long-standing programmes contributing to the management of the world’s freshwater resources.
UNESCO is leading preparations in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and with the support of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC).
World Water Day which will be celebrated on 22 March will also focus on the theme of water cooperation.

Working together to provide water for all

© IUPAC
©IUPAC
Freshwater is the common denominator of today’s most pressing challenges, such as health, agriculture, energy, and urbanization. But this limited, finite resource is often poorly managed and faces severe pressure everywhere. How can the world work more closely together to overcome these present challenges, and ensure that access to freshwater, a human right, is available to all? To advance this most vital cause, UN-Water has designated UNESCO to lead United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC) in 2013. Celebrations will kick off at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on 11 February.
© NASA
Two capital cities on opposite banks of the Congo River: Brazzaville on the north side, and Kinshasa on the south side.
Freshwater flows freely, unconfined by political boundaries. For example, the world has 276 river basins with at least one tributary crossing an international boundary. These transboundary basins cover an estimated 46% of the Earth’s land surface, which host about 40% of the world’s population. Communities sharing freshwater resources may have competing needs or claims, requiring that traditional stakeholders in freshwater management -- namely, scientists, governments, policy makers -- join forces with individuals or organizations outside this “water box”, such as sociologists, ministries for women or indigenous peoples, community activists and civil society.
- See more at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/water-cooperation-2013/launch-water-cooperation-2013/water-cooperation-in-focus/#sthash.9QjAitge.dpuf

Working together to provide water for all

© IUPAC
©IUPAC
Freshwater is the common denominator of today’s most pressing challenges, such as health, agriculture, energy, and urbanization. But this limited, finite resource is often poorly managed and faces severe pressure everywhere. How can the world work more closely together to overcome these present challenges, and ensure that access to freshwater, a human right, is available to all? To advance this most vital cause, UN-Water has designated UNESCO to lead United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC) in 2013. Celebrations will kick off at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on 11 February.
© NASA
Two capital cities on opposite banks of the Congo River: Brazzaville on the north side, and Kinshasa on the south side.
Freshwater flows freely, unconfined by political boundaries. For example, the world has 276 river basins with at least one tributary crossing an international boundary. These transboundary basins cover an estimated 46% of the Earth’s land surface, which host about 40% of the world’s population. Communities sharing freshwater resources may have competing needs or claims, requiring that traditional stakeholders in freshwater management -- namely, scientists, governments, policy makers -- join forces with individuals or organizations outside this “water box”, such as sociologists, ministries for women or indigenous peoples, community activists and civil society.
What does improved water cooperation look like? Gretchen Kalonji (UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences) suggests several scenarios: "It would mean convincing the food, water and energy sectors to work together, rather than in silos. It will take strong institutions at both the national and international levels to satisfy competing demands and defuse tension when it arises, such as over proposals for shale gas extraction, mass irrigation or dam construction.” Currently, these different constituencies are not working together, or not anywhere closely enough. Efforts must focus on joining them up to create a more comprehensive, integrated approach to water management. It is a missing key to making access to freshwater a reality for all, and it is long overdue.
The stakes are high today. Water security is essential to sustainable development, and vital to building inclusive, peaceful societies. Yet billions of people remain vulnerable to water scarcity, deteriorating water quality and such water-related disasters as floods and droughts. Women, children and those living in poverty suffer the heaviest burden. As highlighted in the 2012 MDG Report (LINK), women are disproportionately affected by water scarcity. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 71% of the water collection burden falls on women and girls; this heavy burden is also the case in other parts of the world. If women hold less than 6% of all ministerial positions in the environment, natural resources & energy, how about increasing women in decision-making, in the spirit of water cooperation?

The IYWC may be taking place over the course of 2013, but its fundamental goal is to start paving the path for a more peaceful and sustainable future. The projected world population increase from 7 billion today to 9 billion in 2050 will intensify demand for freshwater, boosting global agricultural consumption by 20% and hydroelectricity & other energy needs by 60%. Would these figures spell imminent water wars, notably in regions where water supplies are declining? Fortunately not, thanks to water cooperation! Contrary to popular belief, people are not more likely to fight over water when there is less of it. Cooperation is more frequent than conflict when it comes to water. Over the past 70 years, incidences of cooperation have outnumbered conflicts by 2 to 1. The Indus Waters Treaty signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 survived three major conflicts and remains intact today.

