Events archives for 2014

Hydrology Water Group Annual meeting

Logo of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Date: 11 - 16 August 2014
Place: City College of New York, USA
Organizers: World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

This meeting was the 5th workshop of the WMO/OGC (World Meteorological Organization/Open Geospatial Consortium) Hydrology Domain Working Group. The five day event was followed by a one day workshop on the Standardisation of Water Data exchange: WaterML 2.0 and beyond. Both events addressed several key aspects of standardization including: information modeling and encoding of hydrologic and hydrogeologic features; encoding of hydrologic and hydrogeologic observations; development and representation of community vocabularies of water-related terms; and respective web service interfaces. Both events invited hydrology researchers; practitioners; water resource managers; and information system developers interested in standards-based water data exchange and interoperability.
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WaterLinks Forum 2014

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Date: 11-13 August 2014
Place: Manila, The Philippines
Organisers: WaterLinks with the support from Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Water Association (IWA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) among others

This Forum provided a platform to learn about and debate the most recent developments in solving critical urban water and wastewater efficiency problems. The forum focused on key issues of growing urban water insecurity in Asia and the Pacific, the need to create new water and promote efficiencies amidst the challenge of climate change.
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2nd International Forum of NGOs: "Access to Water for All in Africa"

NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee logo

Date: 30-31 July 2014
Place: Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire
Organisers: NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Experts, representatives of international NGOs, stakeholders on the ground, men and women from different backgrounds gathered to discuss, exchange, and share their experiences on different aspects of the issues addressed: progress and obstacles, the pollution problem, role of education and traditions, international decisions and their implementation, conflicts, etc. The Forum was intended primarily for NGOs in official partnership with the Organization, but was open also to other organizations and institutions interested in the topics.
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World Hepatitis Day: Think again

World Hepatitis Day: Think again

Date: 28 July 2014
Place: Worldwide
Organizer: World Health Organization (WHO)

Every year on 28 July, WHO and partners mark World Hepatitis Day to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes. Viral hepatitis affects millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year. Hepatitis, a broad term for inflammation of the liver, remains largely ignored or unknown and has a number of infectious and non-infectious causes. Among the infectious causes, hepatitis A and hepatitis E are associated with inadequate water supplies and poor sanitation and hygiene. World Hepatitis Day provided an opportunity to focus on specific actions and urge policymakers, health workers and the public to 'Think again' about this silent killer.
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Capacity-building workshop for Central, South and East Asia on ecosystem conservation and restoration to support achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

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Date: 14-18 July 2014
Place: Jeju, Republic of Korea
Organiser: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

This workshop focused on ecosystem conservation and restoration to support achievement of the Aichi biodiversity targets. Aichi Biodiversity Targets 5, 11 and 15 set quantitative global targets to reduce the loss of natural habitats, improve protected area networks and restore degraded areas. Through this workshop, the Secretariat planned to offer capacity-building to Parties within an integrated, participatory, approach to promote holistic planning and implementation at the landscape level.
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13th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

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Date: 14-18 July 2014
Place: New York, USA
Organiser: United Nations Division for Sustainable Development

The Open Working Group (OWG) is entering the final phase of its work, starting in March 2013 with eight stock taking meetings, followed by consideration of elements for a goals and targets framework, at the 9th session in March 2014. Since then the OWG has forged an ambitious, extensive yet focused text. The 13th and final session finalized and refined the framework and passed it on to the UN General Assembly.
>> More information
>> Zero Draft document

World Population Day 2014: Investing in Young People

World Population Day 2014: Investing in Young People

Date: 11 July 2014
Place: Worldwide
Organiser: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

As the world population edged to 7 billion people in 2011 (up from 2.5 billion in 1950), it has had profound implications for development. A world population of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity with implications on sustainability, urbanization and access to water and sanitation services. In 1989, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the international community as World Population Day. This year’s World Population Day focused on Youth engagement and the Sustainable Development Agenda.
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Regional workshop on link-ups with other existing monitoring and reporting mechanisms related to water and health

Water and Health Protocol logo

Date: 3 July 2014
Place: Geneva, Switzerland
Organizer: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

