Events archives for 2014

International Mother Earth Day celebrates 'Green Cities'

A view of Busan, the Republic of Korea's second largest city after Seoul, with a population of approximately 3.6 million as of 2010. UN Photo/Kibae Park

Date: 22 April 2014
Place: Worldwide

On the 22 April people from all countries take action for International Mother Earth Day. This year we recognize that within two decades nearly 60 percent of the world's population will live in cities. As the population grows and the cities swell to accommodate a mass influx, we must consider the effects that urbanization, increased transport, increased industry and demand for water in cities has on our environment.

The lack of adequate water and sanitation facilities in cities leads to health issues such as diarrhoea, malaria and cholera outbreaks. Though water supply and sanitation coverage increased between 1990 and 2008, the growth of the world's urban populations jeopardizes those results. A green city takes these factors into consideration, providing energy through renewable sources, providing adequate clean water for a growing population, efficient infrastructure and transport networks; it is a place that meets the challenges of increased water and energy demand and is a healthy, clean and pleasant place to live.

International Mother Earth Day provides an opportunity for learning and advocacy; do you live in a Green City? Please take that opportunity to think about how your surroundings can be green, help campaign for clean, green cities or learn more about what it means to be green!
>> UN page on International Mother Earth Day
>> International Mother Earth Day events around the World
>> Resources for your event
>> Cities and Water

3rd High Level Meeting of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA)

Sanitation and Water for All Logo

Date: 11 April 2014 Time: 1pm
Place: World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC, USA
Organizers: UNICEF on behalf of the SWA Partnership

The 2014 High Level Meeting (HLM) of SWA aimed to provide a major milestone in the ongoing SWA High-Level Commitments Dialogue (HLCD). The meeting built upon the previous success of the meetings, as can be seen in the 2013 Progress Update of the 2012 SWA HLM, which showed significant gains have already been achieved, such as increased budgets, strengthened National planning and country-level dialogues. The meeting brought together ministers responsible for finance, water and sanitation from developing countries, ministries of development cooperation from donor countries, high-level representatives from development banks and leading sanitation agencies. This year's meeting was jointly opened by the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
>> More information on the event

2nd Workshop "River Basin Commissions and Other Joint Bodies for Transboundary Water Cooperation: Technical Aspects"


Date: 9-10 April 2014
Place: Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Organizers: Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Governments of Finland and Germany

This workshop focused on selected technical aspects in the work of joint bodies, notably inter-sectoral coordination, infrastructure, groundwater management, environmental protection and selected management issues, including financing and communication. The workshop presented and discussed the experiences of joint bodies in specific topics in transboundary water cooperation worldwide, demonstrated the benefits of transboundary water cooperation and increased awareness on how global legal frameworks relate to joint bodies and can support them.
>> More information

13th CEO Water Mandate Conference

13th CEO Water Mandate Conference.

Date: 8–10 April 2014
Place: Convention Center of Colegio Medico, Miraflores District, Lima, Peru
Organizers: CEO Water Mandate and the Pacific Institute

The 13th working conference of the CEO Water Mandate involved the 'Global Water Stewardship Initiatives Showcase Seminar' on 8th April, the 'Corporate Water Stewardship, Collective Action, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Exploring the Relevance for Peru' on 9th April, and the 'CEO Water Mandate Lima Multi-Stakeholder Conference' on 10th April. The Corporate Water Stewardship event, taking place 9th April, explored how the emerging corporate water stewardship paradigm and Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are relevant to addressing local and regional water resource management challenges. It approached the challenges facing Peru and elsewhere in mitigating water risk and supporting more sustainable water management. The discussion on the water related challenges in the Post-2015 SDGs addressed how they will be of use to Peru, as well as how businesses may be able to support their achievement.
>> More information

Celebrate World Health Day and help recognize the important links between health and water

2014 edition of UN Water 'Water for Life' Awards goes to India and Singapore!

Date: 7 April 2014
Place: Worldwide

7 April is World Health Day, an opportunity for all to take stock of global health implications, as well as observing personal practices.

World Health Day 2014 focuses on vector borne diseases. Vectors are small organisms, such as mosquitoes, bugs, ticks, flies and freshwater snails, which carry disease from person to person and place to place. More than half the world's population is at risk of these diseases, which include malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis and onchocerciasis. Poorly designed irrigation and water systems, inadequate housing, poor waste disposal and water storage, deforestation and loss of biodiversity, all may be contributing factors to the most common vector-borne diseases.