The IYWC is ultimately about finding common purpose around freshwater, in the diversity of our interests and points of view. By choosing cooperation, not competition, we can make freshwater a force for peace.

UNESCO contributes to the mdg of ensuring environmental sustainability thru freshwater

© UNESCO/Vytautas Knyva
Zuvintas lake, Lithuania
Freshwater is a priority for UNESCO. We have contributed to the relevant Millennium Development Goal of ensuring environmental sustainability across what may be called the UNESCO Water Family, including:
- See more at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/water-cooperation-2013/launch-water-cooperation-2013/water-cooperation-in-focus/#sthash.9QjAitge.dpuf

Working together to provide water for all

© IUPAC
©IUPAC
Freshwater is the common denominator of today’s most pressing challenges, such as health, agriculture, energy, and urbanization. But this limited, finite resource is often poorly managed and faces severe pressure everywhere. How can the world work more closely together to overcome these present challenges, and ensure that access to freshwater, a human right, is available to all? To advance this most vital cause, UN-Water has designated UNESCO to lead United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC) in 2013. Celebrations will kick off at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on 11 February.
© NASA
Two capital cities on opposite banks of the Congo River: Brazzaville on the north side, and Kinshasa on the south side.
Freshwater flows freely, unconfined by political boundaries. For example, the world has 276 river basins with at least one tributary crossing an international boundary. These transboundary basins cover an estimated 46% of the Earth’s land surface, which host about 40% of the world’s population. Communities sharing freshwater resources may have competing needs or claims, requiring that traditional stakeholders in freshwater management -- namely, scientists, governments, policy makers -- join forces with individuals or organizations outside this “water box”, such as sociologists, ministries for women or indigenous peoples, community activists and civil society.
What does improved water cooperation look like? Gretchen Kalonji (UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences) suggests several scenarios: "It would mean convincing the food, water and energy sectors to work together, rather than in silos. It will take strong institutions at both the national and international levels to satisfy competing demands and defuse tension when it arises, such as over proposals for shale gas extraction, mass irrigation or dam construction.” Currently, these different constituencies are not working together, or not anywhere closely enough. Efforts must focus on joining them up to create a more comprehensive, integrated approach to water management. It is a missing key to making access to freshwater a reality for all, and it is long overdue.
The stakes are high today. Water security is essential to sustainable development, and vital to building inclusive, peaceful societies. Yet billions of people remain vulnerable to water scarcity, deteriorating water quality and such water-related disasters as floods and droughts. Women, children and those living in poverty suffer the heaviest burden. As highlighted in the 2012 MDG Report (LINK), women are disproportionately affected by water scarcity. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 71% of the water collection burden falls on women and girls; this heavy burden is also the case in other parts of the world. If women hold less than 6% of all ministerial positions in the environment, natural resources & energy, how about increasing women in decision-making, in the spirit of water cooperation?

The IYWC may be taking place over the course of 2013, but its fundamental goal is to start paving the path for a more peaceful and sustainable future. The projected world population increase from 7 billion today to 9 billion in 2050 will intensify demand for freshwater, boosting global agricultural consumption by 20% and hydroelectricity & other energy needs by 60%. Would these figures spell imminent water wars, notably in regions where water supplies are declining? Fortunately not, thanks to water cooperation! Contrary to popular belief, people are not more likely to fight over water when there is less of it. Cooperation is more frequent than conflict when it comes to water. Over the past 70 years, incidences of cooperation have outnumbered conflicts by 2 to 1. The Indus Waters Treaty signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 survived three major conflicts and remains intact today.

The IYWC is ultimately about finding common purpose around freshwater, in the diversity of our interests and points of view. By choosing cooperation, not competition, we can make freshwater a force for peace.