This workshop supported the establishment of link-ups between the reporting mechanism under the Protocol on Water and Health and other existing regional and global monitoring programmes; discussed possible ways to link target setting and reporting under the Protocol with existing national monitoring and information systems; and informed about proposed post-2015 development goals and indicators on water and sanitation and discussed the possible ways to integrate these into the national target setting process.
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World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Joint Scientific Committee 35 Session

World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Joint Scientific Committee 35 Session

Date: 30 June – 4 July 2014
Place: Heidelberg, Germany
Organizer: World Climate Research Programme

The World Climate Research Programme, sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, facilitates analysis and predictions of Earth's system variability and changes for use in an increasing range of practical applications. This event discussed the implementation of Grand Challenges on water availability, cryosphere in a changing climate, climate extremes, etc. The meeting also discussed core projects and working groups activities.
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20th meeting of the Bureau of the Water Convention

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Date: 27 June 2014
Place: Geneva, Switzerland
Organizer: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

In view of the entry into force on 6 February 2013 of the amendments to the Water Convention, the Bureau of the Water Convention will discuss how to ensure ratification of the amendments by all Parties and start discussions on the 7th session of the Meeting of the Parties, planned for 17–20 November 2015 in Hungary.
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9th meeting of the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management

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Date: 25-26 June 2014
Place: Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Organizers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

The main objective of this meeting is to review the implementation of the programme of work for 2013–2015 for the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes. The Working Group will discuss how to foster ratification of the Convention; how the exchange of experience and good practices between joint bodies worldwide will be promoted; and progress in development of the policy guidance note on identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation, among others. The meeting is open to experts representing governmental authorities, the private sector and non-governmental as well as international organizations and other interested stakeholders.
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International Day of Cooperatives focuses on "Cooperative enterprises achieve sustainable development for all"

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Date: 5 July 2014
Place: Worldwide

In its resolution 47/90 of 16 December 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Day of Cooperatives to be celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July. The aim is to increase awareness on cooperatives; highlight the complementarity of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international cooperative movement; underscore the contribution of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the United Nations; and strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors, including governments at local, national and international levels.

Cooperatives have a significant impact on people's lives. These associations and enterprises allow citizens to effectively improve their lives while contributing to the economic, social, cultural and political advancement of their community and nation. Rio+20 recognized cooperatives for their role in sustainable development in the context of the environmental crisis.

This year, International Day of Cooperatives will acknowledge the role of cooperatives in achieving sustainable development for all. Water and Sanitation are at the core of sustainable development as they are closely linked to a number of key global challenges so don’t forget these on your activities to commemorate the International Day of Cooperatives!

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World Refugee Day 2014

January 2014. Internally Displaced Persons at the Nifasha Camp in North Darfur have access to water only two hours in the morning, not enough time for all to be fully provided. A woman leaves a water access point with empty jerry cans just after the enforced closing time. UN Photo/Albert González Farran

Date: 20 June 2014
Place: Worldwide

On World Refugee Day, the UN commemorates the strength and resilience of the millions people around the world forced to flee their homes due to war or human rights abuses.

Refugees are more exposed to unsanitary conditions, including unsafe drinking water and a lack of water for personal hygiene, placing them at further risk of water-borne diseases including acute respiratory infections and skin diseases.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that more than half the refugee camps in the world are not able to provide the recommended minimum daily water requirement of 20 litres per person; while some 30 percent of camps do not have adequate waste disposal and latrine facilities.

World Refugee Day provides an opportunity to raise these issues and propose solutions. Keep involved and share your story!

>> Share your story on World Refugee Day 2014
>> Access to a selection of UN publications on water and refugees

21st session of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO

UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP) Logo

Date: 18-20 June 2014
Place: UNESCO HQ, Paris, France
Organizer: UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP)

The IHP Intergovernmental Council, which holds its sessional meetings once every two years, is responsible for planning the International Hydrological Programme, defining its priorities and supervising its execution. On 19 June, and in the framework of its 21st session, there was a special session on "Water in Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals"
>> 21st session of the IHP Intergovernmental Council
>> Special session on Water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

World Day to Combat Desertification: Land Belongs to the Future, Let’s Climate Proof It!

World Day to Combat Desertification: Land Belongs to the Future, Let’s Climate Proof It!

