Decade's WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
  News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 02. 17 May 2013 
This week in focus  Editor’s note

Welcome to the Decade’s Weekly! Every week it brings you the latest news from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015. Please feel free to forward this newsletter. You can also access this newsletter online.

Tip of the week

Tip of the week
>> Visit the UN water video library


International Day for Biological Diversity 2013 will focus on water issues

Date: Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated every year on 22 May, is a special occasion to reflect on the role of biodiversity for our lives. In 2013 the theme for the day is Water and Biodiversity in recognition of the United Nations designation of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation.

This year’s theme speaks to the important role of biodiversity and ecosystems in providing for water security, and therefore for sustainable development.

>> More info

In the news Forthcoming events
#DisasterRisk Launch of Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2013

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) launched on 15 May the latest Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR13). Entitled Creating Shared Value: the Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction, the report, which carried out reviews of disaster losses in 56 countries, found that direct losses from floods, earthquakes and drought have been underestimated by at least 50 per cent.

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#Water&Sanitation 2.4 billion people will lack improved sanitation in 2015

Some 2.4 billion people ­ one-third of the world’s population ­ will remain without access to improved sanitation in 2015, according to a joint WHO/UNICEF report issued on 13 May. The report, entitled Progress on sanitation and drinking-water 2013 update, warns that, at the current rate of progress, the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of the 1990 population without sanitation will be missed by 8% ­ or half a billion people.

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#EnergyWaterNexus At UN debate experts weigh clean energy, water strategies to halt ’runaway’ climate change

With dire warnings likely to match or exceed the worst fears about the effects of global warming, environment and development experts gathered today at UN Headquarters to debate the twin challenge of curbing climate change while sustaining economic growth. "The fundamental challenge of our time is to end extreme poverty in this generation and significantly narrow the global gap between rich and poor without ruin the environmental basis for our survival," General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic said as he opened the UN General Assembly Thematic Debate ’Sustainable Development and Climate Change: Practical Solutions in the Energy-Water Nexus’ on 16 May.

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#SDGs 3rd session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

Date: 22-24 May 2013
Place: United Nations HQ, New York, USA

The 3rd session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals is expected to discuss the issues of food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, drought, desertification, and land degradation for one and a half days, and water and sanitation for the other one and a half days. Sessions will be broadcasted live through the UN webcast.

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#WaterCooperation 2nd meeting of the International Steering Committee of the International High-Level Conference on Water Cooperation

Organizers: Government of Tajikistan in collaboration with UN agencies
Date: 4-5 June 2013
Place: Dushanbe, Tajikistan

In preparation of the High-Level Conference on Water Cooperation which will take place in Dushanbe on 20-21 August 2013, the Steering Committee will meet to discuss and agree on the final draft of the conference program; decide on key sessions’ speakers, moderators and chairs; and make suggestions for the zero draft of the outcome document. The main objective of the High-Level Conference is to contribute to the improvement of water cooperation, in particular at transboundary level, by promoting successful policies, best practices and wider public participation, and encouraging policy makers to promote water cooperation at all levels in order to achieve internationally agreed goals on water.

>> More info

For media
#MediaForum 6th Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum: The Future of Growth. Economic Values and the Media

Date: 17-19 June 2013
Place: World Conference Centre, Bonn, Germany

The world economy faces enormous challenges. Pressed to deal with climate change and diminishing resources, it must also respond to growing social, political and cultural tensions. Meanwhile, billions of people are vying for lives in dignity on a shared planet. The 2013 Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum will provide the setting to develop and communicate interdisciplinary approaches to building an economy fit for the future. On 18 June, the workshop "Water in a Changing World of Growth Opportunities" will focus on smart investments in water resources and water services which can drive growth, and reduce poverty and adverse economic impacts.

>> More info

You make the Decade! Who has joined the Water Decade campaign?
  • Committee on teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN)

CTAUN joined the ’Water for Life’ Decade in 2006 and organized the conference ’The Global Challenge of Water’ in New York, USA, in February 2006. The conference, attended by nearly 400 participants from 28 countries, focused on water-related issues and provided educators with background information on local, national and international problems and successes achieved. A full conference report with summaries of all presentations including conference pictures, links and information on exhibits is available online.

  • Indus Foundation for human development and Quaid College Network

The Indus Foundation for Human Development is a civic society organization working in different fields of human development. It strives for improving the educational, health and cultural status of people by empowering them with training and research facilities. The Foundation also organizes capacity enhancement activities in the fields of teacher education, community development and mobilization, youth development and environmental studies. The Quaid College Network, under the auspices of the Indus Foundation for human development, initiated the initiatives Green Teacher Initiative-II and Save Water Youth Movement which included two self-funded capacity building programs under the framework of the Decade. They impart awareness and motivate school teachers and youth to make sustainable use of water resources and encourage others to practice the same, which involves in-house training sessions, field visits, motivational presentations and group work in different districts of Pakistan.
Contact: Husnain Haider

  • Environment Canada

Environment Canada is a diverse organization where programs, services, and people lead the way in implementing the Government of Canada’s environmental agenda. Their aim is to protect the environment, to conserve the country’s natural heritage, and to provide weather and meteorological information for information of the population. Environment Canada joined the Decade’s Campaign and promoted the Decade with a bilingual (English/French) children booklet Explore water with Holly Heron/À la découverte de l’eau avec notre ami le heron targeted at children aged 5-9. Designed to increase children’s knowledge and understanding about water through simple activities and experiments the booklet was provided free-of-charge for educational purposes. Between 2005 and 2006, 30,000 copies of the booklet were produced with all copies distributed by January 2008.
Contact: Jean Bennett

Want to be part of the Decade’s campaign? Join us!