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KEY PUBLICATIONS AND ONLINE RESOURCES
WATER, OCEANS AND WETLANDS
This page was updated on: 01/12/10
(GreenFacts, 2005) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA), the flagship publication of the FAO Fisheries Department, is now available in fact sheet format online. Download the fact sheets.
(FAO, 2005) As one means of addressing ethical concerns relating to fisheries, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recently published “Ethical issues in fisheries” which reviews the role of ethics, describes the main issues in fisheries, and explores ways to implement ethical principles drawn from agreed international instruments in fisheries management. The report.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Voices of Youth programme has launched Water Alert! – an interactive game intended to educate young people on global water, environment and sanitation issues. The object of the game is to ensure that people in a drought-challenged village, who are facing the threat of a flood, have water that is safe to drink and a clean and healthy school environment. The game is available in three languages online (English, French and Spanish) and a CD version includes a guide with instructions for use of the game as a teaching tool. Play the game here.
(JMMB, 2005) The results of this twenty-year study (1980-2000) of the Joint Monitoring on Migratory Birds in the Wadden Sea (JMMB), was carried out within the framework of the Wadden Sea Secretariat’s Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Programme (TMAG). Since 1978, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have been working together on the protection and conservation of the Wadden Sea covering management, monitoring and research, as well as political matters. The report.
The 26th Session of the UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) Committee on Fisheries adopted international guidelines for the ecolabelling of fish and fishery products from marine capture fisheries. The voluntary guidelines are designed to certify and promote labels for fish and fishery products from well-managed marine capture fisheries with a focus on issues related to the sustainable use of fisheries resources. The guidelines.
Produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Atlas of African Lakes compares and contrasts satellite images of different lakes in Africa between the past and present. For example, the atlas, through satellite measurements, details the falling water levels of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater lake, which is now about a meter lower than it was in the early 1990s. The atlas also serves as a vivid reminder that African lakes are a source of livelihoods for many African communities and contribute to the socio-economic development of the continent. More information.
UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Programme has released a new brochure – Water, a Shared Responsibility – to present the upcoming Second United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR2); an up-to-date global overview of the state and uses of freshwater, critical water-related problems and societies' coping mechanisms. The brochure includes a description of key issues and a general presentation of the report and its contents. WWDR2 will be launched on World Water Day, 22 March 2006, at the Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City. More information.
(WWF, September 2005) By analyzing several WWF projects around the world, this new report from the global conservation organization shows a strong link between environmental improvement and economic development. It demonstrates improvements in the livelihoods of poor local communities where WWF-supported conservation projects are in place and shows that employment, income, health and education levels can be improve as a direct result of better management of scarce freshwater resources. The report.
(WWF, September 2005) This review, published by WWF-Canada, evaluates the effectiveness of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), especially with respect to bycatch and its implications on the NAFO-managed stocks. It also documents the devastating impact that indiscriminate fishing and bad international fisheries management are having on many species, including cod. The report.
(Flows, September 2005) Supported by the World Bank and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), this Flows Bulletin – “Payments for watershed services in coastal areas: not whether but when, and the cost of delay” – focuses on the impact of storms and flooding on wetlands and economics in the U.S. state of Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. The Bulletin.
IUCN’s Global Marine Programme and the IUCN Regional Office for South America have launched a new website in Spanish dedicated to marine issues. The new site brings together regional marine news stories, information on local IUCN activities in South America, and related publications and documents. The website.
(UNEP and IUCN, September 2005) This new report, The Fall of the Water, is subtitled “Emerging threats to the water resources and biodiversity at the roof of the world to Asia’s lowland from land-use changes associated with large-scale settlement and piecemeal development.” According to the report, the mountains of Asia, including the Himalayas, are facing accelerating threats from a rapid rise in roads, settlements, overgrazing and deforestation, and there is concern that the region’s water supplies, fed by glaciers and the monsoons, may be harmed alongside the area’s abundant and rich wildlife. The report also points out that climate change is likely to aggravate problems with water supplies. Scientists warn that far more effort is needed to extend protection right across the region in both lowland and mountain areas if the impacts are to be minimized. The report.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched an e-newsletter featuring up-to-date information on the activities of its water project, case studies from multinational companies and speeches by business leaders. The newsletter will also include news, reports, events and other topical information relevant to readers interested in the business perspective. More information.
The World Bank has developed a website on water resources management. Intended to be a central organizing point for addressing water as a cross-cutting issue, the website addresses water as a resource in its many dimensions, serves to assess and disseminate emerging lessons and shared experiences, publicize policies and guidelines, facilitate cooperation on water issues and address issues of knowledge generation, management, and enhancing skills. The website.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is launching a Water Resources and Wastewater Network to provide an online platform for researchers, experts, practitioners and other stakeholder communities to discuss water issues of relevance in the region, with the overall goal of promoting sustainable water management practices and collaboration among the countries of the region. Discussions will start online on 18 July 2005. More information.