Date: 17 June 2014
Place: Worldwide

Since 1995, the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) raises awareness about the threats and consequences of desertification and drought. The goal of the day is not only to talk about the problems, but also the solutions. The theme of this year's observance was ecosystem-based adaptation and intended to increase awareness about the potential of ecosystem-based adaptation as a strategy for coping with the impacts of climate change, especially in the drylands. The health and productivity of drylands extend far beyond the people living there. As the "breadbasket of the world," the drylands are home to nearly half of livestock and cultivated systems globally.

Scientists warn that the climate is changing abnormally fast and in ways that could significantly disrupt our livelihoods and security, from our economies and infrastructure to the social and ecological systems we depend on. Climate change is affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and the many benefits that they provide to society.

Healthy ecosystems supply a variety of services such as drinking-water, habitat, shelter, food, raw materials, genetic materials, a barrier against disasters and the formation and regeneration of the natural resources in the ecosystem that people depend for their livelihoods. Also, when ecosystems are healthy, they are less vulnerable to the impacts and hazards of climate change.

>> More information
>> WDCD Planning Action Guide 2014PDF document
>> Video message from Mr. Jarraud, Secretary General of World Meteorological Organization and UN-Water Chair

3rd Asia-Netherlands Water Learning Week

Asian Development Bank (ADB), UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education Logos

Date: 16-20 June 2014
Place: Delft, the Netherlands
Organizers: Asian Development Bank (ADB), UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

Under the theme "Partnerships for Green Growth and Water Security", participants contributed project case studies from Asia and the Netherlands and learned together how to leverage results from collaborative approaches in water investment projects for cities and river basins.
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12th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Logo.

Date: 16-20 June 2014
Place: United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA

This was the fourth of five scheduled "decision-making" meetings of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The session was preceded by three days of "informal informals" to discuss the new "zero draft" of the SDGs.
>> More information
>> SDGs zero draft document

Hydrological Sciences and Water Security: Past, Present and Future. 11th Kovacs Colloquium

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Date: 16-17 June 2014 Place: UNESCO HQ, Paris, France Organizers: UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP), International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)

This Colloquium is part of a series of meetings (Kovacs Colloquiums) which commemorate the late George Kovacs, an established authority on hydrology, who served as Chairman of the Intergovernmental Council of IHP and as Secretary General and President of IAHS. The event addressed the emergence and development of water security concepts over the past decades, the state of present day ideas and opinions and looked to likely developments in the future.
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Experts meeting on the "Management and protection of coastal wetlands"

UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP) Logo

Date: 12-13 June 2014
Place: UNESCO HQ, Paris, France
Organizer: UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP)

In the framework of the Medpartnership project "Management of coastal aquifers and groundwater", this meeting gathered national experts from 13 Mediterranean countries and international experts to present and discuss the results achieved so far, including country reports, regional reports, and a hydrological map of selected coastal wetlands.
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Legal frameworks for cooperation on transboundary waters: Key aspects and opportunities for Arab countries Workshop

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Date: 11-12 June 2014
Place: Tunis, Tunisia
Organizers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Center of Water Studies and Arab Water Security of the League of Arab States, Global Water Partnership Mediterranean (GWP-Med)

This workshop was a follow up to the International Roundtable on Transboundary Water Resources Management in the Southern Mediterranean, which took place in Rome, Italy, in November 2012. The workshop discussed how transboundary cooperation can be fostered in order to improve water resources management between riparian countries, the sustainability of these shared resources and how to safeguard water rights. Specifically, the workshop aimed to increase awareness and understanding of the different legal frameworks for cooperation on shared waters resources. It provided a platform to discuss the opportunity that the globalization of the Water Convention represents for the Arab region.
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Environment Day celebrates Small Island Developing States in the context of climate change

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Date: 5 June 2014
Place: Worldwide

The UN General Assembly declared 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States to raise awareness of the special needs of this diverse coalition as part of the global discussion on how to achieve a sustainable future for all. Some of the problems that these small islands face - climate change, waste management, unsustainable consumption, degradation of natural resources, extreme natural disasters and water scarcity - are the problems that face us all but they are the ones to suffer them first.

World Environment Day (WED) 2014 focuses on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the broader context of climate change as its theme.

