World Water Week 2008 : Recap

World Water Week 2008 : Recap

The World Water Week concluded at Stockholm on August 23rd. with 2400 scientists, leaders and various representatives from more than 100 countries. Action is crucial, stakes are high and time is running out, were the key messages coming from the World Water Week (August 17th - 23rd). The focal points throughout were sanitation and hygiene, climate, water management, ecosystems and business issues. Studies, reports, initiatives and announcements made during the week included: Water, Agriculture and Bioenergy: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/Downloads/2008/Water_Agriculture_Bioenergy.pdf Water Resource Management: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/Downloads/2008/Water_Resource_Management.pdf Climate and Water: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/Downloads/2008/Climate_and_Water.pdf Water Economics, Finance and the Private Sector: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/Downloads/2008/Economics_Finance_and_the_Private_Sector.pdf Ecosystems and Biodiversity: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/Downloads/2008/Ecosystems_and_Biodiversity.pdf Transboundary Waters: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/Downloads/2008/Transboundary_Waters.pdf Water in Asia: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/Downloads/2008/Water_in_Asia.pdf

Some of the pertinent issues discussed: In the opening session, James Leape, Director General, WWF, said that "Behind the world food crisis is a global freshwater crisis, expected to rapidly worsen as climate change impacts intensify." http://www.panda.org/news_facts/newsroom/press_releases/index.cfm?uNewsID=143641 A policy brief on " Saving Water : From Field to Fork - Curbing Losses and Wastage in the Food Chain", released by The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), freely available at http://siwi.org/ At the first ever Asia Water Day to be held during World Water Week, Mr.Xianbin Yao, Acting Director General of Asian Development Bank's Regional and Sustainable Development Department said, "What Asia needs is not just more financing. It needs better management." He noted that there are far-sighted individual leaders and groups who have achieved extraordinary success in the delivery of water and sanitation services, and they can serve as role models in helping inspire improvements in management. Those mentioned were Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh who installed low cost and ecologically sustainable toilets across India and Mr. Ek Sonn Chan who made unpopular but necessary decisions to turnaround the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority which was losing 70 percent of the city's water when he took it over in 1993. Mention was also made of Mr. Khun Chamroon Suavdee, who chairs the Bang Pakong River Basin Committee in Thailand helping overcome community conflicts over water use. http://www.worldwaterweek.org/Downloads/2008/press/Asia_Day_News_release.pdf The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) made a presentation on "Climate Change in the Himalayas: Increased hazards and reduced water security" : http://www.icimod.org/home/news/press.php The Brazil Declaration on "The State of Wetlands and their Role in a World of Global Climate Change" was highlighted. http://www.worldwaterweek.org/Downloads/2008/press/Cuiaba_Brazil_Wetland_Declaration.pdf Organised and hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute, The World Water Week in Stockholm is the leading annual global meeting place in water and development for professionals. All press releases related to The World Water Week (17th-23rd August, 2008) can be viewed at: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/press/index.asp

Access the closing remarks and a summation of World Water Week  by Prof. Malin Falkenmark here:World Water Week Conclusions

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