The touring poster exhibition 'Water is Life' was presented at the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015 in Zaragoza, Spain, for one month, from 25 October to 25 November 2011. 33 graphic thematic posters selected from the 2011 edition of the 'Water is Life' competition, which received more than 4,800 candidatures from 83 countries. The poster competition provided an opportunity to showcase young creativity from all over the world on a global scale, touching on an essential aspect of life: Water!
'The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus. Solutions for the Green Economy' was the focus of the Bonn2011 Conference. Organized by the German Federal Government, this international conference concentrated on new approaches which address the interconnections within the water, energy and food security nexus. The conference aimed at developing policy recommendations, positioning the water, energy and food security nexus perspective as an important dimension within the Rio+20 process and launching concrete initiatives to address the water, energy, food security nexus in a coherent and sustainable way.
On 16 November (10:00-13:00), UN-Water convened a session on 'UN-Water. The Road to Rio. Water for Development and Poverty Eradication'. In this session, some of the key expectations that specific Member States have for water and about the role that the UN is expected to play towards Rio+20 were presented and discussed. UN-Water members and partners discussed the UN-Water messages and showcased and discussed key initiatives that have been important in supporting the role of water in the development agenda and what we can expect for water in the Rio+20 conference.
This preparatory conference for Rio+20 was organized by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in cooperation with UN-Water, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Office in Dushanbe and the South-South News. The objective of the conference was to discuss current issues and challenges in water cooperation that will be later included in the concept note and the programme of the thematic session on water cooperation in the framework of the Rio+20 Conference.
"Successful water projects can serve as templates around the world and help to stimulate the adoption of green economies." The three-day UN-Water conference in Zaragoza, Spain, discussed examples of successful water projects as well as how to adequate manage the world's limited water resources. Experts predict that the amount of water needed by humans could exceed the amount available by as much as 40 per cent by 2030, making water management a priority in the sustainability agenda. Water is also closely linked to the green economy because it is interwoven with sustainable development issues such as health, food security, energy and poverty. The conference served as a preparation process for next year's UN Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20.
The event placed a special focus in showcasing already successful projects of how water can be a major contributor to developing a green economy. At the end of the conference, UN-Water issued a draft best practice guide to actions, instruments and policies to progress towards a green economy for sustainable development and poverty eradication.
This regional workshop was aimed at supporting communication practitioners and journalists in access to information and in disseminating key messages on environmental priorities for the Latin America and the Caribbean region but also at local and global levels. The workshop specially focused on environmental management, integrated water resources and coastal areas management. The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) contributed to the workshop with two presentations, one for the panel on Ecosystem approach and adaptive co-management for an integrated approach of water resources and coastal areas management and another one for the panel on Water and the green economy: perspectives for Rio+20.
>> Regional journalist workshop [ - 52 KB]
Organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the World Water Week brings together experts, practitioners, decision makers and leaders from around the globe to exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions to solve the world's water crisis. Each year the World Water Week addresses a particular theme to enable a deeper examination of a specific water-related topic. The thematic scope for 2011 is "Water in an Urbanising World". UN-Water was present at the Week and the UN agencies and programmes organized several events. Access the Week's event finder and type UN-Water in the Keyword field to find them.
On 22 August, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) and the UN World Water Assessment Programme jointly organized, on behalf of UN-Water, a Stakeholder Dialogue on 'Beyond 2015: What next for water-related MDGs and water challenges?'.
On 23 August, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) jointly organized a session on 'Striking WASH Communication: Urban Water in Depth'.
>> Beyond 2015: What next for water-related MDGs and water challenges? [ – 1.6 MB]
>> Striking WASH Communication: Urban Water in Depth [ – 271 KB]
>> World Water Week 2011 event finder
>> World Water Week 2011 website
This workshop brought together countries and other stakeholders engaged in the provision of water and sanitation services with the aim to analyse the specific challenges and debate the political, economic and practical implications of equitable access to water and sanitation; exchange practical experiences and share lessons learned on the policies and measures to be enacted to provide access to water and sanitation to vulnerable and marginalized groups, to reduce geographical disparities in access and to address affordability issues; identify good practices, success factors and lessons learned; support governments in complying with the requirements of article 5 of the Protocol on Water and Health as regards promoting equitable access to water and sanitation, as well as their obligations under international human rights law.
The Darfur International Conference, sponsored by the Sudan Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources along with United Nations agencies, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations for Project Services (UNOPS), sought to raise support for a six-year series of water-related projects in Darfur.
The Conference launched and appeal for US$1.5 billion in water sector projects, from rebuilding the water infrastructure devastated by conflict to introduce innovative technologies and systems to creating policy for drought preparedness.
This course aims at enhancing the capacity of local decision-makers and sanitation professionals to make the most enlightened decisions and investments in the area of urban sanitation. It provides analytical tools to understand the financial and institutional framework of the sanitation sector, taking into account the needs of urban poor communities.
The course is open to decision-makers from local governments as well as representatives of service providers (national governments, private sector, NGOs) and international organizations involved in the sanitation sector worldwide.
"Human Rights in a Globalized World - Challenges for the Media" was the theme of the 2011 edition of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, where media representatives meet, discuss and interact with experts, decision makers and activists, among others, on the theme of human rights and the role of the media worldwide.
The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) UN-Habitat, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) jointly organized different activities on the human right to water and sanitation at the Forum which included:
>> Brochure on activities on the human right to water at DW Global Media Forum [- 398 KB]
>> Conclusions and recommendations [ - 60 KB]
Different information materials on the human right to water and sanitation have been produced to support these activities:
>> A Short Glossary [- 28 KB] which defines frequently used terms.
