The Budapest Water Summit convened from 9-11 October 2013, in Budapest, Hungary. The Summit brought together participants representing governments, international organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector. The Summit discussed, in particular, the developments within and without the UN system on the development of water-related goals for the post-2015 development agenda. The meeting took place in the context of the United Nations (UN) International Year of Water Cooperation 2013, the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) “The Future We Want,” and the ongoing post-2015 development agenda process to negotiate sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The meeting included the high-level Summit and, in parallel, the Science Forum, Civil Society Forum, Youth Forum and Business Leaders Forum. Side events and a Water and Sanitation Expo took place throughout the meeting. The Summit and Fora addressed themes including: integrated water resources management (IWRM); access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); good water governance; the water, energy and food nexus; water in the context of the green economy; and investment and finance.
The Budapest Water Summit addressed these issues in sessions and high-level panels, including: striving for universal access to water and sanitation; addressing WASH issues; implementing IWRM for the 21st century; serving a growing population with water in a changing climate; implementing good water governance; governing water wisely with specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) SDGs; enabling a green economy for blue water; investing and financing to address the global water and sanitation crisis and related SDG; and leveraging finance.
On Wednesday evening, a special high-level panel took place on the water-energy-food nexus and a philanthropy roundtable convened on Thursday evening. On Friday afternoon, the Summit adopted the Budapest Statement, calling for a water-related SDG and the establishment of an intergovernmental mechanism on water, and this was followed by a closing ceremony. This summary presents a brief history of intergovernmental processes on freshwater and summarizes the events of the high-level Summit.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Freshwater is a finite resource that is imperative for sustainable development, economic growth, political and social stability, human and ecosystem health, and poverty eradication. While water issues have long been on the international agenda, the debate on how to meet the growing global demand for freshwater has intensified in recent years: over 800 million people currently lack access to safe drinking water, while about 2.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.
UN MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: At the UN Millennium Summit held at UN headquarters in New York, in September 2000, world leaders adopted the Millennium Declaration, which inspired eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with 18 targets, including the target to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015.
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (WSSD): During the WSSD, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August-September 2002, world leaders expanded the MDG target on safe drinking water by also agreeing to halve the number of people lacking adequate sanitation by 2015. Other water-related targets in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) included the commitment to develop integrated water resource management (IWRM) and water efficiency plans by 2005. Governments, lending agencies and international organizations also launched several voluntary partnerships and initiatives in the area of water and sanitation.
12TH and 13TH SESSIONS OF THE UN COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CSD-12 AND CSD-13): At its 12th and 13th sessions held in New York, in April 2004 and April 2005, respectively, the CSD focused on policies and options to expedite the implementation of international commitments in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements. The section on water in the CSD-13 outcome document calls for, inter alia: accelerating progress toward the MDGs and the WSSD 2015 water access targets by increasing resources and using a full range of policy instruments; improving water demand and resource management, especially in agriculture; and accelerating the provision of technical and financial assistance to countries that need help to meet the 2005 target on IWRM.
2005-2015 INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR ACTION “WATER FOR LIFE”: Organized by the UN, the International Decade focuses on the implementation of water-related programmes and projects and on strengthening cooperation on water issues at all levels. Priorities include: access to sanitation; disaster prevention; pollution; transboundary water issues; water, sanitation and gender; capacity building; financing; and IWRM. Africa is identified as a region for priority action for the Decade.
UN CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (UNCSD or RIO+20): The third and final meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), Pre-Conference Informal Consultations Facilitated by the host country, and the UNCSD convened back-to-back in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 13-22 June 2012. During their ten days in Rio, government delegations concluded the negotiations on the Rio outcome document, titled “The Future We Want.”
On water, the Rio+20 outcome: underlined the critical importance of water and sanitation to sustainable development; reaffirmed the JPOI and Millennium Declaration commitments to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation; committed to progressive realization of safe and affordable drinking water and basic sanitation; reaffirmed commitments to progressively realize the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation; recognized the key role that ecosystems play in maintaining water quantity and quality; underlined the need to adopt measures to address floods, droughts and water security, and to mobilize financial resources and investment in infrastructure for water and sanitation; and stressed the need to adopt measures to significantly reduce water pollution, increase water quality, significantly improve wastewater treatment and water efficiency, and reduce water losses.
POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA PROCESS: At Rio+20 governments agreed to launch a process to develop a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs). They called for establishing an Open Working Group (OWG) comprising 30 representatives from the five UN regional groups, nominated by UN Member States, to elaborate a proposal for SDGs to be submitted to the UNGA for consideration and appropriate action during its 68th session. The UN Development Group (UNDG) also initiated a series of national and global consultations on the post-2015 development agenda. At the global level, UNDG initiated 11 multi-stakeholder thematic consultations on: inequalities; education; health; governance; conflict and fragility; growth and employment; environmental sustainability; hunger, nutrition and food security; population dynamics; energy; and water.
Global Consultation on Water: As part of the global thematic consultations, which took place throughout the spring of 2013, the water consultation, facilitated by UN-Water, Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the UN Children’s Fund was launched and further divided into three streams: Water Resources Management (WRM); Wastewater Management and Water Quality (WWMWQ); and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). The Global Consultation on Water included an online interactive consultation on the website “The World We Want,” and the Monrovia, Geneva and The Hague Consultations.
Monrovia Consultation: On the margins of the Post-2015 UN High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons, the Post-2015 Thematic Consultation on Water convened on 29 January 2013, in Monrovia, Liberia. The outcome of the meeting, the Monrovia Declaration, calls for addressing MDG shortfalls, “unfinished business” and neglected issues, including water resources, water quality and hygiene, and water security.
Geneva Consultation: The meeting on the Post-2015 Development Agenda Consultation on Water: WRM and WWMWQ convened from 27-28 February 2013, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Discussions concentrated on six themes identified during the first day, namely: resilience to climate change and other global pressures; efficiency and reuse; transboundary cooperation; pollution, protection, water quality and ecosystems; balancing uses and allocation; and governance frameworks and integrated water resource management. The outcomes of the discussions were forwarded to the High-Level Forum on Water on the Global Thematic Consultation on Water, convening in The Hague, on 21-22 March.