UNESCO contributes to the mdg of ensuring environmental sustainability thru freshwater

© UNESCO/Vytautas Knyva
Zuvintas lake, Lithuania
Freshwater is a priority for UNESCO. We have contributed to the relevant Millennium Development Goal of ensuring environmental sustainability across what may be called the UNESCO Water Family, including:
- See more at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/water-cooperation-2013/launch-water-cooperation-2013/water-cooperation-in-focus/#sthash.9QjAitge.dpuf

Working together to provide water for all

© IUPAC
©IUPAC
Freshwater is the common denominator of today’s most pressing challenges, such as health, agriculture, energy, and urbanization. But this limited, finite resource is often poorly managed and faces severe pressure everywhere. How can the world work more closely together to overcome these present challenges, and ensure that access to freshwater, a human right, is available to all? To advance this most vital cause, UN-Water has designated UNESCO to lead United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC) in 2013. Celebrations will kick off at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on 11 February.
© NASA
Two capital cities on opposite banks of the Congo River: Brazzaville on the north side, and Kinshasa on the south side.
Freshwater flows freely, unconfined by political boundaries. For example, the world has 276 river basins with at least one tributary crossing an international boundary. These transboundary basins cover an estimated 46% of the Earth’s land surface, which host about 40% of the world’s population. Communities sharing freshwater resources may have competing needs or claims, requiring that traditional stakeholders in freshwater management -- namely, scientists, governments, policy makers -- join forces with individuals or organizations outside this “water box”, such as sociologists, ministries for women or indigenous peoples, community activists and civil society.
What does improved water cooperation look like? Gretchen Kalonji (UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences) suggests several scenarios: "It would mean convincing the food, water and energy sectors to work together, rather than in silos. It will take strong institutions at both the national and international levels to satisfy competing demands and defuse tension when it arises, such as over proposals for shale gas extraction, mass irrigation or dam construction.” Currently, these different constituencies are not working together, or not anywhere closely enough. Efforts must focus on joining them up to create a more comprehensive, integrated approach to water management. It is a missing key to making access to freshwater a reality for all, and it is long overdue.
The stakes are high today. Water security is essential to sustainable development, and vital to building inclusive, peaceful societies. Yet billions of people remain vulnerable to water scarcity, deteriorating water quality and such water-related disasters as floods and droughts. Women, children and those living in poverty suffer the heaviest burden. As highlighted in the 2012 MDG Report (LINK), women are disproportionately affected by water scarcity. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 71% of the water collection burden falls on women and girls; this heavy burden is also the case in other parts of the world. If women hold less than 6% of all ministerial positions in the environment, natural resources & energy, how about increasing women in decision-making, in the spirit of water cooperation?

The IYWC may be taking place over the course of 2013, but its fundamental goal is to start paving the path for a more peaceful and sustainable future. The projected world population increase from 7 billion today to 9 billion in 2050 will intensify demand for freshwater, boosting global agricultural consumption by 20% and hydroelectricity & other energy needs by 60%. Would these figures spell imminent water wars, notably in regions where water supplies are declining? Fortunately not, thanks to water cooperation! Contrary to popular belief, people are not more likely to fight over water when there is less of it. Cooperation is more frequent than conflict when it comes to water. Over the past 70 years, incidences of cooperation have outnumbered conflicts by 2 to 1. The Indus Waters Treaty signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 survived three major conflicts and remains intact today.

The IYWC is ultimately about finding common purpose around freshwater, in the diversity of our interests and points of view. By choosing cooperation, not competition, we can make freshwater a force for peace.

UNESCO contributes to the mdg of ensuring environmental sustainability thru freshwater

© UNESCO/Vytautas Knyva
Zuvintas lake, Lithuania
Freshwater is a priority for UNESCO. We have contributed to the relevant Millennium Development Goal of ensuring environmental sustainability across what may be called the UNESCO Water Family, including:
- See more at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/water-cooperation-2013/launch-water-cooperation-2013/water-cooperation-in-focus/#sthash.9QjAitge.dpuf

