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A reason to cheer in the New Year

January 22, 2013
Coastal Indian state, Goa

Coastal Indian state, Goa

United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation 2013

I remember vividly that back in 2004 the World Water Day was celebrated by mostly scientific and research based institutions like the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) in India.

Its a pleasant feeling to know that now its being celebrated by various stakeholders from all across the world. Thanks to the UN’s most recent declaration!

In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (Resolution A/RES/65/154). In reflection of this declaration, the 2013 World Water Day, which will take place on 22 March 2013, also will be dedicated to water cooperation. Therefore, UN-Water has called upon UNESCO to lead the 2013 United Nations International Year on Water Cooperation, in particular because of the Organization’s unique multidisciplinary approach which blends the natural and social sciences, education, culture and communication. Given the intrinsic nature of water as a transversal and universal element, the United Nations International Year on Water Cooperation naturally would embrace and touch upon all these aspects. To read the complete article on UN Website please click here.

What it means for developing nations?

It provides a reason to cheer for the developing nations since the year shall not only focus on the extent of cooperation and pressing needs for water management with respect to allocation, access and service. This becomes even more challenging with the ever increasing urbanization and climate change. The year has been planned in a way to celebrate all the historical milestones achieved cooperation so far as well as focus on addressing the following issues

  • Water education
  • Water diplomacy
  • Transboundary water management
  • Financing cooperation
  • National/international legal frameworks, and
  • Linkages with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

In addition to the above mentioned issues, the year also provides avenue for leveraging the momentum created at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and providing grounds for successful and sustainable water resources.

What it means for the developed nations?

The onus of providing the knowledge and technology lies primarily on developed nations. The events such as fracking and water energy co management seem different at first look from the developing countries where sanitation and access to potable water seem to take the lead. However, upon taking a closer look the approach to problems facing developing countries and developed nations can be related to each other. The developed nations could lead the process of cooperation by adopting the following measures

  • Addressing climate change and energy need to provide water
  • Ready access to water including the green infrastructure issues and energy needed
  • Stringent policy formulation
  • Conservation and sustainability
  • Dealing with the rapid urbanization

If the underlying issues are addressed in a timely manner than both developing and developed nations can reap the benefits of this initiatives in the longer run.

For more information on the World Water Day 2013 and the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 please contact Lucilla Minelli at: l.minelli@unesco.org.

Please send your feedback in the comments below the post or at pallavibhar@gmail.com.

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