This year, an effort has made to make this day as important to the public as the issues and challenges themselves. Whether it is to organize clean-up campaigns, walk-to-work days, plastic purges, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, switching off the lights, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests - every action counts. When multiplied by a global chorus, our individual voices and actions become exponential in their impact. Why not get involved, be part of the change and register your own event

>> Message from UN Secretary General for WED2014
>> WED 2014 booklet
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1st annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum and global launch of the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024

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Date: 4-6 June 2014
Place: UN Headquarters, New York, USA
Organizers: Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL)

The 1st annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum officially launched the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024. In working towards its targets, the Forum assessed progress on SE4ALL since Rio +20; inspired and mobilised further action, partnership and commitments by showcasing success stories, innovation and best practices; and shaped and set the direction for the global policy debate on energy. The importance of water within the model of sustainable energy was discussed on the first day of the event, under the title 'Catalyzing investment through innovative business models: the water-energy-food nexus'.
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Workshop for the Assessment of Capacity Development Resources for Water and Sanitation Operators

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Date: 2-3 June 2014
Place: UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands
Organizers: Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA)/UN-Habitat, UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

This workshop, co-organized in the framework of the UN-Water Task Force on Capacity Development for Water Operators and the Boosting Effectiveness of Water Operators' Partnerships (BEWOP) project, aimed at building synergies between these two global initiatives. These initiatives are looking at the assessment of existing Capacity Development resources for water and sanitation operators and at analyzing the more significant needs and gaps in these resources. Water Operators from 17 countries as well as members and partners of UN-Water attended. The approach for the work of the UN-Water Task Force is to gather resources and avail them to an extensive network of water supply and sanitation operators on a not-for-profit basis.
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International Conference: Ecosystems, Economy and Society. How large-scale restoration can stimulate sustainable development

International Conference: Ecosystems, Economy and Society. How large-scale restoration can stimulate sustainable development Logo

Date: 29-30 May 2014
Place: US National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, USA
Organizers: Veolia Institute, US National Academy of Sciences, Agence Française de Développement (AFC) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

This event provided an international platform for scientists, practitioners, NGOs, business leaders and policymakers to discuss remarkable case studies, best practices and share better insights on the potential of large-scale ecosystem restoration, together with the recovery of ecosystems functionalities, continuity and biodiversity. Examples of successful initiatives discussed included: Watershed Protection for Drinking Water (city supplies), Reforestation and Poverty Alleviation, Wetlands Engineering, etc. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is an associated partner to this event.
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5th Africa Water Week (AWW) and 9th AMCOW General Assembly

5th Africa Water Week (AWW) Logo

Date: 26-31 May 2014
Place: Abuja, Nigeria
Organizers: African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), African Union Commission (AUC)

This event represented a political commitment at the highest level with over 1000 participants from governments, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community, civil society, and the media from all over the world, and in particular Africa, meeting to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa’s water resources, and sanitation challenges. The 5th AWW focused on the Africa Water Vision 2025 and served as a platform for improving understanding of why managing resources wisely is key to development endeavours at various levels and why a more holistic water agenda beyond WASH (WASH-Plus) is crucial for the post-2015 development framework. UN-Water chair participated in the Opening Plenary on 26 May.
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3rd Asian Sanitation Dialogue: Making sanitation a sustainable business

3rd Asian Sanitation Dialogue: Making sanitation a sustainable business Logo

Date: 27–29 May 2014
Place: Manila, Philippines
Organizers: Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The 3rd Asian Sanitation Dialogue emphasized a comprehensive approach to sanitation and focused on packaging on-site sanitation, wastewater and septage management projects as viable business opportunities. There were discussions on solution options, addressing the policy and capacity gaps; adoption of appropriate technologies; dealing with financing, viability and affordability issues; promoting performance-based contracts and output-based incentives; and demonstrating health, socioeconomic and environmental benefits. There were also sessions on green cities, solid waste management, and other cross-cutting issues to show holistic planning, bold strategies, and innovative approaches in achieving environmental sustainability.
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Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Integration Segment: Sustainable Urbanisation

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Date: 27–29 May 2014
Place: United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA
Organizers: United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