Working together to provide water for all

© IUPAC
©IUPAC
Freshwater is the common denominator of today’s most pressing challenges, such as health, agriculture, energy, and urbanization. But this limited, finite resource is often poorly managed and faces severe pressure everywhere. How can the world work more closely together to overcome these present challenges, and ensure that access to freshwater, a human right, is available to all? To advance this most vital cause, UN-Water has designated UNESCO to lead United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC) in 2013. Celebrations will kick off at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on 11 February.
© NASA
Two capital cities on opposite banks of the Congo River: Brazzaville on the north side, and Kinshasa on the south side.
Freshwater flows freely, unconfined by political boundaries. For example, the world has 276 river basins with at least one tributary crossing an international boundary. These transboundary basins cover an estimated 46% of the Earth’s land surface, which host about 40% of the world’s population. Communities sharing freshwater resources may have competing needs or claims, requiring that traditional stakeholders in freshwater management -- namely, scientists, governments, policy makers -- join forces with individuals or organizations outside this “water box”, such as sociologists, ministries for women or indigenous peoples, community activists and civil society.
What does improved water cooperation look like? Gretchen Kalonji (UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences) suggests several scenarios: "It would mean convincing the food, water and energy sectors to work together, rather than in silos. It will take strong institutions at both the national and international levels to satisfy competing demands and defuse tension when it arises, such as over proposals for shale gas extraction, mass irrigation or dam construction.” Currently, these different constituencies are not working together, or not anywhere closely enough. Efforts must focus on joining them up to create a more comprehensive, integrated approach to water management. It is a missing key to making access to freshwater a reality for all, and it is long overdue.
The stakes are high today. Water security is essential to sustainable development, and vital to building inclusive, peaceful societies. Yet billions of people remain vulnerable to water scarcity, deteriorating water quality and such water-related disasters as floods and droughts. Women, children and those living in poverty suffer the heaviest burden. As highlighted in the 2012 MDG Report (LINK), women are disproportionately affected by water scarcity. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 71% of the water collection burden falls on women and girls; this heavy burden is also the case in other parts of the world. If women hold less than 6% of all ministerial positions in the environment, natural resources & energy, how about increasing women in decision-making, in the spirit of water cooperation?

The IYWC may be taking place over the course of 2013, but its fundamental goal is to start paving the path for a more peaceful and sustainable future. The projected world population increase from 7 billion today to 9 billion in 2050 will intensify demand for freshwater, boosting global agricultural consumption by 20% and hydroelectricity & other energy needs by 60%. Would these figures spell imminent water wars, notably in regions where water supplies are declining? Fortunately not, thanks to water cooperation! Contrary to popular belief, people are not more likely to fight over water when there is less of it. Cooperation is more frequent than conflict when it comes to water. Over the past 70 years, incidences of cooperation have outnumbered conflicts by 2 to 1. The Indus Waters Treaty signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 survived three major conflicts and remains intact today.

The IYWC is ultimately about finding common purpose around freshwater, in the diversity of our interests and points of view. By choosing cooperation, not competition, we can make freshwater a force for peace.

UNESCO contributes to the mdg of ensuring environmental sustainability thru freshwater

© UNESCO/Vytautas Knyva
Zuvintas lake, Lithuania
Freshwater is a priority for UNESCO. We have contributed to the relevant Millennium Development Goal of ensuring environmental sustainability across what may be called the UNESCO Water Family, including:
- See more at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/water-cooperation-2013/launch-water-cooperation-2013/water-cooperation-in-focus/#sthash.9QjAitge.dpuf

Working together to provide water for all

© IUPAC
©IUPAC
Freshwater is the common denominator of today’s most pressing challenges, such as health, agriculture, energy, and urbanization. But this limited, finite resource is often poorly managed and faces severe pressure everywhere. How can the world work more closely together to overcome these present challenges, and ensure that access to freshwater, a human right, is available to all? To advance this most vital cause, UN-Water has designated UNESCO to lead United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC) in 2013. Celebrations will kick off at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on 11 February.
© NASA
Two capital cities on opposite banks of the Congo River: Brazzaville on the north side, and Kinshasa on the south side.
Freshwater flows freely, unconfined by political boundaries. For example, the world has 276 river basins with at least one tributary crossing an international boundary. These transboundary basins cover an estimated 46% of the Earth’s land surface, which host about 40% of the world’s population. Communities sharing freshwater resources may have competing needs or claims, requiring that traditional stakeholders in freshwater management -- namely, scientists, governments, policy makers -- join forces with individuals or organizations outside this “water box”, such as sociologists, ministries for women or indigenous peoples, community activists and civil society.
What does improved water cooperation look like? Gretchen Kalonji (UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences) suggests several scenarios: "It would mean convincing the food, water and energy sectors to work together, rather than in silos. It will take strong institutions at both the national and international levels to satisfy competing demands and defuse tension when it arises, such as over proposals for shale gas extraction, mass irrigation or dam construction.” Currently, these different constituencies are not working together, or not anywhere closely enough. Efforts must focus on joining them up to create a more comprehensive, integrated approach to water management. It is a missing key to making access to freshwater a reality for all, and it is long overdue.
The stakes are high today. Water security is essential to sustainable development, and vital to building inclusive, peaceful societies. Yet billions of people remain vulnerable to water scarcity, deteriorating water quality and such water-related disasters as floods and droughts. Women, children and those living in poverty suffer the heaviest burden. As highlighted in the 2012 MDG Report (LINK), women are disproportionately affected by water scarcity. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 71% of the water collection burden falls on women and girls; this heavy burden is also the case in other parts of the world. If women hold less than 6% of all ministerial positions in the environment, natural resources & energy, how about increasing women in decision-making, in the spirit of water cooperation?