The slogan for this year's campaign is "Small bite, big threat". You can protect yourself and your family by taking simple measures such as draining stagnant water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying, filling in/cover holes or dips in the ground that collect water and wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves when you are outside,... Share your experience and ideas using the Twitter hashtag #Just1Bite.
>> More information and campaign materials
>> Print your World Health Day Boarding Pass
>> Global brief on vector-borne diseasesPDF document

3rd International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) Logo.

Date: 1-4 April 2014
Place: Centre International de Conference Mohammed VI, Skhirat Plage, Morocco
Organizers: United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), Government of Morocco, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW)

In the previous international meetings the Committee noted that in response to the deepening water crisis, space technology could contribute to water resource management by providing data and information on the availability of water resources, it could also provide practical information and data that could help formulate policy. These issues were discussed at the 3rd conference along with discussions on how space technology can contribute to better management of water resources, including combating desertification, ensuring access to safe drinking water and managing water-related emergencies in developing countries.
>> More information

World Water Day 2014

World Water Day. Logo

Date: 20 to 22 March 2014
Place: Worldwide and in Tokyo, Japan
Lead by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations University (UNU)

World Water Day 2014 is a landmark day for 'Water and Energy,' not just for those people that advocate awareness and change, but also for the 768 million people that suffer the reality of not having access to improved water sources every day and for the 1.3 billion people who lack access to electricity. This year World Water Day (WWD) highlights the interlinkages between Water and Energy, in a world where the population will need 35% more food, 40% more water and 50% more energy by 2030.

As part of WWD celebrations, on 21 March UN-Water announced winners for the 2014 edition of 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award, bringing recognition to the commitment and successes of water projects at ground level. Category 1 'Best water management practices' was awarded to a project focusing on policy research in co-management of energy and groundwater in India: The International Water Management Institute (IWMI)-Tata Water Policy Programme (ITP). Category 2 'Best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices' was awarded to a project focusing on wide-scale implementation and public engagement plan of reclaimed water in Singapore: the 'NEWater programme'.

25 journalists from the Asian region participated in a workshop organized by UN-Water and had the opportunity to learn more about the relationship between water and energy and how the media can contribute to raise awareness on these issues.

21st March also marked the launch of the 2014 World Water Development Report (WWDR), a UN-Water flagship report now released annually. The report highlights the need for policies and regulatory frameworks that recognize and integrate approaches to water and energy. It also highlights the connections between water and energy, for example drought diminishing energy production and roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals being used for energy production.

>> Visit the World Water Day website

Water Integrity Workshop 'Broaden the base, Increase the pace'

Logo Water Integrity.

Date: 20 March 2014
Place: OECD Conference Centre, CC10, Paris, France
Organizers: OECD, Water Integrity Network, Transparency International and SIWI-UNDP/Water Governance Facility

As part of the OECD Integrity Week 17 – 21 March 2014, this event discussed the challenges and best practices in promoting integrity in water services and water resource management across OECD and non-OECD countries. The event supported the activities of the Working Group on 'Integrity and Transparency' of the OECD Water Governance Initiative by launching the Water Chapter of the OECD CleanGovBiz Toolkit for IntegrityPDF document, discussing policy messages on water integrity and transparency to be included in the OECD Principles on Water Governance, discussing indicators on water integrity/transparency that could contribute to a potential "governance target" of a dedicated Water SDG and discussing the contribution of the private sector to better integrity in the water sector.
>> Download the Workshop AgendaPDF document
>> More information on the OECD Integrity Week

Regional Policy Workshop of Stakeholders on Decentralized Waste Water Treatment Systems in South East Asia

UNESCAP logo. Date: 19-21 March 2014 Time: 10am–12:30pm
Place: Bangkok, Thailand
Organizers: United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)

This workshop discussed the implementation of the joint project 'Strengthening capacity of policymakers in South East Asia to promote policies and developing plans for improved wastewater treatment and reuse in urban and peri-urban areas' initiated by UNESCAP and UN-Habitat. The project, which will take place in LAO PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam, will address the fast growing problem of untreated wastewater through promotion of Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) and focus on building capacity of policy makers and planners for better wastewater management.
>> More information