The Hague Consultation: The High-Level Meeting of the Global Thematic Consultation on Water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda took place from 21-22 March 2013, in The Hague, the Netherlands. The meeting consisted of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, also called “Wings for Water,” which took place on 21 March, and the celebration of International World Water Day on the theme of water cooperation, which took place on 22 March. The High-Level Forum recognized and endorsed the outcomes and recommendations of the Global Thematic Consultation on Water, which emphasized that if water issues are not addressed adequately in the post-2015 development agenda this would not only mean a water crisis, but several other crises in water-dependent sectors.
Third Session of the OWG: OWG-3 took place from 22-24 May 2013 at UN Headquarters in New York. The meeting was devoted to addressing the thematic issues of: (a) food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification, land degradation and drought, and (b) water and sanitation. On water and sanitation issues, delegates called for: universal access to WASH; the use of a rights-based approach; and recognition of the inter-linkages and importance of water and sanitation for the attainment of many development goals, including health, child mortality, economic growth, and poverty eradication. Delegates also called for: improved preparedness for natural disasters; access to appropriate technologies for water treatment, recycling and re-use; and integrated water resource management.
SUMMARY OF THE BUDAPEST WATER SUMMIT
Moderator Klára Breuer, Head of Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hungary, opened the Budapest Water Summit, welcoming participants to Budapest.
President János Áder, Hungary, stressed that if current water use trends continue, the result will be global vulnerability and high costs to humanity, including impacts to human health, agriculture and the environment. He called for close-knit water cooperation between countries and for the conference to draw the world’s attention to water issues by building awareness of individual and common responsibilities, demonstrating common faith to achieve objectives, and leading by example.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lamented that by 2030 nearly half the global population could be facing water scarcity, and that demand could outstrip supply by 40 percent. He told participants that water is needed for health, security and economic progress and holds the key to sustainable development. Stressing the need for all countries to work together, he outlined three areas for cooperation: food security, reconciling the demands of agriculture with the needs of domestic and industrial uses, especially energy production; climate change and the risks it presents through diminished supplies; and sanitation, noting investment in sanitation is a “down-payment on a sustainable future.” He concluded that WASH will be critical to a new development agenda, stressing that deliberations at the Summit will be instrumental in guiding Member States.
Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, Cambodia, underscored the importance of water as a basic human right, and called on all governments to cooperate on water issues to help achieve the Summit’s mandate: give the future a chance.
Irina Bokova, Director General, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), highlighted the imperative of cooperation, especially in the context of the 2013 UN International Year of Water Cooperation. She called for reaching decision makers outside the “water box,” promoting dialogue among stakeholders, and building an improved knowledge base for IWRM.
Chair HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Jordan, UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), lamented that “we think locally but act globally.” Bin Talal emphasized that previous regional agreements demonstrate that water cooperation is possible, and called for addressing the challenges surrounding the often-taboo issues of menstruation and open defecation.
HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia, Chairman, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, highlighted the need for: integrated management, including participation of all sectors; political will to support management and enforce legislation; and political power supported by economic and military forces.
Benedito Braga, President, World Water Council (WWC), said a water-related SDG should include targets for: increasing social resilience; achieving universal and sustainable access to WASH; and preserving aquatic ecosystems. He emphasized the link between development and water security, and called for consideration of water throughout all areas addressed by the post-2015 development agenda.
Noting that water is not a domestic or bilateral issue, Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, stressed that access to water must be addressed globally. He discussed the nexus between water, energy and food security, and explained that the challenges the international community faces regarding water are highly contentious.
Sándor Fazekas, Minister of Rural Development, Hungary, observed that the majority of Hungary’s surface waters are transboundary, making water cooperation a matter of national security. He underscored Hungary’s willingness to share its knowledge and experience, and pledged to continue its proactive approach to international water cooperation.
José Graziano da Silva, Director General, UN Food and Agricultural Organization, said increased efficiency has enabled production of more food, but that this has often been through chemicals at the expense of water resources. He observed that food waste implies water waste, and emphasized the need to achieve inclusiveness and cooperation across political and sectoral boundaries.
Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), noted progress on reducing childhood deaths associated with poor water and sanitation, but also identified weaknesses in the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such as lack of an indicator for monitoring microbiological or chemical water quality. On a future sanitation and hygiene agenda, she urged frank discussion on open defecation and hand-washing post-defecation.
Michel Jarraud, Chair, UN-Water, and Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), offered UN-Water’s reservoir of expertise in addressing one of the most “cross-cutting issues we have to solve.” He explained UN-Water is working to help develop potential targets and indicators for an SDG on water and to provide technical input into the post-2015 development agenda.
Mahmoud Mohieldin, Special Envoy of the President for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, World Bank, called for reinvigorated efforts to achieve MDGs related to safe water, stressed encouraging private sector investment, and emphasized that targets need to be supported with strong implementation frameworks and knowledge bases.
Jonathan Taylor, Vice-President, Environment and Climate Action, European Investment Bank (EIB), outlined EIB’s seven priority areas of work in response to post-2015 challenges: IWRM, supporting transboundary initiatives; sector development and capacity building; water efficiency; new water supply development; sanitation and wastewater management; climate action; and research and innovation on technical, financial and social dimensions.
Kandeh Yumkella, Special Representative of the Secretary General and CEO, Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, Chair, UN-Energy, said energy and water were “two sides of the same coin,” with nearly half of the water withdrawals in some areas being used for energy. He linked both as central to overall security and conflict issues. He noted the potential for energy subsidies to cause overuse of aquifers for irrigation, and said universal access to energy and water was essential for the empowerment of women.
Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), highlighted improvements in transboundary water management due to implementation of the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention). He called for countries to sign the UN Convention on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (Watercourses Convention) to ensure its entry into force, saying the two Conventions provide complementary bases for transboundary water cooperation.
Taizo Nishikawa, Deputy Director General, UN Industrial Development Organization, said the interrelation between water and energy will increase under climate change. Nishikawa highlighted the upcoming launch of the World Water Development Report dedicated to water and energy during World Water Day, on March 2014, in Tokyo, Japan.
Pavel Kabat, Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria, proposed a vision for water futures based on three principles: science; understanding the future; and a new generation of partnerships. He emphasized a cross-sectoral approach and the need to develop both short-term and long-term future scenarios, given the increasing severity of transboundary issues.