>> A Media brief [- 187 KB] presenting the current situation and some examples illustrating how the human right to water and sanitation is being implemented in practice.
>> A Reader [- 175 KB] which provides basic references for easy reading and some of the latest and most relevant United Nations publications on the issue.
>> Eight Short facts [- 388 KB] on the human right to water and sanitation.
>> A UN Milestones [- 112 KB] document presenting the UN historical background and evolution of recognition of the human right to water and sanitation.
2011 being the International Year of Forests, the Day was guided by the motto 'Forests keep drylands working'. In his call to the international community Mr. Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), stated "If each of us makes the commitment and ensures that just one tree is planted in a degraded part of the drylands and that the tree survives through the year, we could have well over two billion trees in the drylands by the end of the year. That is a tree for every inhabitant".
Organized by the Canal Foundation, the annual Forum on Water for Development is the meeting point for international actors from the sector aimed at achieving universal access to water and sanitation. The sixth edition of the Forum focused on difficulties and progress to date towards the achievement of the MDGs. The Forum had the participation from representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Water and Sanitation and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) participated in the Forum with a presentation on the MDGs and future actions of the UN system in the water sector.
Organized by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in partnership with the Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck, this conference was aimed at highlighting major recent insights and advances in concepts and methodology in analysis of water governance and policy, bridging regional and global scales in multi-level analyses of water governance, strengthening the emerging community of water governance scholars.
The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) chaired session 7 'Water governance, addressing the environmental dimension' and participated in session 8 'Legitimacy and multi-level governance: lessons from the water column' on 9 June.
In the framework of the 16th World Meteorological Congress, organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), six side events were organized to support Congress delegations in their deliberations on the role and functions of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services within the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).
On 23 May, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) participated in a panel discussion organized at the side event on "Understanding User Needs for Climate Change Services".
Top officials from more than 35 nations covering the world's three major rainforest regions gathered at a United Nations-backed conference to discuss the common challenges faced by these vital ecosystems that support more than a billion people.
The aim of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Amazon, Congo, and Borneo-Mekong Forest Basins was to achieve a plan for the sustainable management of forest ecosystems in the three basins. The Amazon Basin of South America, the Congo Basis in Central Africa, and the Borneo-Mekong Basin in South-East Asia make up 80 per cent of the world's rainforests and contain two thirds of its biodiversity. The four-day meeting was also part of celebrations of the International Year of Forests 2011.
18 April was designated as The International Day for Monuments and Sites by UNESCO in 1982. Each year a theme is selected to help focus the celebration and promotion of cultural heritage across the world. The aim is to explore cultural heritage beyond the select group of sites on the World Heritage List and to encourage local communities and individuals to consider the importance of cultural heritage to their lives, identities and communities. The theme agreed for 2011was the 'Cultural Heritage of Water'.
This workshop was the second one organized on this theme in the framework of the UNECE Water Convention. It brought together countries and other stakeholders engaged in activities on water and adaptation to climate change, in particular in transboundary basins, with the aim to: exchange practical experience and share lessons-learned on the technical and strategic aspects of adapting to climate change; analyse the specific challenges of adapting water management to climate change in the transboundary context, identify best practices, success factors and lessons learnt; exchange experiences between the pilot projects on adaptation to climate change in transboundary basins under the UNECE Water Convention as well as other similar initiatives; support governments, organizations and joint bodies engaged in the process of preparing national or regional adaptation strategies; promote and discuss the implementation of the UNECE Guidance on Water and Adaptation to Climate Change.
Organized by the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), this two day journalist workshop, taking place in the framework of World Water Day celebrations in Cape Town, South Africa, provided orientation for journalists reporting on "Urban water" issues. With a focus on professional retraining related to research, preparing reportages and investigative journalism on the themes of water governance in the urban context, the workshop was mainly directed towards experienced African journalists from print, radio and TV media.
The Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) held its 1st Bi-Annual Global Water Operators Congress and GWOPA General Assembly on 20th -21st March 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa, in conjunction with World Water Day celebrations. The Congress brought together water and sanitation operators, GWOPA members, and partners from around the world for this first major global WOPs event. The Congress contributed to the growing body of knowledge on WOPs, helped broker new partnerships between operators, and generally raised awareness about the practice. The event represented a major opportunity for practitioners from around the world to exchange with one another on important questions around WOPs.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) organized this regional conference at ECLAC Headquarters, Santiago, Chile. The conference aimed at presenting, analyzing and discussing lessons learnt from research and technical advisory activities of ECLAC for the period 2008-2010. The conclusions provided the basis for a public policy guidelines document that will summarize the state-of-the-art public policies for the economically efficient, socially equitable and environmental sustainable provision of water supply and sanitation services.
This side event, organized by UN-Water and the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), articulated the linkages among water, sanitation and the multiple facets of the green economy while providing a forum to discuss how water issues feature on the Rio 2012 agenda. The event focused on the themes and objectives of Rio 2012 highlighting particularly how water and the green economy are co-dependent.
2 February each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.
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
>> Decade's weekly
The Decade's weekly brings you every week the latest news from the Decade.
2011-2020: UN Decade on Biodiversity
22 May: International Day for Biological Diversity - Water and Biodiversity
Deserts and Desertification
2010-2020: UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification
17 June: World Day to Combat Desertification – Don't let our future dry up!
5 June: World Environment Day 'Think, Eat, Save'
2011-2015: Sustainable sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015
2013: International Year of Water Cooperation