(Swedish Water House, 2005) The Swedish Water House, together with the Stockholm International Water Institute and the Stockholm Environment Institute, has produced a new policy brief entitled “Rain: The Neglected Resource.” This policy brief focuses on sustainable and integrated ways to manage water in all its major facets as a fundamental natural resource, a livelihood element and an ecosystem component, and calls for a corresponding paradigm shift in conceptual understanding. It also aspires to contribute to the shift in water thinking which is needed and essential in order to find realistic and sustainable options to feed the world of tomorrow. The report.
A new report by the United Nations University, Bioprospecting of genetic resources in the deep seabed, is the first comprehensive review of the scientific, legal and policy issues involved in deep seabed bioprospecting. It examines the current scientific and commercial explorations occurring in the deep seabed, and offers an in-depth analysis of the relevant legal instruments, and the gaps in these laws. The report underscores that the deep seabed holds great promise for medical, industrial, and other commercial uses, but could be permanently damaged if countries do not agree on ways to regulate access to those parts of the deep seabed that lie beyond national jurisdiction. Bioprospecting in the seabed within territorial limits is currently regulated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which determines states’ jurisdiction, rights and obligations in the oceans, as well as in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which governs access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing. The report.
(WHO/UNICEF, 2005) The sixth joint monitoring report for water supply and sanitation, Water for Life: Making it Happen, has just been released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). According to the report, some two billion people will need access to water supplies and basic sanitation by 2015 in order to achieve the related Millennium Development Goal (MDG). Although the investment requirements are significant (it is estimated that the effort will cost US$11.3 billion each year until 2015), the report emphasizes the financial and emotional payback that achieving that goal will bring. The report also charts the effects of lack of drinking water and sanitation, a condition that plagues some one billion and 2.4 billion people, respectively. The report.
(IUCN, 2005) Responding to the need for information on freshwater biodiversity in east Africa, the IUCN/SSC Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Programme conducted a regional assessment of over 1600 taxa of freshwater fish, molluscs, odonates and crabs from Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Distribution ranges have been mapped for the majority of species, providing a tool for application to the conservation and development planning process. The report.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched a new aquaculture gateway page where viewers will be able to access relevant information on aquaculture at the international, regional and national level. Visit the site.
(WBCSD, April 2005) Published by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), this paper identifies steps that business can take, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to ensure sustainable water management. The paper.
(SIWI, IFPRI, IUCN, IWMI, April 2005) Scientists from the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), World Conservation Union (IUCN) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) have published a report, Let It Reign: The New Water Paradigm for Global Food Security. The report provides policy recommendations on producing more food with less water. The report.
(SIWI, 2005) This report, which was developed by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of the governments of Norway and Sweden, shows how investments in the water sector can generate economic benefits that considerably outweigh costs and contribute to human development. The report argues in favor of increased investment in water and sanitation, highlighting flow-on benefits to countries’ economic growth and poverty reduction. The authors argue that the economic benefits of improved water supply and sanitation far outweigh the investment costs, and that most countries should be able to meet the investment needs in these sectors. The report.
(Science, April 2005) This study, led by Christer Nilsson of the Landscape Ecology Group at Umeå University, Sweden, shows that humans have affected significantly the flow of half the world’s major rivers by building dams. The report assesses the extent to which dams affect 292 large river systems throughout the world. Large dams are planned or under construction in 46 large river systems, 40 in developing countries. More information.
(WSSCC, 2005) This study is the result of collaboration between the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Human Settlements Programme at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Written by David Satterthwaite with Gordon McGranahan and Diana Mitlin, the study focuses on the Millennium Development Goal targets. It contains chapters on: securing community-driven improvements in provision; developing alternative means to support improvements in water and sanitation provision; financing water and sanitation improvements through loans and subsidies; engaging with small-scale private water and sanitation providers; and tools and methods that support community-driven improvements for water and sanitation. The report.
(FAO, 2005) This review, based on official catch statistics and relevant stock assessment and other complementary information, details the state of world marine fish stocks. It provides analysis of major trends and recent changes in the status of world marine fishery resources globally and by major regions, with special sections on high profile issues such as the state of tunas, squids, deepwater fisheries and climate-induced fisheries variability.
(WaterAid, 2005) This research document reveals how governments will fail to meet their water and sanitation promises to the world’s poor unless they improve their performance. In the latest report by WaterAid - Getting to Boiling Point, Turning Up the Heat on Water and Sanitation – the international charity organization exposes the financial waste and under-investment that are currently trapping millions in poverty. It also gives national governments and the international community the options that, if followed, could enable them to keep their promises to halve the proportion of people without safe water and sanitation by 2015, as set out in the Millennium Development Goals. The report.
(IWMI, NRI et al., 2005) This website contains links to 33 presentations and the Statement developed at an international workshop co-organized by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich, the Faculty of Law of the University of Dar-es-Salaam, and the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. The workshop convened in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26-28 January 2005 and discussed research on community-based arrangements for developing and managing water for small-scale domestic and productive uses in rural Africa and the impacts of recent statutory water reform. Participants also compared African experiences with those in Asia and Latin America.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), through its GEMS/Water Programme, has launched a new online searchable database of global water quality data and statistics. The data found on the site aims to strengthen the scientific basis for global and regional water assessments, indicators and early warning.
