The project "Actúa con energía", promoted by the Government of Aragon, Spain, organized its 6th conference putting a special focus on communication and climate change. This environmental education project links energy consumption habits, techniques and methods with its environmental consequences.
Helena Caballero, adviser on water and environment of the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication, participated in the event with a presentation on "International media coverage of climate change". The event took place at the Salón de Actos del Edificio CREA, 20 Avda. Ranillas.
The Office national de l'eau et des milieux aquatiques (ONEMA) of France organised the workshop "Economic instruments to support water policy in Europe: Paving the way for research and future development". The workshop provided an opportunity for economists, practitioners, policy makers and researchers to dialogue on the potential for economic instruments in the field of water. Josefina Maestu, coordinator of the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication, participated in the workshop with a presentation on the role of economic instruments in river basin management plans.
Sustainable, efficient and equitable management of water resources has never been as important as in today's world. More than ever, it is the world's water and wastewater utilities that are central to achieving global goals of environmental protection and universal access to water and sanitation services.
As the providers of drinking water for the majority of the world's population, water operators have great power to communicate, show by example, and inspire their customers about the urgent need to act in solidarity towards common environmental and development goals. Increasingly, water operators' are engaging in awareness campaigns, international development, corporate social responsibility efforts, and sharing their skills through water operators' partnerships.
This role of water operators as leaders in the efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals and other international commitments on water and sanitation was the focus of this 2-day meeting. The meeting, jointly organized by the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNO-IDfA/UNW-DPAC) and UN-Habitat, focused on communication strategies and water operators' partnerships as the essential tools of water operators in playing their full role in this urgent global effort.
The United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA)/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) convened a side event at the 2nd Africa Water Week.
This interactive session dealt with the issue of climate change, its impacts on drinking water and sanitation in the African region, and the need to communicate the urgency to act. A veteran environmental journalist posed some related questions to a knowledgeable expert in the water and development field. An official from the UN moderated the process. Then, the audience got a chance to give those answers the impetus they need, with some additional insights from NGO research and policy work.
>> Session background information [ – 420 KB]
Journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean are invited to take part in a two-day workshop on water and climate change. The workshop is organized by the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA) and the network of the United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) for Latin America and the Caribbean. This activity is held in cooperation with the Dominican Association of the United Nations (UNA-DR) and the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD).
The workshop aims to serve as a forum for debate between experts and journalists from the region. Themes covered will include: the nature of the water-related impacts of climate change, how to improve climate change adaptation, the importance of water in the upcoming COP 15, tools for improving communication on water and climate change, and lessons drawn from stories of good practices on information and communication.
>> Agenda 
Hosted and organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the World Water Week is the annual meeting place for water issues. The theme for 2009 was “Responding to Global Challenges: Accessing Water for the Common Good”.
The United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA) was present at the World Water Week.
Casa Africa and the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA) co-organized the International Meeting on Water and Cooperation in Africa. The main objective of the meeting was to reinforce cooperation tools and mechanisms that will strengthen the capacities of African countries to achieve the Millennium Development target to ‘halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation’. The meeting provided a platform to allow relevant stakeholders to participate in a dialogue aimed at exchanging views on the role of international cooperation in the water governance field in Africa; identifying and evaluating existing coordination, information exchange and monitoring mechanisms; identifying gaps and key obstacles impeding the achievement of water and sanitation targets in the African region; examining actions implemented by cooperating actors on non-covered needs in the areas of water governance, water supply and sanitation in Africa; and better orienting cooperation efforts in order to maximize their effectiveness in the water and sanitation fields.
On March 22, World Water Day is held to highlight the importance of freshwater and how to manage water sustainably. In 2009, under the theme "Shared Water - Shared Opportunities ", transboundary water was the focus. Managing water across borders could promote trust and understanding, leading to a more peaceful and secure world, enabling sustainable economic growth. Lead agencies for World Water Day 2009 were the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
The United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA) co-organized a journalist workshop in connection with the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, from 16th to 22nd of March 2009.
The workshop was designed to provide experienced international journalists with a unique opportunity for learning, working and networking on health, sanitation and water issues, the most critical issues of the 21st century. The workshop made the link to poverty and development, human rights, environment, food, peace building, migration, governance and other issues being addressed simultaneously at the 5th World Water Forum.
UNO-IDfA co-organized the workshop together with health, sanitation, water and media-related international organizations which include Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Media21 Global Journalism Network, PATH, Water Advocates, Water and Sanitation Programme, and the World Water Council. 35 international journalists representing print, television, radio and web, from mainstream and specialized media from Africa, Asia, Europe, and from North and South America were invited to participate in the workshop in connection to the 5th World Water Forum.
During the visit of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon to the Expo Zaragoza on 01 September 2008 he commended the Government of Spain “for hosting this magnificent international exposition on “’Water and Sustainable Development’”. He also emphasised UN-Water’s role in strengthening the coherence of efforts to implement the global water and sanitation agenda, and encouraged attendees to visit the UN-Water pavilion at the Expo. Mr. Ban emphasised the work left to do and the challenges impeding progress to meet the Millennium Development Goals on water and sanitation.
The Caribbean Workshop on Sanitation - 'Integration of Sanitation Policies into National Development Plans in the Caribbean Region' was held in Kingston, Jamaica from 28 to 29 April 2008. The workshop was organized by the Division for Sustainable Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and WSP/World Bank. Participants from 16 countries in the region included Ministers, professionals of institutions of the sector, scholars, members of civil society, non-governmental agencies, donor agencies, development agencies and the private sector. The objective of the workshop was to contribute to the improvement of the well-being of the population in the Caribbean region through the integration and development of sanitation policies. Please see the CARIBSAN Recommendations for more information on the results of the workshop.
World Water Day 2008 will be celebrated by the UN on Thursday, 20 March. In 2008 the day will highlight issues on sanitation in accordance with the International Year of Sanitation 2008. People around the world are encouraged to celebrate the day to draw attention to the world’s sanitation challenge. HRH the Prince of Orange will attend the celebrations in Geneva. UN Water officially launched the website for World Water Day 2008. The website features factsheets, videos and news on the upcoming World Water Day celebrations.
20-21 August 2013: International High-Level Conference on Water Cooperation. Dushanbe, Tajikistan
8-10 January 2013: Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! Conference. Zaragoza, Spain
>> Draft Resolution on the implementation of the IYWC
>> IYWC official website
2013: International Year of Water Cooperation
Deserts and Desertification
2010-2020: UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification
17 June: World Day to Combat Desertification