Targeting water in the post-2015 development agenda

Targeting water in the post-2015 development agenda Date: 14 March 2014
Time: 10am–12:30pm
Place: World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Room A 'Obasi', Geneva, Switzerland
Organizers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), UN-Water and the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation

This briefing has provided the opportunity to discuss and express how water issues shall be addressed within the post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals and targets. The UN-Water paper "A Post-2015 Global Goal for Water: Synthesis of key findings and recommendations from UN-Water"PDF document was presented during the debate as well as recommendations on a Post-2015 Global Water Goal.
>> More informationPDF document

Taking stock of the International Year of Water Cooperation and Advancing the Global Water Agenda post-2015

Logo of the International Year of Water Cooperation Date: 11 March 2014 Time: 9:30 am-1:00 pm
Place: Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA
Organizers: The UN Permanent Missions of Finland, Hungary, Switzerland, Tajikistan and Thailand, the Friends of Water Group and UN-Water

This special roundtable event brought together High-level UN officials to discuss and build upon the achievements and lessons learnt from the International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC) with emphasis on how to carry the Global Water Agenda forward. The event included two roundtable sessions 'The IYWC and beyond' and 'Sharing lessons and experiences on water and disasters.'
>> More information and programmePDF document

Commission on the status of Women, implementing the MDGs for Women and Girls

58th Commission on the status of Women, implementing the MDGs for Women and Girls Date: 10-21 March 2014
Place: United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA

The 58th annual meeting of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) focuses on the challenges and achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for Women and Girls. Representatives of Member States, UN entities and ECOSOC accredited non-governmental organizations from all regions of the World discuss the participation of Women and Girls, particularly in the emerging theme of access to productive resources. In the draft of agreed conclusionsPDF document to be discussed, the Commission acknowledges that, while progress has been made in access to safe drinking water, progress on access to basic sanitation has been particularly slow and that emphasis also needs to be made on the multiple factors contributing to Women’s poverty such as the right to food security and water.
>>More information
>>Agenda and related documents

International Women's Day: What does Gender have to do with Water?

hashtag Water&Gender Date: 8 March 2014
Place: Worldwide

For over 100 years, the role of women in society has been celebrated on 8 March. During this time, shifting political, cultural and ethical challenges have been tackled and women have achieved great advances in securing their human rights and dignity. The International Decade for Action, "Water for Life" 2005-2015, calls for women's participation and involvement in water-related development efforts. Women can be powerful agents of change: with the same access to productive resources as men, including water, women could increase yield on their farms by 20-30% and help lift 150 million people out of hunger. Research also demonstrates women can increase the effectiveness of water projects up to 6 or 7 times. In the recent UN General Assembly thematic debate on Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda the UN General Assembly President, John Ashe, announced six post-2015 sustainable development initiatives, with a specific focus on the contributions of Women to the Post-2015 Development Goals.

There is a lot women can contribute to solve water problems but we still have a lot to do to ensure their involvement. Please use this day to remember, consider and involve the women and girls that spend up to 6 hours, every day, fetching water and can be harassed or assaulted when carrying water. Use the Twitter hashtag #1woman to spread your message.

>> Learn more about Gender and Water
>> International Women's Day website

Inspiring Change to Promote Women’s Rights and Dignity Meeting

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) logo Date: 7 March 2014
Place: UN Palais, Geneva, Switzerland
Organizers: Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, this event celebrated the advances made by women in securing their human rights and dignity, while discussing key challenges in policy and practice for future action. The issues discussed were framed by women’s economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) with a special focus on water, sanitation and hygiene. High-level professionals from Human-Rights, Health, WASH, Livelihoods, Education, Government and Businesses sought to inspire UN communities, governments and businesses to take action to fulfill the rights of girls and women to water, sanitation and hygiene.
>> Draft agendaPDF document

Workshop on Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus Assessment in the Sava River Basin

UNECE logo Date: 4-6 March 2014
Place: Zagreb, Croatia
Organizers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), International Sava River Basin Commission

The Parties to the UN Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) have included in the Work Programme 2013-2015 an assessment of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in selected transboundary basins. This workshop delivered an introduction to the nexus assessment in the Sava River basin, providing an opportunity to participate in the development of the approach, assessment and materials used. It will also be an occasion for discussion amongst sector authorities, private sector and civil society of inter-sector policy challenges and how the assessment could aid decision-making at different levels.
>> Draft programmePDF document