The World Water Council and the Global Water Partnership has launched a joint website to provide information on the follow-up activities that have been initiated since the publication of “Financing Water for All,” the report of the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure. The website features case studies of innovative ways to finance investments for water infrastructure, thus allowing users to take note of actions and experiences in this area since the original report was released.
(Global Environment Centre, 2005) This publication contains a compilation of proceedings from a three-day East Asia Regional Seminar on River Restoration held in Kuala Lumpur in January 2003. The seminar brought together representatives from government agencies, research institutions and non-government organizations from eight countries to provide a platform for regional experts and river managers to share their experiences. The proceedings contain a total of 38 papers categorized into four main themes: planning and management of river restoration; techniques and experiences in river restoration; research and development in river restoration; and community participation in river restoration.
(American Water Works Association, 2005) Authored by Wang Young-Doo, William James Smith, Jr., and John Byrne, this book highlights how water rates can serve as an effective tool for reducing water use in areas that are faced with drought or shrinking water supplies. The book discusses rate structures that encourage water conservation, including through: drought demand rates, excess use rates or excess surcharges, inclining block rates, and seasonal rates. The book explores: implementation issues; economic issues for the utility and the consumer, especially low-income consumers; advantages and disadvantages; the type of rates suitable for specific customer groups or situations; and real-world utility experiences with conservation rates.
(WorldFish Center, 2005) The WorldFish Center has launched a new report highlighting three challenges facing wetlands governance: improving interagency coordination; devolving authority to ensure that decisions are more responsive to people’s needs and that conflicts are managed equitably; and instituting better systems for assessing the multiple values of wetlands so that policy decisions reflect the interests of poor people in particular. The report draws on extensive consultations held in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos involving IUCN, Wetlands International, Asian Institute of Technology, Mekong River Commission, government agencies and research institutes.
(GNF, 2005) The Global Nature Fund has released a guidebook for the preparation of a management plan, Reviving Wetlands – Sustainable Management of Wetlands and Shallow Lakes. The guidebook notes that the management of different resources such as water or tourism is a complex task that requires balancing social, ecological and economical considerations. In addition to offering information about resource management, this book contains the insights from international experts accompanied by descriptive case studies. The 134-page publication has been published in four languages (English, German, Spanish and Greek). In addition, an instructional movie has been produced for DVD. The EU LIFE programme sponsored the production of these materials.
(UNEP/SIWI, 2005) UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) have released the results of a joint project on water-related challenges for financial institutions. In the report, UNEP FI and SIWI highlight the issues that arise from dealing with water scarcity and identify opportunities for the financial sector to contribute to sustainable development through active engagement in mitigating water-related risks. The report concludes that there is a clear benefit for financial institutions in incorporating water scarcity risk assessment into financial products and services. As for governments and policymakers, the report highlights the importance of the institutional and managerial capacity for water governance as a factor in producing water scarcity risks.
(IUCN, 2005) IUCN–The World Conservation Union has released a guide designed to assist field teams and monitoring programmes to collect relevant data and promote comparisons of data from local to national to regional levels. The guidelines are intended for use by people with experience in coral reef monitoring or underwater observation.
The website of UNESCO’s Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE) answers questions such as how much water is required to sustain our consumption patterns, what is the impact of our diet on the globe’s water resources, and how do we reduce our individual “water footprint.” The website provides definitions of concepts, research results, downloadable publications and links to other relevant websites. A “water footprint calculator” will be available to enable people to estimate their own water footprint.
(Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, 2004) This publication presents six case studies that involved a combined approach to water and energy. Each case study reviews the related technology, sustainability, financial issues, obstacles and replicability, with the intention of promoting the particular approaches used.
IMPACTS OF THE TSUNAMI ON FISHERIES, AQUACULTURE AND COASTAL LIVELIHOODS
(FAO, January 2005) This preliminary report on the impacts of the Indian Ocean tsunami on coastal livelihoods seeks to determine the resources and steps needed to restore shattered livelihoods in the stricken communities as rapidly as possible. The report.
WETLANDS AND THE TSUNAMI – WEB RESOURCE AND E-DISCUSSION GROUPS
The Ramsar Tsunami Reference Group, comprising among others Wetlands International, WWF, IUCN, BirdLife International and the International Water Management Institute, will be coordinating rapid assessment of the affected areas with involvement and assistance of all remote sensing specialists, interested agencies and organisations. A web resource is being developed and eight e-discussion groups have been formed on topics relating to: Impacts of the tsunami on the livelihoods of coastal communities dependent on natural assets; Wetland species - conservation and management; Coastal wetland assessment and ecological restoration; Mangroves; Coral reef and sea grass beds; Integrated coastal zone management; Freshwater wetland resources impacted by the tsunami; and Coastal reconstruction. If you are interested in joining any of these groups, please email email@example.com.
INTERNATIONAL WATER ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES ASIA RELIEF SITE
Responding to the tsunami relief efforts, IWA has launched a website aimed at enabling knowledge sharing and specialist help on water-related issues. The website.
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