Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 49. 3 October 2014 
This week in focus  Editor’s note

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

Tip of the week

Voices of Experts: Thoughts on the Decade

We’ve been uploading a series of interviews conducted at 2014 Stockholm World Water Week where we spoke to experts, scientists, policy makers, the private sector and NGOs to get the lowdown on how the water sector has progressed over the last decade. These first few voices are already available on the #WaterForLifeVoices website. If you were one of those interviewed in Stockholm, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us!

>> Testimonies from the experts


International Day for Disaster Reduction 2014: Resilience is for Life

Date: 13 October 2014
Place: Worldwide
Organiser: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)

The United Nations General Assembly decided in 1989 to celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

The world is ageing. The world population has quadrupled to 7 billion people in just over 100 years. Today, people aged over 60 constitute 11% of the global population. By 2050, this proportion will have doubled, to 22% - that is, 2 billion older persons. Populations are ageing most rapidly in developing countries, which are currently home to 60% of the world’s older persons, projected to rise to 80% by 2050.

This year's day will highlight the need for a more inclusive approach for older people in disaster risk reduction and recognize the critical role they can play in resilience-building through their experience and knowledge. IDDR 2014 intends to switch on and amplify this critical issue now and for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

The 2014 theme for the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is part of a Step Up initiative started in 2011, which focuses on a different group of partners every year leading up to the World Conference for Disaster Reduction in 2015: Children and Young People (2011), Women and Girls (2012), People Living with Disabilities (2013), and the Ageing Population (2014).

How will you celebrate IDDR? You could start by sharing your photos!

>> IDDR 2014 website
>> More information about the Step Up Initiative

In the news Forthcoming events
#WaterDisclosure CEO Water Mandate Releases Final Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines

The UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate initiative has released the finalized Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines - a common approach for companies to effectively and intelligibly disclose the many elements of their corporate water management practice to key stakeholders. The Guidelines aim to harmonize reporting approaches, minimizing reporting burdens so companies spend less time on different reports and more time actively managing water.
>> Access the Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines

#Women&Children Improving health of women and children "Moral imperative"

Lauding the gains made in improving the health of women and children worldwide, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for renewed commitment and action to sustain the unprecedented progress made in this area, Thursday, 25 September. "For the first time ever, we have the opportunity to end all preventable deaths of women and children within a generation," Mr. Ban said at the ’Every Woman Every Child’ event held at UN Headquarters on the margins of the UN General Assembly’s high-level debate. Mr. Ban noted that efforts have led to the reduction in deaths of children under the age of five faster than at any time in the past two decades. Each day, some 17,000 more children survive. Deaths of mothers have been cut by almost half since 1990. "As we advance, we will have to protect these fragile gains - and cope with emerging challenges. Climate change, water, education, sanitation, nutrition and human rights all affect women and children’s health." Launched by the Secretary-General in September 2010, ’Every Woman Every Child’ aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.
>> Full press release

#MDG Ban urges global leaders to "finish the job", deadline looming

Great gains have been made in the global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), but with the deadline fast approaching more must be done to meet the targets set for 2015 and beyond, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on 25 September. In his remarks to a gathering of 300 global leaders convened by the MDG Advocacy Group, Mr. Ban applauded the successes made so far in pushing forward with the Goals and in having "raised awareness, mobilized resources, and helped shape policy." The meeting also marked the release of the Group’s latest report ’Accelerating Action: Global Leaders on Challenges and Opportunities for MDG Achievement’. With 462 days until the MDG deadline, the report strikes an optimistic note, adding that with many of the Goals already met - including the reduction of poverty, increasing access to clean drinking water, improving the lives of slum dwellers, and achieving gender parity in schools - many more targets are also within reach by the end of 2015. But, Mr. Ban warned, much more remained to be done in order to "finish the job."
>> Full press release >> Access the reportPDF document

#FoodSecurity Healthy Ecosystems Key to Better Food Security

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that is set to ensure better support for the functioning of critical ecosystem services that underlie food security. "Healthy ecosystems are the lifeblood of food security, especially in developing countries, where a majority of people are supported directly by the land, seas and oceans," said Achim Steiner, UNEP's Executive Director. The new MoU formalizes the cooperation between the two agencies, in the context of a post-2015 development agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly with regard to food security and ecosystems services.
>> Full press release

#UrbanSanitation E-learning course on Governance in Urban Sanitation

Date: 6 October-12 December 2014
Place: Online
Organizers: United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

This online course aims to enhance the capacity of local decision-makers to make 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.
>> More information

#Hydrology 7th Global FRIEND-Water Conference "Hydrology in a Changing World: Environmental and Human Dimension"

Date: 7-10 October 2014
Place: Montpellier, France
Organizers: UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP), German IHP/HWRP Hydrological Committee, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), Hydrosciences Montpellier, UNESCO Office in Jakarta

For over 25 years, FRIEND-Water program has aimed to boost regional experts and communities to generate new knowledge on regional hydrology and multi-scale water cycle processes. FRIEND-Water studies long-term variations and changes in hydrological variables to better understand the effects of climate, environment and human activities on the spatial and temporal distribution of water. Conference topics include: Hydrological databases: how to cope with future questions; Trends in hydrological regimes and extremes; Changes in ecological flows and coastal ecohydrology; Erosion and sediment transport processes and trends; Regional observational-hydrological modelling frameworks; Water resources and prospective scenarios.
>> More information

#AfricaSan 4th AfricaSan Conference ’Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa’

Date: 8-10 October 2014
Place: Dakar, Senegal
Organizers: African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW)

Since 2008 AfricaSan has been associated with establishing and tracking progress towards achieving the eThekwini commitments. AfricaSan also features a growing and high-level learning exchange on different aspects of sanitation and hygiene service improvement and promotes political prioritization of sanitation and hygiene. The Conference is attended by Ministers responsible for water and sanitation and the key agencies working in this field in Africa. Online registration ends 6 October 2014.
>> More information

#Water&ClimateChange 7th meeting of the Task Force on Water and Climate

Date: 13 October 2014
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Place: Geneva, Swtizerland
Organizers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

The Task Force on Water and Climate under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) is responsible for activities related to adaptation to climate change, including flood and drought management. In this meeting, the Task Force will review the progress and discuss the implementation of future activities to be undertaken under the programme of work for 2013-2015 of the Water Convention. The Task Force meeting will be followed by the 5th Workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change in Transboundary Basins, which will be held on 14-15 October 2014 in Geneva.
>> More information

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