This event demonstrated how urbanization can be an effective tool for the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Attending the three-day event were be high-level representatives of Member States, including Heads of Government, ministers and mayors, the United Nations system, civil society actors and the private sector. The meeting featured various interactive panel discussions, dialogues, and a town-hall style meeting. High-level roundtable events and side events focused on different urbanization issues, including water, sanitation and waste management among others.
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Counting our gains: Sharing experiences on identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation

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Date: 22-23 May 2014
Place: Palais des Nations, Room XI, Geneva, Switzerland
Organizers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

This workshop, organized in the framework of the Water Convention, provided a forum for discussion on the benefits of transboundary water cooperation and how benefit assessment can support the cooperation process. Discussions took place between stakeholders from different backgrounds such as water practitioners, politicians, parliamentarians, journalists and researchers. It also provided an opportunity to share good practices, challenges faced and lessons learned on the identification, assessment and communication of the wide range of benefits of transboundary water cooperation. The workshop added conclusions from the above to the draft Policy guidance notes on identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation.
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International Day for Biodiversity: Island Biodiversity

International Day for Biodiversity: Island Biodiversity

Date: 22 May 2014
Place: Worldwide

Island Biodiversity was chosen to commemorate International Day for Biodiversity 2014, coinciding with the designation by the United Nations General Assembly of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Islands are home to some 600 million people, one-tenth of the world's population, and constitute unique ecosystems often comprising many plant and animal species that are endemic.

Islands, although surrounded by water, grapple with various water challenges which affect their economic development, public health and environment. For Islands, being able to meet the growing demands for access to clean potable water is one of the greatest challenges they face.

In addition, climate change poses a significant challenge to water management. An islands' dependency on rainfall leaves it vulnerable to both long-term and short-term changes in rainfall patterns, with predictions of a 10% reduction in average rainfall by 2050.

The International Day for Biodiversity is an opportunity to bring the focus needed to the important challenges faced by the people, economies and environments affected by these issues. Please use this opportunity to learn about the future of water challenges on Islands and their biodiversity and advocate the message of a water safe future for the world.
>> International Day for Biodiversity 2014 website
>> Read more about Island Biodiversity

Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APSFD)

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Date: 19–21 May 2014
Place: Pattaya, Thailand
Organizers: Government of Thailand and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

In preparation for the 2nd High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, this forum discussed how to build and maintain successful Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) after the target date of 2015 has expired within the areas of hunger, health and sanitation in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum focused on developing strong regional inputs to inform global dialogue and decision-making, as well as national responses; identifying effective and inclusive means of implementation for a transformational development agenda; and defining the regional high level political forum processes for 2015 and beyond. Highlights of the forum included a high-level roundtable on addressing the challenges of meeting the MDGs, a multi-stakeholder roundtable on integrating sustainable development and a special session on the rule of law.
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International Conference: Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. Synergies and Tradeoffs: Governance and Tools at various Scales

International Conference: Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. Synergies and Tradeoffs: Governance and Tools at various Scales Logo

Date: 19-20 May 2014
Place: Bonn, Germany
Organiser: Global System Water Project (GSWP)

This conference addressed linkages between water, energy and food security, seeking to assess available information, identify knowledge gaps, share lessons, facilitate networks and contribute to consensus on priorities in order to consider joint improvement in efficiency as a win-win strategy for human development and environmental sustainability. Recognizing the sustainability of the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus as a key research-for-action initiative, the conference allowed an internal policy consultation process to inform, influence, and catalyze action by key actors— including policymakers, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, educators, and researchers. Sessions addressed themes such as tools for sustainable implementation of the nexus approach; governance and management of the nexus; the role of ecosystems in sustainability; and implementing the nexus at various scales. The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are part of the steering committee of the Conference.
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3rd Meeting of the Implementation Committee of the Water Convention

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Date: 15-16 May 2014 Time: 10:00
Place: University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Organiser: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

The implementation Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention for the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) met to discuss the draft analysis on the need for reporting under the Convention and the modalities for raising awareness about the mechanism to facilitate and support implementation and compliance.
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4th Partnership meeting of the Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES)

Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services logo

Date: 14-15 May 2014
Place: Washington D.C, USA
Organiser: Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystems Services (WAVES)