2nd Stakeholders Consultation Meeting for the 7th World Water Forum

7th World Water Forum Date :27–28 February 2014
Place: Gyeongju, Republic of Korea
Organisers: World Water Council and partners

This meeting served to create the Forum’s Working Groups, which will jointly develop the content of the Forum throughout its preparatory process. During the two-day meeting, the key concepts of the Thematic, Regional, Political and Science and Technology Processes were presented and discussed, as well as other components such as the Citizens’ Forum and the progress that has been made on the Forum Communications and organization. The consultation was the second big stepping stone towards the World Water Forum and provided active ways to participate in the Forum. UN-Water had a presence at the meeting.
>> More information

3rd and final round of e-discussions on realizing the rights to water and sanitation

UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to safe drinking water and sanitation Date: 24 February-10 March 2014
Place: Online

The latest round of discussion from UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to safe drinking water and sanitation is underway, discussing the questions ‘have accountability and monitoring systems improved access to water and sanitation for marginalized groups or individuals? What are effective awareness-raising and advocacy strategies?’ So far, the discussions have received over 50 contributions under the topics of legislative and regulatory frameworks and the challenges in service delivery. This is the final phase of the e-discussion, so please share and get involved!
>> Join the e-discussion

32nd FAO Regional Conference (NERC32) for the Near East: For a resilient and food secure region

FAO logo Date: 24-28 February 2014
Place: FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
Organisers: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The FAO Regional Conferences meet every two years, bringing together ministers of agriculture and high officials of Member States from the same geographic region on challenges that transcend national borders and priority matters related to food and agriculture. NERC 32 included a three-day meeting for Senior Officers from 24 to 26 February, followed by a Ministerial Meeting on 27 and 28 February. Participants were set to discuss a new Regional Water Scarcity Initiative, launched by FAO to support member countries in identifying strategies, policies and practices that promote sustainable solutions to water scarcity and related food security problems. Use the Twitter hashtag #nerc32 to follow the Conference.
>> More information
>> Facthseet on ‘Coping with water scarcity in the Near East and North Africa’PDF document

7th Global FRIEND-Water Conference

FRIEND logo Date: 24-28 February 2014
Place: Hanoi, Viet Nam
Organizers: UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme in collaboration with other organisations

The Flow Regime from International Experimental and Network Data (FRIEND)-Water Conference 2014 focused on the theme “Hydrology in a Changing World: Environmental and Human Dimensions.” FRIEND-Water aims to facilitate understanding about how climate, human and river basin factors influence the spatial and temporal distribution of water. The conference shared knowledge on changes in hydrological processes and their impacts and discuss how to develop adaptable water management and water policies to account for these impacts.
>> More information

UN-Water presentation: technical advice on water’s role in the Post-2015 development agenda

UN-Water logo Date: 18 February 2014
Place: Dag Hammerskjöld Library Auditorium, UN Headquarters, New York
Organizers: UN-Water

As part of the President of the UN General Assembly's Thematic Debate on “Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”, this side event presented a technical advice from the UN system to Member States on what a possible water goal could look like and how it would capture the fundamental importance of water for both humans and the environment. The proposed water goal draws on the experiences of the Millennium Development Goals and priorities agreed at Rio +20, as well as other areas. It intends to provide an overall concept that is globally applicable and can be tailored to national circumstances.
>> UN-Water’s recommendations for a global goal on water
>> Technical advice documentPDF document

17th Congress of the African Water Association

17th Congress of the African Water Association. Logo Date: 17-20 February 2014
Place: Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
Organizers: African Water Association (AfWA)

UN-Water had a presence at the 17th African Water Association (AfWA) Congress, discussing the topic of “Mobilizing Resources and Governance of Water and Sanitation in Africa”. In addition to a booth where information and materials on UN-Water were provided, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) organized on 19 February a technical session on “Non-Revenue Water: Strategies for Capacity-Building for Water and Sanitation Utilities”.
>> More information
>> Website of the 17th Congress of the African Water Association

2nd meeting of the global network of basins working on climate change adaptation

UNECE logo Date: 13-14 February 2014
Place: Salle VIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Organizers: UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO)

