Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 50. 10 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

More Voices of Experts on Progress during the Water for Life Decade

Take a look at our ever-expanding Water for Life Voices Campaign homepage for more interviews with policy makers, scientists and thought-leaders in the water sector. We’ve also added some Voices from the civil society. Keep checking back, we’ll be adding more as we talk to more key figures in water.

>> Water for Life Voices Campaign website
>> Submit your Voice (and images!)


UN Report Calls For Bold and Accelerated Global Action to Meet Biodiversity Targets by 2020

Launched one year before the halfway point of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 shows that there has been significant progress towards meeting some components of the majority of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. "The Aichi Biodiversity Targets represent the most important international commitment towards preserving biodiversity," said Derek Tittensor, Senior Marine Biodiversity Scientist at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

However, in most cases, additional action is required to keep the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 on course. The set of 20 targets detailed at Aichi are broken down into 56 elements, of which only five are on track for 2020. Thirty-three show progress, but at an insufficient rate to meet the targets, 10 show no progress, 5 show things getting worse and 3 have not been evaluated.

The report noted that while use of natural resources such as water had become more efficient, our vastly increased consumption levels negated any progress. It also noted that while nutrient pollution had stabilized in the developed world, it was still increasing in other parts of the world with a strong risk to aquatic biodiversity. A key failing highlighted in the report was the continued decreasing global wetland extent.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, the executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: "The good news is that parties are making progress and concrete commitments to implement the Aichi biodiversity targets."

>> Download Global Biodiversity Outlook 4
>> UNEP press release
>> UN press release: Benefits of investing in protection of biodiversity outweigh financial costs, says UN-backed report

In the news Forthcoming events
#Water&Energy World Water Week 2014 Conclusions Released

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) released the report ’2014 Overarching Conclusions: World Water Week in Stockholm, Energy and Water’, which analyzes the discussions that took place during World Water Week 2014 and summarizes themes and conclusions related to the energy-water nexus. World Water Week 2014 was held from 1-6 September 2014, in Stockholm, Sweden, on the theme Water and Energy and counted with the participation of UN-Water and several UN agencies and programmes. The report highlights the close interdependence between the water and energy sectors and the importance of a closer understanding of the dynamics of both sectors in order to provide for sustainable energy and water supplies.
>> Access the reportPDF document

#Water&Energy&Food Summary from UN-Water Stakeholder Dialogue on "Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Post-2015 Development Agenda"

On 3 September 2014, UN-Water organized its 5th annual Stakeholder Dialogue at World Water Week. The dialogue, implemented by the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), discussed what the role of the water-energy-food nexus should be in the post-2015 development agenda.
>> Access a summary report and video recording of the session

#IndigenousKnowledge Indigenous knowledge essential to meet global biodiversity targets - UN official

The knowledge and traditional practices of indigenous people and local communities are key to halting biodiversity loss and achieving sustainable development, a United Nations official stressed on 7 October at a major meeting on biological diversity in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. "The collective work conducted by indigenous groups and local communities represents a major contributor to achieving the CBD’s main objectives and the Aichi biodiversity targets," said the Executive Director of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Braulio Souza de Dias. This indigenous knowledge includes such methods as natural water purification, separating human and animal waste from water sources, irrigation, crop-cycling and fertilization techniques without relying on chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
>> More information

#Water&Slums ‘Give Slum Dwellers a Voice’, UN Secretary-General says in Message for World Habitat Day

World Habitat Day focused this year on slums. This offered opportunity to talk about water and sanitation in the poorest areas of the world’s ever-swelling cities. In 2012, 828 million people were living in slum conditions, lacking basic services such as drinking water and sanitation. This number is increasing by 6 million each year to hit a total of 889 million by 2020. The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. ’Over the past decade, efforts under the Millennium Development Goals have cut the proportion of people living in slums by more than half. Yet, over the same period, rapid urbanization, especially in the developing world, has seen overall slum populations rise. In some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, as many as 70 per cent of urban dwellers live in slums and informal settlements. Slums are often located on the least desirable and appropriate land, such as flood plains and steep hillsides, and are inherently vulnerable to the increasingly severe weather events that climate change is causing. To achieve sustainable development and a life of dignity for all, we must address these issues’ said Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General on his message for World Habitat Day 2014.
>> Message from UN Secretary General >> World Habitat Day website

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

Date: 13 October 2014
Place: Geneva, Switzerland
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.
>> Provisional AgendaPDF document

#UrbanWater Sulphur-based environmental biotechnology applications to the urban water cycle: Lunch seminar on innovative water management

Date: 13 October 2014
Place: UNESCO-IHE, Westvest 7, Delft, The Netherlands
Organiser: UNESCO-Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE)

In this Lunch Seminar Prof. Guang-Hao Chen from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will give a presentation on "Innovative water management through sulphur-based environmental biotechnology applications to the urban water cycle".
>> More information

#Handwashing Global Handwashing Day

Date: 15 October 2014
Place: Worldwide
Organizers: The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap (PPPHW)

Global Handwashing Day is celebrated every year with over 200 million people involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world. Global Handwashing is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies, and individuals. It was originally created for children and schools, but can be celebrated by anyone promoting handwashing with soap.
>> More information

#Water&PPPs International Conference Public - Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the water and sanitation sector: an exchange of experiences between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa

Date: 21-22 October 2014
Place: Room XI, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Organizers: UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

This conference will explore challenges, bottlenecks, results and achievements in water and sanitation PPPs through case studies of experiences in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa with the aim to identify best practices and identify a roadmap for future work on water and sanitation PPPs in these regions. The conference will also officially launch the International Centre of Excellence international centre on water and sanitation PPPs.
>> More information

You make the Decade! Who has joined the Water Decade campaign?

Water Messengers

On the occasion of the 7th World Water Forum which will be held in South Korea from 12-17 April 2015, the International Secretariat for Water (ISW) launches the "Water Messengers" campaign. Through this campaign, the ISW wants to give everyone the opportunity to make their voices heard about water and sanitation and therefore, make the leaders raise awareness of the importance of water for the citizens of the world. Water Messengers has joined the Water for Life Decade’s campaign.

>> Contact

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