János Béri, Dézy Kakas, and Péter Polak, Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Hungarian winners, were honored. Polak described early memories of the failure of the well in his grandparents’ garden, noting this is a common problem the world over. He said the carelessness that brought us to this point still exists and stressed that we are far from a recovery. He told participants they have the power to make things better, not just for themselves but, more importantly, for their children.
STRIVING FOR UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO WATER AND SANITATION: On Wednesday morning, participants heard presentations about progress on and challenges to providing access to water and sanitation. Bai Mass Taal, Executive Secretary, African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), chaired the session, and Themba Gumbo, Director, Cap-Net, Zimbabwe was Rapporteur.
Cai Qihua, Vice-Minister of Water Resources, China, outlined her country’s progress on meeting the safe drinking water target under the MDGs. She highlighted investments in schistosomiasis prevention and non-hazardous sanitary toilets, and suggested greater attention for water and sanitation issues in the post-2015 development agenda, including a water-related SDG.
Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO, called for multi-disciplinary approaches, saying the health sector alone cannot improve WASH services. She lamented that the limited political power of women means some of the most powerful advocates for WASH have no voice, and said improving WASH would be a “pro-poor strategy on a grand scale.” She concluded that prevention is the heart of public health, equity its soul, and access to WASH the life-blood of good health for all.
Ravi Narayanan, Chair, Asia-Pacific Water Forum Governing Council, called for focus on four areas: reversing the inequality calamity; boosting water productivity; cleaning up Asia’s freshwater resources; and building resilience to disasters. He observed that addressing these areas necessitates transforming governance, and called for harnessing the power of youth, science and governments.
Mass Taal closed the session by emphasizing the need to integrate science and policy to create a coherent message on WASH to input into the post-2015 development agenda process.
IWRM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: On Wednesday afternoon, Chair Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, Executive Chairman, Qatar National Food Security Programme, opened the session on IWRM, identifying the need to invent new, more effective approaches to address a shared responsibility for the future of water. Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden, was the Rapporteur. Panelists presented on aspects of IWRM, including inter alia: links between water and climate change, including natural disasters; tradeoffs associated with technological solutions; and development-related challenges.
In the context of continued population growth and increased water use, Pavel Kabat, Director, IIASA, described community displacements due to: higher stream salinity levels; decreased availability for groundwater; and impacts to farming and fish spawning from higher water temperatures. He cautioned that technological solutions must be feasible outside capital-rich countries, and said real progress will require cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary systems thinking.
Charles Vörösmarty, Professor, City University of New York, US, said research shows little evidence for broad adoption of, or positive impacts from, IWRM. He described various classes of threats, including pollution, maladaptive management practices, and biotic stress agents, with byproducts of “sloppy development” presenting the greatest threats. He linked integrity of the environment with sustainability, and called for partnerships with the private sector.
Kuniyoshi Takeuchi, Director, International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management, Japan, called for an SDG addressing water-related disaster risk reduction (DRR). He noted transboundary impacts of disasters and increased risk posed by climate change, and suggested an SDG to “halve the population exposed to high disaster risk of hydro-hazards below a ten-year return period.” He outlined methodologies for monitoring DRR preparedness.
GOOD WATER GOVERNANCE: On Thursday morning, Chair Uri Shamir, Professor, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, introduced the presenters and Rapporteur Joyeeta Gupta, Professor, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Sanjaasuren Oyun, Minister for Nature, Environment and Green Development, Mongolia, shared Mongolia’s water management challenges, including projected impacts from climate change and increased mining sector water demand. She highlighted a number of management strategies, including: a river-basin management model; policies to protect water sources and forests; water tariffs to encourage water recycling; water pollution fees; efforts to upgrade waste water treatment; and surface water transfers to protect an ancient aquifer.
Jean-Pierre Thébault, Ambassador for Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France, emphasized the importance of local-level water governance, explaining that political decentralization is the core of democratization and good governance. He underscored that France wants to link defined goals with the best-suited financial instruments. He described good water governance as requiring legitimacy, efficiency and transparency, but cautioned that it is a “difficult task.”
Amadou Hama Maiga, Deputy Director General, International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering, Burkina Faso, highlighted that Africa will miss the water and sanitation targets under the MDGs. He said a water-related SDG for Africa should mobilize investment, rethink the water and sanitation paradigm, better organize water resources management, and consider sanitation as a business opportunity in local economies.
Shavkat Khamraev, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Water Management, Uzbekistan, discussed transboundary governance challenges related to the Aral Sea. He described the history of international agreements addressing regional ecological, social and economic crises. Khamraev highlighted that the Third Aral Sea Basin Programme involves implementation of more than 300 projects, and urged for more international attention to the issue.
GREEN ECONOMY FOR BLUE WATER: On Thursday afternoon, Chair Nguyen Thai Lai, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Viet Nam, opened the afternoon session, inviting panelists to explore the relationship between the economy and water. Thomas Chiramba, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), was rapporteur.
Sulton Rahimov, First Deputy Minister of Melioration and Water, Tajikistan, observed that water resource use in Central Asia is wasteful due to low efficiency irrigation systems. He noted that hydropower is the major energy source for Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, but negligible for the other three countries of the Aral Sea Basin, and highlighted the potential for increased use in the region.
Stefan Berggren, Ministry of Environment, Sweden, described Sweden’s aim of achieving “good water status,” as classified under the European Union Water Framework Directive, by 2015. He said systematic and transparent involvement of stakeholders is key for IWRM. On green growth, he stressed that discussions require understanding and including ecosystem services and their value in global accounting.
Helen Mountford, Deputy Director, Environment Directorate, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), identified three strategies for green growth: making pollution more costly than green alternatives; valuing and pricing natural assets and ecosystem services appropriately; and removing environmentally harmful subsidies.
Harish Chandra Singh Rawat, Minister for Water Resources, India, said failure to address unsustainable consumption would lead to treating only the symptoms, rather than the cause, of resource scarcities and that a green economy approach can be an effective driver of global growth.
INVESTMENT IN AND FINANCING TO ADDRESS THE GLOBAL WATER AND SANITATION CRISIS AND RELATED SDG: On Friday morning, Chair André Laperrière, Deputy CEO, Global Environment Facility (the GEF), opened the session, introducing Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Rapporteur, and the presenters. He said water is more than a commodity, it is also life, growth and peace, and can be a motor of development, especially in the context of transboundary basin management.