The IYWC may be taking place over the course of 2013, but its fundamental goal is to start paving the path for a more peaceful and sustainable future. The projected world population increase from 7 billion today to 9 billion in 2050 will intensify demand for freshwater, boosting global agricultural consumption by 20% and hydroelectricity & other energy needs by 60%. Would these figures spell imminent water wars, notably in regions where water supplies are declining? Fortunately not, thanks to water cooperation! Contrary to popular belief, people are not more likely to fight over water when there is less of it. Cooperation is more frequent than conflict when it comes to water. Over the past 70 years, incidences of cooperation have outnumbered conflicts by 2 to 1. The Indus Waters Treaty signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 survived three major conflicts and remains intact today.

The IYWC is ultimately about finding common purpose around freshwater, in the diversity of our interests and points of view. By choosing cooperation, not competition, we can make freshwater a force for peace.

UNESCO contributes to the mdg of ensuring environmental sustainability thru freshwater

© UNESCO/Vytautas Knyva
Zuvintas lake, Lithuania
Freshwater is a priority for UNESCO. We have contributed to the relevant Millennium Development Goal of ensuring environmental sustainability across what may be called the UNESCO Water Family, including:
- See more at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/water-cooperation-2013/launch-water-cooperation-2013/water-cooperation-in-focus/#sthash.9QjAitge.dpuf

“Water, water everywhere, only if we share” Kick off of the International Year of Water Cooperation in Paris


Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO; Michel Jarraud, UN-Water Chair and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO); and Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan today launched the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters, in Paris. The Year was proclaimed by the United Nations at the initiative of Tajikistan and UNESCO has been designated by UN-Water to coordinate activities during the year.
 
The launching ceremony featured a video message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and messages from the Presidents of Kenya and Mongolia.
          The participants stressed the central role of water in ensuring sustainable development, public health, poverty alleviation and combating the effects of climate change.
          “Water is not just one subject among others, it is the central subject of international cooperation,” said the Director-General of UNESCO […]  In 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized water as a human right and this must now be translated into reality. In a world where 300 water basins are shared between several countries, this can only be achieved through cooperation,” Ms Bokova said.
            “More than 780 million people still do not have access to improved water and two and a half billion people have no access to improved sanitation services,” stressed the Chair of UN Water as he advocated reinforced cooperation in this area. He pointed out that that 40% of all natural disasters concern water, whether drought or flood, and voiced strong support for “UNESCO’s effort in favour of water diplomacy as an essential instrument of dialogue and cooperation to create a more peaceful world.”
            Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan for his part declared that “we need to strengthen water diplomacy to achieve the 2015 [deadline] of the Millennium Goals. Only close cooperation can secure the achievement of water goals for people, the environment and the economy. […] We must make this year, a year of strengthened mutual understanding, cooperation and dialogue.”
            France’s Minister Delegate for Development, Pascal Canfin, stressed the importance his government gives to environmental sustainability through water cooperation. He pledged France’s commitment to help especially Saharan Africa overcome growing water shortage. “The Millennium Development Goals regarding water have almost been reached, but the objectives that they set out are insufficient as they do not address the issue of [water] quality.”
            Launching events continued during the day, notably with the participation of young people from France, Japan and the Netherlands at a youth event hosted by the municipality of Paris at the Pavillion de l’Eau.
            During the launch ceremony, Mega Kumar of India presented her slogan for the International Year of Water Cooperation: Water, water everywhere, only if we share.” Ms Kumar’s slogan was chosen from over 12,000 slogans submitted as part of a world-wide competition.
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Τρίτη, 12 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

