Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 34. 02 May 2014 
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
Water scarcity impacts on Island biodiversity. Learn more about water scarcity and how the UN approaches the challenge through the MDGs and much more.
>> Access the Water Decade's thematic section on water scarcity

International Day for Biological Diversity: Island Biodiversity

Date: 22 May 2014
Place: Worldwide

Island Biodiversity will 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

In the news Forthcoming events
#CholeraHaiti As dry season ends in Haiti, significant gains seen in fight against cholera, UN official says

Significant gains in the fight against the cholera epidemic in Haiti have been recorded as the dry season ends and the United Nations continues to support the Government's comprehensive strategy of monitoring, rapid response and planning for long-term solutions. "Interventions are based on identifying where cholera occurs; then very rapid intervention teams go in and deploy a number of different measures including identifying, isolating and a whole range of water and sanitation-related activities that improve the environment and reduce the risk of the disease spreading," Mr. Peter de Clercq, Deputy Special Representative for the UN Secretary-General in Haiti, said.
>> More information

#WorldWaterDay World Water Day 2015 will focus on 'Water and Sustainable Development'

'Water and Sustainable Development' is the theme for next year's World Water Day, which will be coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of different UN agencies. 2015 is a key milestone for the international community as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to their end and international negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda conclude in September.

#Water&Sanitation Stay tuned! Joint Monitoring Programme report 2014 to be released on 8 May

The 2014 update of the Joint Monitoring Programme Report (JMP) is to be released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on 8 May 2014. The JMP report is released annually, collating up-to-date data that aim to accelerate progress towards universal sustainable access to safe water and basic sanitation. With the Millennium Development Goal target year approaching, new challenges to monitoring access to drinking-water and sanitation have arisen.
>> JMP 2014 estimatesPDF document
>> JMP 2014 snapshotPDF document

#CountryCoordination UN-Water analyzes water coordination efforts at country level

The UN-Water Task Force on Country-level Coordination analyzes water-related coordination mechanisms in 13 countries representing differing humanitarian and development situations and geographic locations. The need for coordination is increasing and water governance issues like policy and strategy, river basin management, support to development of regional water-sharing agreements, participation of stakeholders, competing among stakeholders and sectors and the human right to water are only some of the issues that call for consultation and coordination.
>> UN-Water Report 'Coordination of Water Actions at Country Level'PDF document

#Water&Agriculture UN agency honours traditional farming sites in China, Iran, Republic of Korea

The birthplace of jasmine tea and a nearly 3,000 year old irrigation system are among the traditional farming sites designated "globally important" land use systems or landscapes by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) are considered "models of innovation, sustainability and adaptability, delivering important benefits to the ecosystem". The new designations include Iran's Qanat Irrigation system, an ancient network of farms that have survived for nearly three millennia; a 22-thousand-kilometer system of black stone walls built from volcanic rock in Jeju, Republic of Korea; and the traditional Gudeuljang Irrigated rice terraces in Cheongsando, Republic of Korea. Also on the list are a trio of sites in China: the Xinghua Duotian Agrosystem famous for its method of water-land utilization; the historic Jasmine and Tea Culture System of Fuzhou City where the tea scenting method was first invented more than 1000 years ago; and, the Jiaxian Traditional Chinese Date Gardens recognized, as the place with the longest history of jujube cultivation.
>> More information

#DefeatMalaria Following World Malaria Day, the World Health Organization releases malaria Control Guide

On World Malaria Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a manual to help countries in assessing the technical, operational and financial feasibility of moving towards malaria elimination. The new guide, "From malaria control to malaria elimination: a manual for elimination scenario planning", will provide target countries with a comprehensive framework to assess different scenarios and timelines for moving towards elimination, depending on programme coverage and funding availability. "Increased political commitment and the expansion of global malaria investments have saved some 3.3 million lives since 2000," says Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General at WHO. "Countries where malaria remains endemic now want to build on this success".
>> Guide 'From malaria control to malaria elimination'PDF document

#SDGs 11th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

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) will meet to continue the discussions and further conclusions from the 10th session. Water and sanitation is focus area 6 and will be 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 aims to shape the future SDG on water and sanitation.
>> More information

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

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 aim 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 will bring 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 will include 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.

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

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 aims 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.
>> More information

#IWRM 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 focuses on issues of transboundary water management in a changing climate. It will be 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 will be 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 will discuss the expected benefits of cooperation in the field of water and will assess the place of this resource in the design of the post-2015 development agenda.
>> More information

From the Decade's Programmes
#Water&Health UNW-DPAC releases information brief and reader on Water and Health

The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) has released an information brief and a reader on Water and Health challenges. These tools have been designed to draw focus and provide insight into the linkages between water and health issues. Almost one tenth of the world's global disease burden could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources management. The information brief provides a background to these issues and summarises the UN commitments in place to account for recognised challenges, it also provides UN-Water recommendations for a global goal on water within the Post-2015 development agenda. The Water and Health reader supports the brief by collating UN publications on an array of Water and Health related subjects.
>> Water and Health Information BriefPDF document
>> Water and Health ReaderPDF document

#Water&SustainableDevelopment Dialogue on the role of academia in promoting water and sustainable development

Date: 8 May 2014
Place: United Nations 'Water for Life' Office, Casa Solans, Avenida CataluƱa, Zaragoza, Spain
Organizers: UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC)

UN-Water has proposed a Post-2015 dedicated water-goal. This dialogue aims to address the challenges of this implementation in relation to UN-Water's recommendation. The dialogue will identify main contributions from the scientific community with regards to the implementation tools in order to support the development of the UN-Water International Conference 2015 in Zaragoza, Spain, which will focus on water and sustainable development. The specific objectives of the seminar include informing representatives from academia on progress in the Post-2015 Agenda, sharing experiences, expressing suggestions for the Conference, and facilitating a dialogue on its possible outcomes.

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