Lakshmi Venkatachalam, Vice-President, Private Sector and Cofinancing Operations, Asian Development Bank (ADB), focused on utilities, both as gateways for bridging the gap between available and needed financing, and bottlenecks caused by their inability to attract or efficiently use potential financing. She described some of ADB’s efforts to help transform utilities into well-managed corporate entities, including through appropriate pricing, saying that even the poor are willing to pay for improved services.
William Rex, Sector Manager, World Bank, offered advice on increasing “what you can get for your money,” including by: stopping “flushing money down the drain” through inefficiency; investing and designing projects for the future; and investing in service, not inputs. He emphasized there will never be enough money, so the water sector should focus on spending the money available more efficiently.
Bektas Mukhamedjanov, Deputy Minister of Environment Protection, Kazakhstan, outlined Kazakhstan’s water policies, which aim to solve all water provision problems by 2020, all irrigated agriculture problems by 2040, and all water problems in general by 2050. Noting that half of the country’s water resources are transboundary, he discussed the decline of the Aral Sea and the success of cooperative efforts in the basin to recover from the crisis.
HIGH-LEVEL PANEL DISCUSSIONS
HOW TO WASH?: On Wednesday morning a high-level panel discussion, moderated by Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, SEI, Sweden, focused on challenges and potential approaches for achieving access to WASH.
Presenting country experiences, Djoko Kirmanto, Minister of Public Works, Indonesia, and Chew Men Leong, Chief Executive, PUB, Singapore, highlighted their countries’ water management objectives, including the tariff and pricing schemes and regulatory frameworks.
Trevor Balzer, Acting Director-General, Department of Water Affairs, South Africa, highlighted that the human right to water and the protection of ecosystem flows are enshrined in the South African Constitution.
On how to WASH, Katariina Poskiparta, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland, called for political commitment, increased investments in sanitation and wastewater treatment, new ways of thinking and behavior, and improved regulatory frameworks.
Martin Mogwanja, Deputy Executive Director, UN Children’s Fund, and Robert Burtscher, Senior Advisor on Water and Sanitation, Austrian Development Agency, advocated a heightened focus on the poorest populations.
Burtscher called for a nexus approach that focuses on three sectors: water, energy and food security. Gérard Payen, Member, UNSGAB, and President, AquaFed, underscored the urgent need to build a global mechanism for monitoring water safety.
Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, stressed the need for a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) SDG that integrates issues of quality, accessibility and affordability.
During the discussion, panelists considered equity issues, including: how to reach the “bottom billion”; bottom-up approaches to water development; and equitable and reasonable use of transboundary water resources. Points relevant to the need for adequate water quality and quantity included: the need for a “really safe” SDG; access to reliable and sufficient water; and water re-use and water recycling.
On public engagement, panelists called for: capacity-building for community-based development and engaging civil society and stakeholders. In other interventions, panelists addressed, inter alia: water security; the nexus between water, energy and agriculture; ensuring the sustainability of achievements; and getting governance conditions right. In closing, Bai Mass Taal, Executive Secretary AMCOW, underscored convincing political leaders to prioritize access to water and asked how long we can stand by watching people die from lack of access to WASH.
HOW TO SERVE A GROWING POPULATION WITH WATER IN A CHANGING CLIMATE?: On Wednesday afternoon, a high-level panel, moderated by János Bogárdi, Professor, University of Bonn, Germany, discussed inter alia: climate change and migration; water and food security; information networks; water diplomacy; watershed protection; and specific strategies such as storage, water efficiency, pricing, and re-use.
Veysel Eroğlu, Minister of Forestry and Water, Turkey, described Istanbul’s response to water shortage amidst rapid population increase and immigration, including: an inter-basin water transfer project; advanced wastewater treatment systems for illegal settlement areas; and water savings and efficiency measures.
Benedito Braga, President, WWC, underscored increased water storage infrastructure, especially for coping with drought, but noted the need for well-managed infrastructure.
Stephan Auer, Director, Multilateral Relations and Global Issues, European External Action Service, outlined an EU strategy for water diplomacy based on, inter alia: building on past experience; focusing on priority areas; promoting international water conventions; and creating partnerships to enhance water cooperation across borders.
László Somlyódy, Member, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, highlighted “tremendous developments” in computer technology for detecting water contamination. Michel Jarraud, Secretary General, WMO, and Chair, UN-Water, lamented the degradation of information networks, stressing that the past is no longer a good predictor of the future. Ján Ilavský, State Secretary, Minister of Environment, Slovak Republic, said that knowledge is key to reducing uncertainty. Ilavský underscored the importance of forests in water management, citing their role as the best “catchment” of water.
Ida Margrete Meier Auken, Minister for the Environment, Denmark, identified the need for a water-related SDG to generate political attention and investments. She emphasized increased water efficiency, giving examples of water pricing and water reuse, including industrial symbiosis where one company uses waste products of another.
Apichart Anukularmphai, President, Thailand Water Resources Association, suggested that over-emphasis on development may have unintended consequences, such as watershed degradation and flooding.
In closing, Fahid bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, Executive Chairman, Qatar National Food Security Programme, highlighted the importance of “localizing solutions.”
HOW TO GOVERN WATER WISELY WITH SMART SDGs?: On Thursday morning, Moderator Aziza Akhmouch, Head, Water Governance Programme, OECD, opened the panel discussion, highlighting the need to identify good practices and instruments to help governments and public and private partners implement solutions.
On governance, Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, Chair, Global Water Partnership (GWP), said the water crisis is mainly a governance crisis. She discussed GWP’s efforts on governance, noting these include activities addressing transboundary issues, training on international water law, and corruption reduction efforts.
Boleslawa Witmer, Butterfly Effect, observed that involvement of civil society is not only about WASH, emphasizing that organizations working on transboundary issues, governance issues, and disaster relief should be acknowledged and play a role.
Describing specific initiatives, Sibylle Vermont, Head Negotiator for International Environmental Policy on Water, Forests and Wetlands, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, discussed the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, emphasizing its value as a framework convention to drive further progress.
Ivan Zavadsky, Executive Secretary, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, explained that by “stepping out of the water sector,” Danube countries have agreed on strong policy measures, providing an example of cooperation between the navigation and water sectors.
On solutions to governance challenges, Uta Wehn de Montalvo, Professor, UNESCO Institute for Water Education (IHE), said knowledge and capacity issues affect both industrialized and developing countries. She observed that capacity development is more than education and training, but requires leadership.