This meeting offered a platform for comparing methodologies and approaches, fostering exchange of experience and promoting a shared vision between the participating basins of the global network of basins. The meeting’s objectives included discussing the preparation of the collection of good practices and lessons learned on climate change adaptation in transboundary basins and collecting specific input.
>> More information

United Nations General Assembly thematic debate “Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the post 2015 development agenda”

Logo of the United Nations Date: 18 – 19 February 2014
Place: UN headquarters, New York, USA
Organizers: Office of the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)

This thematic debate, which included participation of Member States, observers, UN Agencies and representatives of civil society, private sector, and other relevant stakeholders, intended to identify the main water, sanitation and sustainable energy challenges that hinder achievement of the Millennium Development goals (MDGs) and discuss how to tackle these challenges in an integrated manner in the post-2015 agenda with the overarching goal of poverty eradication. The debate also addressed what concrete means (e.g. finance, infrastructure, human capacity, institutional reforms, etc.) governments, their international partners and other stakeholders must undertake to ensure implementation; and how ecosystem approaches, science and technology know‐how, conservation measures and sustainable use can be successfully utilized to increase action at all levels on water, sanitation and sustainable energy.

Use the Twitter hashtag #UNPGA68WSSE to follow the debate.

>> More information
>> Statements by country representatives and UN Deputy Secretary-General
>> Video recording of Opening segment and Panel 1 “The water and sanitation challenge”
>> Video recording of Panel 2 “The sustainable energy challenge”
>> Video recording of Panel 3 The water-energy nexus

World Wetlands Day focused on the importance of wetlands for agriculture

Participate in World Wetlands Day and help spread the word about the importance of wetlands for agriculture! Date: 2 February 2014
Place: All over the world

World Wetlands Day took place on 2 February, under the slogan 'Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth'. 2014 being the UN International Year of Family Farming, Wetlands Day placed an emphasis on the need for the wetland, water and agricultural sectors to work together for the best shared outcomes.

Wetlands are often seen as a barrier to agriculture and they continue to be drained and reclaimed to make farming land available. As Christopher Briggs, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention explains, in some regions “more than half our wetlands have been lost…these are not just places to swim, to sunbathe, to enjoy nature”. The importance of these places is often understated and their inter-linkages with agriculture demonstrate an obvious human impact, where they provide reliable sources of water and fertile soil as well as “the water we drink!”

World Wetlands Day can be supported beyond 2 February through the variety of information materials available. Posters, leaflets, comics, educational packs and a leaflet explaining good practice from around the world have been produced, so please continue to get involved!

>> Download World Wetlands Day information materials

Workshop on Climate and Water Security through Sustainable Waste Management

Asian Development Bank logo Date: 28-30 January 2014
Place: Bahdung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia
Organizers: Asian Development Bank (ADB)

This workshop discussed the innovative financing and technological options for sustainable waste management, with the objective of enhancing water quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The workshop analysed different business models and discussed opportunities for more effective involvement of the private sector in climate and water security.
For more information contact Ancha Srinivasan

2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparing for World Water Day 2014: Partnerships for improving water and energy access, efficiency and sustainability

2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference Date: 13-16 January 2014
Place: Zaragoza, Spain

In preparation for World Water Day 2014, this year focused on ‘Water and Energy’ issues, 9 UN Agencies and Programmes plus more than 120 experts, representatives for international companies in the water and energy sector, government and non-governmental organizations met in Zaragoza, Spain, to address the challenges, relationships and joint solutions that arise in ensuring access, efficiency and sustainability in the provision of water and energy.

Presentations, recordings of sessions and different information materials on water and energy are available on the Conference website.

>> Conference website
>> Press release summarizing main conclusionsDocumento PDF

2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference. Preparing for World Water Day 2014: Water and Energy. 13-16 January 2014
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UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation
UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation website

>> UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation

Water publications from the UN

>> Bimonthly Publications Review 20[PDF document. - 821 KB]
UNW-DPAC. February 2014
>> Previous issues

A Date with...

2011-2020: UN Decade on Biodiversity

Deserts and Desertification
2010-2020: UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification

2014-2020: Decade on Sustainable Energy for All
22 March 2014: World Water Day on 'Water and Energy'

2011-2015: Sustainable sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015
19 November 2014: World Toilet Day