The 4th partnership meeting brought together WAVES countries and partners to share successes and challenges, with a focus on water and ecosystem accounts. The meeting featured presentations from UN and private sector partners and panel discussions on how natural capital accounts support wider development goals. WAVES is a global partnership that aims to promote sustainable development by ensuring that natural resources are mainstreamed in national economic accounts and development planning. The partnership includes UN agencies, governments, international institutes, NGOs and academics.
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5th African Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

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Date: 13-16 May 2014
Place: Abuja, Nigeria
Organiser: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for Africa (UNISDR-AF)

This conference developed the African position on a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction focused on building resilience of African communities in line with Sustainable Development Goals. Governments, intergovernmental regional organizations, donors, United Nations representatives, academic and technical institutions, representatives youth, media and the private sector participated to consolidate a common position.
>> More information

3rd International Forum on Integrated Water Management

Logo 3rd International Forum on Integrated Water Management

Date: 7–9 May 2014
Place: Laval University, Quebec, Canada

The aim of this biennial gathering is to promote the exchange of knowledge and best practices related to the sustainable use of water resources. The theme of this year’s edition of the meeting focused on issues of transboundary water management in a changing climate. It was addressed in 16 thematic sessions organized around the presentation of governance and capacity-building tools for water management, water uses and risk management, as well as climate change adaptation. Two workshops were led by UNESCO’s PCCP programme and the Secretariat of the 1992 Water Convention of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). These workshops discussed the expected benefits of cooperation in the field of water and assessed the place of this resource in the design of the post-2015 development agenda.
>> More information

National Capacity Development Training of Trainers (TOTs) Workshop on Developing and Implementing Mitigation and Preparedness, Water Scarcity and Drought Management Plans

Logo Medroplan

Date: 6-9 May 2014
Place: Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ-CIHAEM), Spain
Organizers: UN-DESA, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ-CIHAEM) and United
Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015

The National Capacity Development Training of Trainers (TOTs) Workshop and Field Training aimed at to train key national drought management officials in the pilot countries and strengthen their knowledge of the latest Water Scarcity and Drought (WS&D) management guidelines, methodologies, tools and best management practices, in particular the Mediterranean Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Planning Guidelines (MEDROPLAN). This training session brought together key policy makers and national stakeholders from the pilot countries along with experts with extensive regional and international experiences on drought planning and management. This included key project team members from the five pilot country governments (Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and Yemen); project regional and national experts and consultants from the five pilot countries; experts from regional and international institutions involved in drought management and MEDROPLAN scientists from the Polytechnical University of Madrid in Spain.

Managing Groundwater in Coastal areas and Small Island Developing States (SIDs)

Logo Managing Groundwater

Date: 6-7 May 2014
Place: Mediterranean Information Office, Athens, Greece
Organizers: UNESCO-International Hydrological Programme (IHP)

In contribution to the International Year of SIDs 2014, this workshop aimed to promote conjunctive surface, groundwater and marine management; identify best and replicable practices and share experiences from Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects; review opportunities for Integrated Water Resource Management/Integrated Coastal Zone Management integration as well as the state of integration of groundwater and surface water management within organizations dealing with aspects of coastal zone management, including in SIDS and discuss knowledge management strategies whilst reviewing existing tools.
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11th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

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Date: 5-9 May 2014
Place: Conference Room 2, Conference Building, United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA

The Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) met to continue the discussions and further conclusions from the 10th session. Water and sanitation is focus area 6 and was discussed on Tuesday 6 May from 10:00 am. Challenges considered within the time frame of 2030 relate to providing universal access to safe and affordable drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene; improving wastewater management, recycling and reuse; improving water use in all sectors; and implementing integrated water resource management amongst other focus areas. The discussion aimed to shape the future SDG on water and sanitation.
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1st African Water Integrity Summit: Accelerating towards a Water Secure World

1st African Water Integrity Summit

Date: 29–30 April 2014
Place: InterContinental Hotel, Lusaka, Zambia
Organizers: UNDP-Water Governance Facility, The Water Integrity Network, UNDP/Cap-Net, WaterNet and Stockholm International Water Institute

This event marked the conclusion of a three year regional integrity training programme in Sub-Saharan Africa, the impact of which was summarized in order to extract practical insight into how to respond to misconduct in the water sector. The summit intended to strengthen local African relationships in the water community and at political levels in taking action against corruption. It brought together water sector stakeholders from all over Africa to exchange knowledge and experiences in facing the challenges of implementing water integrity action plans. The main themes of the Summit were the demonstration of social accountability tools, developing infrastructure and integrity and building water capacities.
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3rd Meeting of the OECD Water Governance Initiative

