IISD Reporting Services -
KEY PUBLICATIONS AND ONLINE RESOURCES
WATER, OCEANS AND WETLANDS
This page was updated on: 01/12/10
(FAO, 2004) According to this publication, seven of the top 10 marine fish species are fully exploited or overexploited, and serious biological and economic drawbacks are likely if fishing capacity for these stocks is further increased. The report indicated that 52% of the world’s marine stocks are fully exploited, which means they are being fished at their maximum biological productivity. Increased fishing of these stocks would not produce any additional sustainable harvests and would reduce reproduction to dangerously low levels. Another 16% are considered over-exploited, and 7% are depleted. Regions with fish stocks in greatest need of recovery include the Northeast Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, followed by the Northwest Atlantic, the Southeast Atlantic, the Southeast Pacific and the Southern Ocean.
In addition to providing a world review of fisheries and aquaculture, the report also addresses the following issues: capture-based aquaculture; fishing sector labor standards; fisheries management and CITES; trade implications of fish species and fish product identification; depleted stocks recovery; and governance and management of deep-water fisheries. The report further highlights special studies on: the seaweed industry; aquaculture production forecasts to 2030; impacts of trawling on benthic systems; measurement of fishing capacity; re-estimating discards; fisheries subsidies; and African freshwater small-scale fisheries.
(UNDP, 2004) As part of its ongoing efforts to support both IWRM and gender mainstreaming strategies, as well as to contribute to more effective IWRM initiatives, UNDP’s Environmentally Sustainable Development Group (ESDG) has prepared this resource guide for mainstreaming gender in IWRM.
(IUCN Environmental Law Centre, 2004) Published under the IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper series and edited by Alejandro Iza, the first volume of this publication is a compilation and analysis of international agreements on freshwater ecosystems. The report will be followed by a compilation and analysis of selected national legislation, court decisions and soft law instruments. This volume is designed to provide a better understanding of the existing governance arrangements for the conservation of freshwater ecosystems and to assist in the ongoing review and evolution of such arrangements. It focuses on selected shared river agreements from around the world and other multilateral environmental agreements that might impact on the conservation of freshwater ecosystems.
STATUS OF CORAL REEFS OF THE WORLD 2004
(Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and International Coral Reef Initiative, 2004) This report documents how human activities continue to be the primary cause of the global coral reef crisis. The report details many new initiatives aimed at reversing this degradation, including efforts to conserve the biodiversity, economic value and beauty of coral reefs. It also identifies the major stresses to coral reefs, including: natural forces that they have coped with for millions of years; direct human pressures, including sediment and nutrient pollution from the land, over-exploitation and damaging fishing practices, engineering modification of shorelines; and the global threats of climate change causing coral bleaching, rising sea levels and potentially threatening the ability of corals to form skeletons in more acid waters. The report.
TURNING THE TIDE – ADDRESSING THE IMPACT OF FISHERIES ON THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT
(RCEP, 2004) The UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has recently released its report on the impact of fisheries on the marine environment. In preparing this report, the Royal Commission studied a wide range of environmental impacts associated with a variety of commercial fishing activities, including trawling, drift netting, industrial fishing and fish farming. The report also examined regulatory and management practices, the institutional and legal framework, and the state of marine science and data.
Key recommendations for the UK government include, inter alia: establishing a large-scale network of marine protected areas; developing a statutory system of marine spatial planning that covers all major uses of the sea, including fishing; introducing Marine Acts to set out the long-term goals for protecting the marine environment and to provide the necessary statutory underpinning for a marine planning system and marine reserves; initiating a decommissioning scheme to reduce the capacity of the UK fishing fleet to an environmentally-sustainable level and move towards managing fisheries on the basis of controlling fishing efforts; and halting any deep-sea trawling taking place in UK waters or being carried out by UK vessels. The report.
CATALYZING CHANGE: A HANDBOOK FOR DEVELOPING INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND WATER EFFICIENCY STRATEGIES
(GWP, 2004) This new handbook from the Global Water Partnership (GWP) outlines practical steps for developing national water management strategies to support efforts to achieve the levels of sustainable economic development required to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The handbook seeks to encourage progress by showing how national water plans can contribute to meeting broader social and economic goals and to resolving recurrent water-related problems, such as droughts and floods. The book also offers ways to deal with potential stumbling blocks, such as lack of support, capacity or financial resources. Other topics covered in the handbook include an explanation of key concepts, such as the meaning of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and the role of an IWRM and water efficiency strategy. It also covers issues such as how to decide on the substance of a strategy, steps in developing a strategy and how to avoid potential pitfalls, as well as tips for ensuring effective implementation. The handbook.
WOMEN AND WATER: AN ETHICAL ISSUE
(UNESCO, 2004) This essay, one in a series on Water and Ethics published under the International Hydrological Programme, is concerned with the ethical issues arising from the special role of women in water use and from related social and environmental problems. It discusses both the nature of some of the key problems and the efforts in recent decades by both intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to overcome these problems. The essay.
