Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 36. 16 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
Recurso de la semana On the occasion of the International Day for Biodiversity on 22 May, focusing on Island Biodiversity, we have prepared a selection of UN publications for you.
>> UN publications on Water and Biodiversity
>> UN publications on Water and Islands

The UN Global Vote for a Better World sees water and sanitation as the 5th most voted for issue

The Global Week of Action, which concluded on 11 May, aimed at gathering 500,000 additional votes for MY World UN global survey. The survey provides an opportunity for citizens to have their voice heard at the UN and contribute with their priorities and views to the new development agenda for the world. The post-2015 ongoing process will identify the new development priorities to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after they expire in 2015. In an attempt to engage with the world’s population and help shape our future together, the initiative, led by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, asks citizens to rank 16 priorities that would make the most difference to their lives, ranging from reliable energy at home to protecting forests, rivers and oceans.

The survey has seen to date the participation of around 2 million people with more than 885,000 votes going to water and sanitation, ranking this issue the 5th most voted after education, health care, an honest and responsive government and better job opportunities.

Votes, to be collected until 2015, will inform the post-2015 process and be used to guide decision-makers in the formulation of the new agenda. These results are presented to the UN General Assembly on 16 May.

>> Results from the survey

In the news Forthcoming events
#Water&Environment Zayed International Prize Honours Top Environmentalists

Prince Albert II of Monaco was among those awarded the prestigious UNEP Zayed International Prize for the Environment Award in Dubai on 7 May 2014. A renowned conservationist and advocate for the earth’s marine and polar environments, Prince Albert II of Monaco was honoured for the prolific environmental work carried out by the Prince Albert II Foundation, which he founded in 2006 after traveling to the North Pole and witnessing the effects of climate change on the Arctic’s weakening ice. The Foundation has also tackled a number of issues related to biodiversity, water security and energy efficiency. In the Category ’Environmental Action Leading to Positive Change’ Dr. Luc Hoffmann from Switzerland, a renowned ornithologist, was honoured for his work in philanthropy and the conservation of wetlands.
>> More information

#Water&Mountains Water and ecosystems, most pertinent to mountains

Diplomats representing 15 governments and heads of several Major Groups decided on 29 April 2014 that the mountain agenda should home in on two succinct but compelling arguments for the 11th session of the UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During a meeting hosted by the Permanent Mission of Romania to the UN in New York, USA, participants examined six areas of sustainable development, and ultimately chose ’water’ and ’ecosystems and biodiversity’ as those where mountains contribute most to the livelihoods and well-being of communities around the world.
>> More information

#DisasterRisk UNISDR launches the R!ISE Initiative for Disaster Risk Sensitive Investments

The United Nations Office for Disaster (UNISDR) is launching the R!SE initiative on 19 May at UN Headquarters in New York, USA. This new initiative will contribute to building the resilience of local communities and the global economy as a whole to make all investments risk-sensitive by facilitating the exchange of experience and knowledge to implement tangible disaster risk reduction projects through 8 streams of activities including strategies for global business, risk metrics for economic forecasting, industry sector certification, education, principles for responsible investing, resilience of cities, insurance, and resilience of UN programming.
>> More information on R!SE Initiative

From Twitter

@UNRWA: Today, 90% of the #water in #Gaza is undrinkable. By 2016 the entire Gaza aquifer could be unusable

@FAOKnowledge: Drought ranks as single most common cause of severe food shortages in developing countries #waterfacts

Latest videos

Tanzania: Water Works
IFAD. May 2014
Cecilia William used to depend on irregular rainfall to irrigate her crops. As a single mother, she struggled to grow enough to feed her family. Now an irrigation system has changed her life. With regular access to water, Cecilia is not only a successful farmer, but she has become an innovative entrepreneur.
>> More videos accessible from the UN water video library

#Asia&SDGs Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APSFD)

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 (UNESCAP)

In preparation for the 2nd High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, this forum will discuss 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 will focus 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 include 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.
>> More information

#Water&Biodiversity International Day for Biodiversity: Island Biodiversity

Date: 22 May 2014
Place: Worldwide

Island Biodiversity has been chosen to commemorate International Day for Biodiversity 2014. 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. 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

#WaterCooperation Counting our gains: Sharing experiences on identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation

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, will provide a forum for discussion on the benefits of transboundary water cooperation and how benefit assessment can support the cooperation process. Discussions will take place between stakeholders from different backgrounds such as water practitioners, politicians, parliamentarians, journalists and researchers. It will also provide 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 will add conclusions from the above to the draft Policy guidance notes on identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation.
>> More information

From the Decade’s Programmes

• Documentary on las Piñas-Zapote River in Ecozine Festival on 19 May

Date: 19 May 2014
Time: 19:30
Place: Paraninfo building, University of Zaragoza, Spain

The documentary ’Brining the las Piñas-Zapote River in The Philippines back to life’ will be aired at the Ecozine film festival which takes place from 15 to 22 May 2014 in Zaragoza, Spain. The ’Las Piñas-Zapote River System Rehabilitation Program’ in The Philippines, won the category 1 ’Best water management practices’ 1st edition of ’Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award. This documentary introduces the initiative which, implemented by the Villar Foundation, has succeeded in bringing Las Piñas-Zapote River and its tributaries back to life, allowing wealth generation from waste that once polluted the river and creating work and housing for a population that used to live in shacks. The projection will take place at 19:30 on 19 May in the Paraninfo building at the University of Zaragoza, Spain under the "Water films" section.
>> Ecozine Festival programmeAvailable in Spanish
>> Documentary "Bringing the las Piñas-Zapote River in The Philippines back to life"

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