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Date: 28-29 April 2014
Place: Casa de América, Madrid, Spain
Organizers: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

This meeting, which counted with the participation of different UN agencies and programmes, offered an opportunity to discuss recent developments in the global water agenda; discuss the scope, rationale and building blocks of OECD principles on water governance; discuss ways forward to build water governance indicators to support the effectiveness and performance of institutions and governance arrangements; draw lessons from regional initiatives in support of better water governance, in particular in Middle East and North Africa; and share experience on current and forthcoming water governance reforms, events and projects.
>> More information
>> Follow the webcast

Women validation workshop on gender, water and jobs

Logo of the International Training Center of the International Labour Organisation

Date: 28–30 April 2014
Place: International Training Center of the International Labour Organisation, Turin, Italy
Organizers: International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UN-Women

During this workshop participants identified trends in women's unpaid labour in the water sector, identified linkages between gender, informal employment and environmental impact in water supply and shared experiences from their varied professional contexts. It aimed to produce a concise outline of the issues faced in the given scenarios and approach a set of leading questions concerning water needs, summarizing with possible policy options and promising projects or policy initiatives for the future. The workshop involved a broad range of stakeholders including national governments at central and local level, representatives from water provision agencies, representatives from employers and workers agencies, gender, water and informality experts, UN Women and UN-Water staff, ILO employment specialists and other NGOs active in the water sector.

On World Malaria Day: Invest in the future, defeat malaria!

World Malaria Day logo

Date: 25 April 2014
Place: Worldwide

World Malaria Day is an opportunity to celebrate the fact that the world is on track to meet the global Millennium Development Goal target of reversing the incidence of malaria. Over the last decade, the World has made major progress in the fight against malaria. Since 2000, malaria mortality rates have fallen by 42% and 50 of the 99 countries with ongoing transmission are now on track to meet the 2015 World Health Assembly target of reducing incidence rates by more than 75%.

However, we're not there yet. Malaria still kills an estimated 627,000 people worldwide, mainly children under five years of age in sub-Saharan Africa. Emerging drug and insecticide resistance threaten to reverse these gains. If the World is to accelerate progress against malaria in line with Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6, more efforts are urgently required.

World Malaria Day provides an opportunity for advocacy, an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. It is an opportunity for affected regions to learn from each other's experiences, donors to join the global partnership, researchers and academic institutions to share their advances and international partners, companies and foundations to demonstrate their efforts and reflect on future intervention.
>> World Malaria Day 2014 page
>> Malaria factsheet
>> World Malaria Report 2013

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

International Workshop on Tools for Improving Drinking Water Quality and International strategic meeting on improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in health facilities

Logo of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality of Spain

Date: 21-23 April 2014
Place: Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality (MSSSI), Madrid, Spain
Organizers: Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality of Spain in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC)

This international workshop discussed the tools for improving the quality of water for human consumption, including information systems, water safety plans and guidelines for quality drinking water. The main objective was to share knowledge and experiences between countries and international organizations. Participants included UN experts, international and national organisations. The event also included an International strategic meeting on improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene in health facilities which brought together international organizations, national organizations from Spain, academics and donors to discuss and commence a global, collaborative effort to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in health care facilities. Participants presented the latest global data regarding the status of this issue and discussed key gaps and measures to strengthen monitoring, policy and implementation. In addition, national case studies were presented. The outcomes of the meeting included a Global strategy on WASH in health care facilities and a Global Action Plan for 2014-2024.
>> More information
>> Workshop Programme

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

Get informed!

>> Decade's weekly
The Decade's weekly brings you every week the latest news from the Decade.

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 23 [PDF document. - 1.3 Mb]
UNW-DPAC. August 2014
>> Previous issues

A Date with...

Sustainable Development
15-17 January 2015: UN-Water International Zaragoza Conference ‘Water and Sustainable Development: From vision to action’

22 March 2015: World Water Day on Water and Sustainable Development

2011-2020: UN Decade on Biodiversity

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

2014-2024: 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