A DREAM OF WATER
(UNESCO and WWAP, 2004) This educational documentary film, produced under the auspices of UNESCO and the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), was presented to water experts and country delegations at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, on 30 November 2004. The documentary was made to raise awareness on the sustainable uses of water resources within the framework of the upcoming International Decade for Action — Water for Life: 2005-2015. It is a prototype for a series, which if produced would be used as part of awareness raising campaigns on the problems generated by water mismanagement, and would be distributed to different public broadcast services around the world. More information.
THE WORLD'S WATER: THE BIENNIAL REPORT ON FRESHWATER RESOURCES
(November 2004, Island Press) The World’s Water report – by 2003 MacArthur Fellow recipient Peter Gleick – provides comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis on freshwater sources as well as on the political, economic, scientific and technological issues associated with them. In this fourth volume, Gleick and his research team focus on the most significant trends worldwide, including how to meet the basic needs of over one billion people without access to clean water, the growing controversy over public versus private water, the role of conservation and efficiency in solving water problems, and concerns about the dramatic growth in bottled water consumption. More information.
UN WORLD WATER DEVELOPMENT REPORT ON CD-ROM
An interactive version of Water for People, Water for Life - The United Nations World Water Development Report is now available on CD-ROM. The most comprehensive assessment of the world’s freshwater resources, this report is based on the collective input of 23 UN agencies and convention secretariats. The global picture it presents is complemented by the presentation of seven pilot case studies of river basins representing different social, economic and environmental settings. Order the CD-ROM.
(Ramsar, September 2004) The second edition of the Ramsar Handbook for the Wise Use of Wetlands is now available on CD-ROM. The Handbook, consisting of 14 volumes, contains all the major guidance documents adopted by the Ramsar Conference of Parties through COP-8 in 2002, combined with additional illustrative material such as background studies, case studies, photographs and tables. The Handbook.
WATER GOVERNANCE IN WEST AFRICA
(IUCN, 2004) This report is the latest publication of the IUCN Environmental Law Programme Series. It addresses a wide range of global, regional and local issues relating to water resources governance in West Africa, and contributes information on meeting the challenges and targets set in the Millennium Declaration and the WSSD Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The publication.
A NET WITH HOLES: THE REGIONAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
(Deep Sea Conservation Coalition 2004) This document looks at the shortcomings of the regional fisheries management system in addressing protection of deep sea biodiversity and ecosystems. The paper.
MARINE RESERVES: A GUIDE TO SCIENCE, DESIGN, AND USE
(Island Press, 2004) Written by Jack Sobel and Craig Dahlen, this book seeks to provide a current overview and synthesis on the science, planning and management of marine reserves, with case studies from California, Belize and the Bahamas, as well as a review of experiences from around the world across a broad range of geographical locations, socioeconomic conditions, and marine environments. Chapters address topics such as: marine biological and geophysical issues relevant to reserve design; potential economic and biological benefits of marine reserves, and the likelihood of achieving them; influence of social and economic factors on reserve design and implementation; and lessons learned from past efforts to establish marine reserves. More information.
FISHING FOR ANSWERS: MAKING SENSE OF
THE GLOBAL FISH CRISIS
GUIDELINES FOR REDUCING FLOOD LOSSES
(UN, 2004) Paul J. Pilon edited this four-chapter inter-agency publication, led by UNDESA, which was launched on World Water Day 2004. The text is the result of three workshops and symposia held in response to the devastation arising from water-related natural disasters, particularly flooding. One objective of these events was to create comprehensive guidelines that could be used by governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and civil society to help avert losses from flooding and epidemics. The resulting guidelines address the needs of decision-makers and describe the range of mitigation options that need to be considered when endeavoring to reduce losses from flooding. The guidelines offer an introduction to the general issue area and various measures to mitigate the impacts associated with floods. The text.
US COMMISSION ON OCEAN POLICY - AN OCEAN BLUEPRINT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
The US Commission on Ocean Policy, the federally-appointed body charged with reviewing the status of America’s oceans and U.S. ocean policy, has released its final report - An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century. The report offers 212 recommendations to transform US ocean policy, including calls for a new governance framework, more investment in marine science, and a new stewardship ethic by all Americans. The report.
REEFS AT RISK IN THE CARIBBEAN
(WRI, September 2004) According to a new report by the World Resources Institute, nearly two-thirds of coral reefs in the Caribbean are threatened by human activities. Much of the evidence was provided by the WRI’s Reefs at Risk Threat Index, which uses geographic information system (GIS) data to determine reef degradation from four primary sources. This includes coastal developments such as sewage discharge, water-based sediment and pollution coming from fertilizers from farms, marine-based pollution such as those coming from discharges from cruise ships, and over-fishing. Noting that goods and services from reefs brought in an annual net economic value in 2000 between US$3.1-4.6 billion from fisheries, dive tourism, fisheries and shoreline protection, the report focuses on ways all consumers can preserve the reefs. The report.
THE UNDERSTANDING OF WATER IN THE ARAB COUNTRIES OF THE MIDDLE EAST - A FOUR COUNTRY ANALYSIS
(Heinrich Böll Foundation, September 2004) This paper summarizes the main challenges facing strategic and coordinated action towards the UN concept of water as a human right. It also identifies what types of processes and institutions needs to be developed to meet the challenges of the concept, and provides best practice examples from countries that have shown innovation, including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. The publication.