“Water for Peace” global consultations (11-17 February 2013)

Dear colleagues,

From 11 to 17 February we urge you to use the opportunity to promote the importance of transboundary water cooperation within the "Water for Peace" discussion http://www.worldwewant2015.org/water/voices  in the framework of the currently ongoing UN-led global debate on the post-2015 Development Agenda.

The week “Water for Peace” aims to stress the role of transboundary water cooperation in the management and protection of our water resources and to address the challenges and ways forward for such cooperation. The discussion also paves the way for water issues in the future sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The UNECE Water Convention secretariat, together with UNESCO, ESCAP and WWF and in the framework of UN-Water, is moderating and stimulating the “Water for Peace” debate.

Among others, the discussion provides a great opportunity to stress the importance of solid legal and institutional frameworks for cooperation, including those provided by the UNECE Water Convention.

We urge you to join the debate and make your voice heard! Here are some possible actions:

-    Express your views, participate to polls and to debates on http://www.worldwewant2015.org/water/voices

-    Follow on Twitter (#waterpost2015) or on Facebook (WaterPost2015)

-    Check out the other water consultations on http://www.worldwewant2015.org/water 

-    Vote for Water at http://www.myworld2015.org/ !

Δευτέρα, 11 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

Slogan chosen for the year is International Year of Water

Great infographic to mark the International Year of Water Cooperation. Slogan chosen for the year is Water Water Everywhere, only if we share.
Water management is one of the priorities of the Global Framework for Climate Services spearheaded by WMO

Σάββατο, 2 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

Join us on 20 Feb for a discussion on water in the post-2015 development agenda

Water and Food - Framing Paper

Can't view this? Click the URL or paste it into your browser:
http://www.fao.org/nr/water/waterfood2015.html

FAO Water
February 1, 2013
The World We Want 2015

Get ready for the online consultation on 4 - 11 February 2013

Global amounts of water used to produce food are huge, because all that we eat requires water to grow. With a world population of 7 billion today expected to reach 9 billion in 2050, more food, and therefore more water will be needed. As water becomes scarcier and the demand for other uses (domestic, industry, energy) also increases, we need to find ways to produce more with less, and save water whenever possible.

On 4-11 February, let's talk about water and food. Have your voice heard and tell the world what you have to say!

The Water Thematic Consultation is part of the "global dialogue" comprising around 100 Country Consultations and 11 global Thematic Consultations taking place mainly on-line aimed to bring in voices from a broad range of stakeholders and build a consensus around the place of water in the post-2015 development agenda.
Click here to participate
Some questions to think about...
Q#1: When water is scarce, how do you prioritize water for growing food versus growing biofuels?
Q#2: Food waste is water waste. How can we reduce the food waste at home in urban areas, particularly for fresh products?
Q#3: All that you eat requires water to grow, but some food stuffs require even more water. Would you be willing to change your diet to reduce your water footprint?
...More on the consultation site!
Have your voice heard! More ways to participate
photo Online discussion
photo Interact with FAO expert Karen Frenken on 6 Feb - 14.00 CET
photo #waterpost2015
photo https://www.facebook.com/
waterpost2015
Food for thought
photo Water and Food - Framing Paper
Paper prepared especially for the consultation explaining the links between water and food, and current and future challenges.
Download
photo The State of the World's Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture (FAO, 2011)
The first ever global, baseline status report on land and water resources.
Download
photo World Water Day 2012 Brochure: Water and Food Security
An informative brochure that will tell you everything you need to know about water and food.
Download
Video materials
photo The World is Thirsty because We Are Hungry
2min to discover why we use so much water.
Watch
photo All you eat needs water to grow
1min spot. How much water to produce your food? Check it out!
Watch
photo Water technology for food security and poverty reduction
3min. Discover how motor pumps can change lives.
Watch
More multimedia materials >>