Michel Rentenaar, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands, emphasized: promoting inclusiveness; engaging powerful groups that currently bypass water governance; and balancing short and long-term needs.
Márta Szigeti Bonifert, Chair, Management Board, Environment and Security Initiative, stressed the importance of involvement across all sectors to ensure good governance.
Robert Varady, Deputy Director, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona, US, underscored the contribution academics can make and urged creating dialogue between natural and social scientists.
Zavadsky said balancing conflicting water uses helps countries build trust and confidence. He explained that technical cooperation based on sharing scientific data and analysis allows cooperation and efficiency of measures at the national level.
On a water-related SDG, Witmer said the focus should be on formation of real goals at the thematic level, cautioning against the development of targets based only on what currently seems measurable. Vermont stated that having a water SDG will help trigger both political will and financing to address water supply, management and nexus issues, saying it should address the whole water cycle rather than just water supply and sanitation.
WHAT IS THIS GREEN STUFF?: The panel discussion on Thursday afternoon opened with Moderator Tom Soo, Executive Director, International Water Resources Association (IWRA), emphasizing the inclusion of human wellbeing as central to the concept of green growth.
On the SDGs, Doğan Altinbilek, President, IWRA, suggested that key components of a water SDG should include: universal access to sanitation and drinking water; increased wastewater use; and improved IWRM and water use efficiency. Paulo Lopes Varella Neto, Director, National Water Agency, Brazil, noted that solutions will vary for different regions and countries. Julia Marton-Lefévre, Director-General, IUCN, stressed bringing nature into the SDGs, saying it provides our life support and is also our solution.
In discussions on water infrastructure, Christopher Briggs, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention, supported the need for soft or natural infrastructure, such as natural and artificial wetlands, to treat, re-treat and reuse water to ensure stable and resilient ecosystems for people to live in.
Brice Lalonde, Special Advisor on Sustainable Development, UN Global Compact, suggested redefining infrastructure from dams and other “hard” structures to include wetlands, birds, fish, bats, bees and other natural systems. He urged participants to remember that nature must drink as well. Marton-Lefévre, IUCN, concurred that natural infrastructure has to be taken into account when deciding the best way of dealing with water needs.
On green growth, György Palkó, Veolia Water, explained it usually means, “do more with less,” adding that human motivation and expertise is the biggest asset. Marton-Lefévre said green growth reminds us nature is essential and provides solutions for sustainable development. Altinbilek, pointed to the Republic of Korea where green growth is a way of life and is being applied in their international development assistance programmes.
During discussions, issues raised included: public-private partnerships and how to leverage the private sector for green growth; the role of employees in shaping companies’ sustainability policies; the need for integrated and systems thinking to address cross-sectoral issues; investment in ecosystems and natural infrastructure; economic valuation of interventions during the planning phase; and development of alternative measures of wellbeing besides gross domestic product.
Thai Lai Nguyen, Deputy Minister, Ministry of National Resources and the Environment, Viet Nam, concluded by noting that all panelists stressed the need to appreciate natural services and called for respecting the rights of nature, noting it will continue to provide for our needs if we do the same in return.
DOES MONEY MATTER?: Moderator Monica Scatasta, Head, Water and Waste Management Division, EIB, welcomed panelists, framing the discussion on roles and responsibilities for different stakeholders, and considerations of water management, water quality, and disaster management.
On the responsibilities of governments, Sarah Reng Ochekpe, Chair, AMCOW, and Minister of Water Resources, Nigeria, highlighted Nigeria’s recent water summit, which helped raise the profile of water in the country, secure additional project funding, and was subsequently adopted by AMCOW as a model approach for other countries.
Paul Oquist Kelley, Minister and Private Secretary of National Policies, Nicaragua, said that water accounts for 54 percent of their energy sector’s expenses. He highlighted Nicaragua’s commitment to increasing renewable energy to 90 percent by 2020, explaining it will reduce energy costs, while also reducing the energy sector’s water use.
Richard Seeber, Member of the European Parliament, Austria, discussed the role of elected officials, emphasizing requirements for: defining the proper legal and economic frameworks; setting the right price for water; using a holistic approach, such as working in river basins; and cooperating.
On the role of the private sector, Herbert Oberhänsli, Vice President, Nestlé S.A., Switzerland, said social and financial return on investment are conditions for private sector investment. He explained that social return relates to shared value between Nestlé and farmers, while financial returns concern measuring opportunity cost and reducing risks.
Brian Arbogast, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, US, said the philanthropic community has the highest “appetite for risk.” He described the opportunity for philanthropic investors to provide “pioneer capital” to try something more high-risk.
On the interaction between public and private sectors, Kadri Ozen, Public Affairs Director, Coca-Cola Eurasia and Africa Group, emphasized the “golden triangle” of government, civil society, and the private sector for achieving results and described his company’s community-based water projects.
Margaret Batty, Director of Policy and Campaigns, WaterAid, stressed: a people-centered approach; clarity about the desired transformational change; and the need for political leadership.
Edward Breslin, CEO, Water for People, called for forming partnerships that include the private sector and civil society. He underscored the need for measuring outcomes before seeking more money, cautioning that if results cannot be achieved, money should go to sectors that will “actually work,” such as education and roads.
During discussions, Batty said the starting point for scaling-up small successes was national responsibility and plans, including identifying blockages in implementation. Breslin stressed: efforts to clean up the flow of funds between ministries of finance and local governments; professionalizing services; and the influence of local success on national strategy. William Rex, World Bank, underlined the importance of nexus issues, observing that the energy sector requires water to be viable but does not have the tools for integrated energy and water planning.
André Laperrière, the GEF, summarized common themes: work to be done in WASH is “immense”; there is a cash circulation problem; a system review is needed to focus more on results than inputs; money is not everything; and the first step should include be developing a framework for enabling capacity building, and putting regulation in place.
SPECIAL HIGH-LEVEL WATER-ENERGY-FOOD NEXUS SESSION
On Wednesday evening, Moderator Fritz Holzwarth, Deputy Director-General, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Germany, opened this panel and introduced Rapporteur Holger Hoff, Senior Research Fellow, SEI.
Presenting the case of Nicaragua, Paul Oquist Kelley, Minister and Private Secretary of National Policies, Nicaragua, described elements of his country’s micro-macro strategy, including financing and cooperatives for small-scale producers and development of hydrological resources for energy production.