WHO GUIDELINES FOR DRINKING-WATER QUALITY, 3RD EDITION
(WHO, September 2004) According to the World Health Organization, these updated guidelines for drinking water quality represent a “paradigm shift” in advice on how to manage the provision of drinking water. The guidelines recommend a holistic, systematic approach from source to tap towards water quality regulation and management in order to prevent water-related disease, including preventive measures such as ensuring that water reservoirs or local wells are not at risk from contamination. The traditional approach to managing drinking water quality involved testing water samples for levels of contaminants, but this method is remedial rather than preventative. The new guidelines reflect reviewed and revised recommended values for chemical limits, and sets out practical approaches to discount some chemicals and prioritize others. The updates guidelines also include applications for emergencies and disaster situations. The Guidelines.
FLOODS AND THE POOR - REDUCING THE VULNERABILITY OF THE POOR TO THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF FLOODS
(ABD, 2004) This Asian Development Bank publication examines water-related disasters from the perspective of affected poor households, and proposes ways to help them cope with floods. The online version was released in January, while the hardcopy version was released in September. Download the publication.
MEETING THE MDG DRINKING-WATER AND SANITATION TARGET: A MID-TERM ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS
(WHO/UNICEF, 2004) A new report by the Joint Monitoring Programme on Water Supply and Sanitation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), provides the latest estimates and trends on how countries are making progress on their national commitments to improve international water and sanitation goals. According to the United Nations, a billion people worldwide lack clean drinking water and about 2.6 billion go without basic sanitation. The report, the first of the mid-term reports on progress towards achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), contains detailed new information on progress by region and by country and cites some improvements, particularly in the delivery of potable water, but points out population gains may render moot any progress made thus far. With the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, the world is well on its way to meeting the drinking water target by 2015, but progress in sanitation is stalled in many developing regions. A copy of the report is available at: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/monitoring/en/jmp04.pdf
UNEP ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF THE BARENTS SEA
(UNEP-GIWA, 2004) The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) has launched a new report indicating that increased exploration activities of petroleum resources, offshore developments and the shipping of oil and gas along the coasts represent significant potential threats to the Barents Sea’s vulnerable arctic ecosystem. According to the report, the development of these oil and gas deposits will increase oil transport to 40 million tonnes by the year 2020, and will correspondingly increase the pressure on the Northern Sea Route (which crosses the Barents Sea) by a factor of six. As a consequence, the risk of accidental oil spills is expected to increase in the near future. The report also identified the overexploitation of fish stocks, invasive species and pollution as other major threats to the Sea. In response to the problems identified, the report recommends that new regulations for different sectors should be adopted and enforced, along with rigorous adherence to existing international environmental agreements. A copy is available at: http://www.giwa.net/barentssea/giwa_regional_assessment_11.pdf
WATER, AGRICULTURE AND YOU
(Rodale Institute, 2004) New research released by The Rodale Institute and funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection shows that by composting manure, farmers can significantly improve the quality of water entering America’s watersheds. Based on a decade-long study, the report, Water, Agriculture and You, demonstrates that compost provides optimum nutrient levels for crop growth while simultaneously minimizing non-point nutrient pollution of ground and surface waters. The Rodale Institute research also documents that the use of organic farming practices reduces agricultural water pollution by up to 75%, improves quality in surface and ground waters, and benefits water quality in downstream marine environments. A copy of the report is available on the Rodale Institute website at: http://strauscom.com/rodale/
CATCH FISH NOT TURTLES USING LONGLINES
This new booklet by the Hawaii-based Blue Ocean Institute, together with the UNEP Regional Seas Programme and the Indian Ocean-South East Asian (IOSEA) Marine Turtle Secretariat, offers tips on using new kinds of hooks and fishing methods as a way of conserving rare and endangered migratory marine turtles. The booklet also gives eight key tips on how to handle a snagged turtle in order to maximize its chances of survival. These include advice on how to remove an ingested hook and how to treat a turtle until it can be released. A copy of the booklet is available at: http://www.wpcouncil.org/protected/Documents/TurtleBooklet-English.pdf
WETLANDS PROFESSIONAL PLATFORM
The Platform, a joint initiative of the Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment (RIZA) and the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, offers news and information on wetland management and restoration. It also provides space for wetland professionals worldwide to interact, exchange information, and announce events and training opportunities. The Platform can be accessed at: http://www.wetlandprofessionals.ihe.nl/home.asp
WATER FOOTPRINT SITE
The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education has launched a new website dedicated to assessing ‘water footprints’ – the total volume of water that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the nation. The website also provides definitions of concepts, research results, downloadable publications and links to other relevant websites. Access the website at: http://www.waterfootprint.org/
WATER AS A HUMAN RIGHT?
(IUCN, July 2004) This IUCN publication provides a legal review of international conventions and agreements concerning human rights and water. Authored by John Scanlon, Angela Cassar and Noemi Nemes, the paper begins with an overview of existing instruments and notes that while the human right to water does exist, this right has not been clearly defined in international law, nor has it been explicitly recogni