On the nexus, Roberto Lenton, Director, Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute, University of Nebraska, US, agreed that the nexus must go beyond individual sectors to look at synergies and trade-offs.
Mohamed Ait-Kadi, Chair, Technical Committee, GWP, said the nexus invites reconsideration of the development paradigm, cautioning it has degrees of contextualization and differentiation and should not be promoted as a formula. He concluded that IWRM and the nexus reinforce each other.
Mohammad Bin Ibrahim Al-Saud, Deputy Minister for Water Affairs, Ministry of Water and Electricity, Saudi Arabia, underscored the connection between energy and water, emphasizing the need for increased renewable energy use in the agriculture sector.
On solutions accounting for the nexus, Avinash Tyagi, Secretary General, International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, stressed the importance of building resilience into irrigation systems to protect against climate change shocks that affect food production.
Explaining there are many opportunities for science to contribute, Richard Lawford, Morgan State University, US, questioned whether the national or basin levels are better information interfaces. He explained that earth observations and modeling capabilities provide reliable datasets for use in baseline planning.
Alexander Verbeek, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands, reiterated the importance of science, and the use of satellite data to provide cross-sectoral linkages.
On a water-related SDG, Reza Ardakanian, Director, UN University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and Resources, said the SDGs will help enhance public awareness and demand for an integrated approach.
During discussion, panelists considered how to change mindsets, saying the challenges include teaching people to recognize nexus linkages, capacity building for policy makers, and developing new institutional arrangements that transcend sectoral boundaries.
On institutional arrangements, they noted, inter alia: the absence of recognition within the food sector of embedded energy and water costs; the critical need for funding; and that water challenges may best be addressed through energy policy.
On Thursday evening, Moderator László Pintér, Professor, Central European University, Hungary, identified three elements important to philanthropy for water: significant investment; technical, social and governance innovation; and dedication over the long term.
Edward Breslin, CEO, Water for People, US, stressed moving from short-term to long-term outcomes, monitoring for improvement, and financing that seeks to be catalytic not permanent. He said monitoring should avoid “data puke” and shift from efforts focused on pleasing donors towards monitoring to improve programmes.
Rachel Leon, Executive Director, Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), US, said the EGA is a group of more than 200 foundations that represents about 6 percent of US philanthropy. She noted that members’ funding of water-related programmes had doubled by 2011 from previous years, but that international grant making has decreased from 2010 to 2011, and stressed the need for a global focus.
Michael McGovern, Vice Chair, Rotary Foundation, US, described the Rotary Foundation’s polio eradication campaign, highlighting the importance of partnerships to achieve large objectives.
Runa Khan, Executive Director, Friendship Foundation, Bangladesh, explained their three-tier system: need; simplicity; and total respect for the environment. She said they have a “risk-sharing system,” which focuses on community, rather than individual welfare.
Christian Wiebe, Viva Con Agua, Germany, described a youth-focused philanthropic approach that uses modern methods to raise support for clean drinking water for people in developing countries.
Hafiz Sherali, Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan, discussed their projects in Pakistan, noting the importance of mobilizing communities, engaging women as agents of change, and addressing long standing water rights conflicts.
Describing the fecal sludge management crisis in urban environments, Brian Arbogast, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, US, stressed the need for a greater focus on sanitation.
Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheswarananda, S.M. World Peace Council, India, described several “rainfall harvesting” projects, including construction of a man-made lake and providing community members with a tin roof to capture rainwater.
Hugo Barreto, CEO, and Andrea Margit, Roberto Marinho Foundation, Brazil, described efforts to promote capacity building for better water management.
Kemi Seesink, Global Water Initiative, US, highlighted the work of The Howard G. Buffett Foundation. She emphasized the need to bring in new partners, create flexible problem-solving approaches and opportunities, and described a programme focusing on women smallholder farmers to improve global food security.
Rebecca Tharme, The Nature Conservancy, US, described the efforts of the Great Rivers Partnership, to find basin-level “shared water solutions” for, inter alia, hydropower development, sustainable agriculture and flood-risk management in floodplains.
During the panel discussion, panelists broadly discussed: how to recognize and learn when projects do not succeed; the challenge of inequality when working through inclusive processes; the role of philanthropy in creating partnerships for holistic programmes; and challenges associated with current risk aversion in philanthropy.
Gábor Baranyai, Chair, Budapest Water Summit Organizing Committee, opened the session, inviting Rapporteurs to summarize discussions that took place during summit sessions.
On universal access to water and sanitation and how to WASH, Joakim Harlin, UN Development Programme, cited the challenge of accomplishing WASH with IWRM and serving a growing population within a changing climate. He said a SMART goal should take WASH as a basic human right, including, equal access and affordability.
On IWRM and how to serve a growing population with water in a changing climate, Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, SEI, said the panel highlighted that while water resources issues and water security are gaining political traction, they cautioned that efforts are still heterogenic in terms of policies and actions. He reported that the scientific community needs to provide more integrated analyses and synthesis to better serve water policy and management. On a water SDG, he said panelists recommended it should be: politically attractive; address quality and quantity of water; address efficiency of water use; and accommodate DRR.
On good water governance and how to govern water wisely with SMART SDGs, Joyeeta Gupta, Professor, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, noted panelists said targets must be contextually appropriate, and place WASH in the IWRM, nexus, and ecosystem contexts. She said panelists had described transboundary cooperation as vital, but identified a lack of consensus on this at Rio+20, and called for entry into force of international instruments on transboundary water cooperation, including the UN Water Courses Convention. She noted they also highlighted the need for national level IWRM with contextualized prioritization.
On green economy for blue water and what is this green stuff, Thomas Chiramba, UNEP, reviewed different country approaches, such as accessing hydropower potential and policy making processes, and noted the need to access and manage risk. Key points from the panel included, inter alia: use of both hard and soft infrastructure; and inclusion of water in national accounting.
On investment in and financing of a water-related SDG and does money matter, Torgny Holmgren, Director, SIWI, summarized that discussions centered around needs, governance and financing. He explained that panelists saw needs not in terms of how much money is required but how to spend the money. On governance, he said the panel had highlighted: discussions concerning pricing need to differentiate between different users, a system to incentivize private sector investment is needed; and civil society should be recognized as an asset. On financing, he underscored the need for a “reverse incentive structure” based on results, not resources.
On the special evening session on water-food-energy nexus, Thomas Stratenwerth, Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany, outlined key points: climate change is an aggravating factor; legal frameworks may create unhelpful subsidies; awareness raising about the nexus is needed; investment in personal and institutional capacity building can help connect across disciplines; and business as usual will not work, new thinking and mindsets are needed.
On the Philanthropy Roundtable, János Pásztor, UNEP, said today’s philanthropy is not about charity but empowering global citizens. He said the panel had stressed: addressing the links between agriculture, food security and water; enhancing the role of women and youth; creating partnerships to work adaptively; monitoring progress and revising courses of action based on results; and exploring the role of television and social media.
Describing the Science Forum, László Somlyódy, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary, listed points addressed, including: the Science Forum supported a SMART water-related SDG; water should be considered not only for drinking water and sanitation but in terms of floods, transboundary issues, and nexus elements; the water community needs to pay attention to ecosystem decline; science is not utilized sufficiently; flexible, adaptive and transparent governance is needed; and more efforts are needed on creating a green economy and generating benefits from ecosystem services.
Reporting on the Civil Society Forum, Márta Szigeti Bonifert, Executive Director, Regional Environment Centre, said universal access to water deserved its own ambitious SDG, and she shared key messages and recommendations: recognizing access to water and sanitation as a basic human right, including special consideration of indigenous people; the need for integrated management; participatory planning; strategic significance of transboundary basins; and pricing to ensure universal access at fair and affordable prices.
Discussing the Youth Forum, Rozemarijn ter Horst, Founder, Water Youth Movement, shared the Water Youth Movement’s view of what the future should look like. She said the view included, inter alia, that in 2025: there will be intergenerational partnerships between youth and the water sector; young people will share knowledge, experience and tools; and the young will be stakeholders and take part in decision-making processes. She concluded saying, “We want education and we hope you can train us. We will build and we hope you provide the tools. Young people can shape the world now and in 2025, give the future a chance.”
Summarizing the Global Business Forum, Joppe Cramwinckel, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, said there was support for a water-related SDG and he identified four elements for future direction: significant improvements in agricultural water use; collective responsibility to improve water quality; provision of services for water and sanitation, including business models to scale up successful models; and acknowledging shared risk that recognizes we are all part of a community and a watershed.
András Szöllösi-Nagy, Rector, UNESCO-IHE, introduced the draft statement and invited comments. Participants’ comments included, inter alia: a limited opportunity for open discussion; the value of setting a target date for Budapest II to assess progress in 2025; the need for guidance on priorities and next action steps; and the desirability of strong institutional backing.
In response, Szöllösi-Nagy noted the summit agenda was intentionally structured to focus on furthering progress on the water SDG and agreed with the need for a competent body to assess the world water situation and raise awareness, like the International Panel on Climate Change. At 3:55pm, the participants adopted the Budapest Water Summit Statement by consensus. Chair Baranyai closed the session, urging all governments and stakeholder participants to promote the water SDG and to keep the micro-communities that were forged at the Summit alive.
BUDAPEST WATER SUMMIT STATEMENT: On Friday afternoon, participants adopted by consensus the “Budapest Water Statement: A Sustainable World is a Water-Secure World.” The Statement declares, inter alia:
- water is fundamental, is key to our future development, and safeguards our life support on earth, which is increasingly under pressure from global changes;
- all basic planetary and ecosystem functions will be endangered if water is not governed properly, jeopardizing the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation;
- unintended impacts to ecosystems in the name of water uses are contrary to the aspirations of a sustainable water future; and
- lessons of water and sanitation-related MDGs show the critical need for sound scientific underpinning, and socioeconomic, institutional, technical, financial and engineering capacity.
The Statement recommends development of a dedicated and comprehensive SDG on water, a “Water-Secure World,” while clearly addressing the inter-linkages to other SDGs. The Statement proposes the goal be accompanied by “SMART(ER)” [specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (evaluated and re-evaluated)] targets addressing main water-related issues including:
- achieving universal access to WASH;
- improving integrated and cross-sectoral approaches to water resources management;
- reducing pollution and increasing collection, treatment and re-use of water; and
- increasing resilience against the water-related impacts of global challenges.
The Statement also concludes that the critical nature of water for human populations and the planet, conditioning any future sustainable development agenda, requires a robust intergovernmental process to regularly monitor, review and assess progress of the implementation of a future water goal. The Statement recommends appropriate institutional mechanisms are soon put in place to regularly review and assess progress in an integrated manner.
The Statement includes annexed policy recommendations on: creating SMART(ER) targets to ensure universal access to safe, gender-responsive and sustainable WASH; integrated consideration of water within its management context and in all basic services sectors; fostering good water governance; using water to create growth and “green economies”; and creating new micro- and macro-, private- and public-, financing methods.
In closing, Jung-moo Lee, Chair, National Committee for the 7th World Water Forum, and President, Korea Water Forum, welcomed the Budapest Water Summit Statement, saying the conference provided the opportunity to build consensus among stakeholders towards a water-specific SDG. He said nexus issues, while complicated, can be addressed as demonstrated by integrated approaches.
Toru Doi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan, observed that 2013 marks the 20th anniversary UN World Water Day. He highlighted UNSGAB’s third Hashimoto Action Plan and also advocated that goals on disaster management be included in the post-2015 development agenda outcome, underscoring Japan’s willingness to contribute to and establish a forum for this within the UN.
Jorge Moreira da Silva, Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy, Portugal, called for taking the lessons learned from MDG implementation into account in the design of SDGs. He noted advances such as recognition of the human right to water of sufficient quality and sanitation. He emphasized water cannot be left out of the SDGs and urged elaboration of a stand-alone goal on water, with associated measurable and concrete targets, saying water is at the heart of sustainable development and the core of climate change, in particular adaptation.
Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP, said two realities need to be accepted: sustainability is not just about assisting developing countries but developed ones as well; and understanding the role of natural resources is imperative. He underscored that work on the green economy means investment allied to smart policies, and recommended investing and re-investing in ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and river systems. He observed that sanitation should be seen as a social, economic and environmental opportunity, rather than a cost and burden.
Cihan Sultanoğlu, Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for European and the Commonwealth of Independent States, UNDP, emphasized that water is key to both sustainable development and climate change adaptation, noting that water is becoming increasingly scarce on our current unsustainable path, and called for increased collaboration on water resources.
Jim Leape, Director General, WWF International, observed that water runs through the post-2015 development agenda like a blue thread. He said three facts underlie responding to the challenge of having the water needed for successful development: water comes from living systems; our success will come from our ability to manage those systems on nature’s terms; management will only succeed if we find ways to collaborate among governments and across sectors.
In his closing remarks, János Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hungary, and Chairman, Budapest Water Summit, stated that none of the world’s noble development goals could be reached without water. He observed “If we discount nature from the water equation, nature will discount us from the biosphere.” Investing in water, he said, is investing in peace, which in turn requires proper governance. Noting that poverty eradication, climate change, energy and biodiversity have institutional mechanisms, he said we can’t wait another 36 years to tackle the water challenge. While the Budapest Water Summit Statement does not provide targets, milestones, timetables, or blueprints, he said it does encapsulate a clear consensus on the need for a water-related UN-backed mechanism. He thanked participants, colleagues and partners, and closed the Summit at 5:17pm.
Fifth South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN V): SACOSAN V will take place under the theme “Sanitation for All: All for Sanitation.” The conference’s objectives are to accelerate progress in sanitation and hygiene in South Asia and to enhance quality of life. The conference will include plenary sessions, technical focus sessions, side events and a field visit. The eight technical sessions will focus on: community sanitation and sustainability; urban sanitation; school sanitation; knowledge management and networking; sanitation technology and marketing; reaching the unreached; health and sanitation; and media advocacy. date: October 22-24, 2013 location: Kathmandu, Nepal contact: Nam Raj Khatri phone: +977-98-416-4-4198 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.sacosanv.gov.np/sacosan/
Intersessional Meeting between Major Groups and other stakeholders and the OWG on SDGs: The Co-Chairs of the UN General Assembly’s OWG on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will convene at least two intersessional meetings between OWG members and stakeholders to facilitate the participation of Major Groups and other stakeholders. date: 22 November 2013 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Chantal Line Carpentier, UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-917-367-8388 email: email@example.com www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=13&nr=484&menu=1544
International Conference on Climate Change, Water and Disaster in Mountainous Areas: This conference will address the following topics: climate change and implications on society, hydrological regimes and water in mountainous countries; hydro-meteorological response to mountainous ecosystems; water and renewable energy; DRR; traditional and modern knowledge for water resources management; transboundary issues on water resources; and adaptation strategies. date: November 27-29, 2013 location: Kathmandu, Nepal email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.soham.org.np/news/international-sem-2013.pdf
Fifth Session of the OWG on SDGs: OWG-5 will focus on sustained and inclusive economic growth, macroeconomic policy questions (including international trade, international financial system and external debt sustainability), infrastructure development, and energy. date: 25-27 November 2013 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: email@example.com www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1549
Sixth Session of the OWG on SDGs: OWG-6 will focus on means of implementation; the global partnership for achieving sustainable development; needs of countries in special situations: African countries, LDCs, land-locked developing countries, and SIDS as well as specific challenges facing middle-income countries; and human rights, the right to development, and global governance. date: 9-13 December 2013 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1549
Seventh Session of the OWG on SDGs: OWG-7 will focus on sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport, sustainable consumption and production (including chemicals and waste); and climate change and disaster risk reduction. dates: 6-10 January 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: email@example.com www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1549
Eighth Session of the OWG on SDGs: OWG-8 will focus on oceans and seas, forests, and biodiversity; promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment; and conflict prevention, post-conflict peace-building and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance. dates: 3-7 February 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1549
World Wetlands Day 2014: The theme for the 2014 World Wetlands Day is “Wetlands and Agriculture” as 2014 is the UN International Year of Family Farming. The slogan for the Day is “Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth,” placing a focus on the need for the wetland, water and agricultural sectors to work together for the best shared outcomes. date: February 2, 2014 phone: +41-22-999-0170 email: email@example.com www: http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-activities-wwds-wwd2014index/main/ramsar/1-63-78%5E26287_4000_0__
Gender, Water and Development Conference 2014: This conference will consider how to address gender, poverty and water challenges across Africa under the theme of “Gender, Water and Development: The Untapped Connection.” The conference will be organized under the following sub-themes: formulating and implementing gender in water policy; mobilizing human and financial resources; implementing projects through economic empowerment and gendered approaches; conducting, sharing and implementing research and operational knowledge; mainstreaming gender in human and institutional capacity development; promoting cooperation and coordination to mainstream gender in the water sector; and supporting gender equality in the water sector through monitoring and evaluation. date: February 19-21, 2014 location: East London, South Africa phone: 028-316-2905 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://global-water-conference.com/
World Water Day: World Water Day 2014 will convene on the theme “Water and Energy.” Coordinated by UNU and UNIDO on behalf of UN-Water, the day aims to raise awareness on the linkages between water and energy. date: March 22 2014 email: email@example.com www: http://www.unwater.org/wwd2014.html
World Water Week: The 2014 World Water week will convene in Stockholm under the theme “Water and Energy - Making the Link.” date: August 31 - September 5, 2014 location: Stockholm, Sweden contact: Stockholm International Water Institute phone: +46-8-121-360-00 fax: +46-8-121-360-01 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/
First International Environment Forum for Basin Organizations: The expected outcomes of the Forum include: the establishment of a regular platform for basin organizations to debate and work towards improving the governance and management of transboundary freshwater resources; strengthened legal, policy, financial and institutional mechanisms to support basin organizations in meeting environmental challenges for both surface and groundwater resources; priority actions to strengthen the ecosystems in transboundary basins applicable to both surface and groundwater resources identified by stakeholders; and increased political and institutional support to international cooperative frameworks for the sustainable management of transboundary basins. date: November 26-28, 2014 location: Bangkok, Thailand phone: +254-20-762-3106 email: email@example.com www: http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2725&ArticleID=9594&l=en
7th World Water Forum: The World Water Forum is the largest water-related event in the world. This multi-stakeholder event will be attended by world-renowned scholars, international organizations, ministers, mayors, parliamentarians, NGOs, research institutions, public and private businesses, civil society organizations. date: April 12-15, 2015 location: Daegu-Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea www: http://worldwaterforum7.org/en/home/index