Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 65. 21 March 2015 
This week in focus  Editor’s note

Welcome to the Decade’s Weekly! Every week until 22 March 2015 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
Tip of the week

World Water Day 2015 is dedicated to ’Water and Sustainable Development’. Learn more about water, sustainable development, the MDGs and the SDGs and the interlinkages between them with an introduction to the topic, facts and figures, series of information briefs and publications.
>> Visit the section on ’Water and Sustainable Development’ on the Decade's website

Announcing the UN ’Water for Life’ Award Winners 2015!

The UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) is pleased to announce the 2015 edition’s prizewinners! For Category 1 'Best water management practices' the winning programme has been Cultivando Água Boa, Brazil ; for Category 2 'Best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices' , the jury has awarded for the first time two projects as co-winners: Social arts for community mobilization and safe water access, Project India and South African DWS / WESSA Eco-Schools Water Project, South Africa. The winners of the Water for Life Awards 2015: ’Water and Sustainable Development’ will be awarded at the formal opening of the Water for Life Voices Exhibition at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on 30 March 2015.

The annual ’Water for Life’ Best Practices Award aims to acknowledge and promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and related issues by 2015, by recognizing outstanding best practices to ensure sustainable long-term management of water resources and help achieve the water and sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The prize, managed by the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015/UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) and the UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), is awarded in two categories, one in 'best water management practices' and another one in 'best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices'. After being evaluated by the Technical Advisory Committee, the selected applications are reviewed by the international Jury formed by international experts of proven distinction in the water and communication sector from international organizations, initiatives, universities and think tanks, which agrees for selecting winners of the 2015 edition.

>> Learn more about the prize winners!
>> Water for Life’ Award 2015 edition by number
>> 2015 edition candidates
>> Members of the international Jury
>> 'Water for Life' Award: Frequently Asked Questions

In the news Forthcoming events
#WASH&HealthNew WHO/ UNICEF Report: WASH services in health care facilities

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are essential to health service delivery and improving quality of care. A new World Health Organization and UNICEF report officially launched on 17 March 2015 presents the status of WASH in health care facilities in 54 low- and middle-income countries. Results show 38% of health care facilities lack an improved water source, 19% lack improved sanitation, and 35% lack soap for hand washing. Countries with a national plan for WASH in health care generally had higher coverage. Improving service levels requires health sector leadership, technical inputs from the WASH sector, and political commitment. WHO will work with UNICEF, Governments and other partners to develop a global plan to address the most pressing needs and ensure that all health care facilities have WASH services.
>> Access the report >> More information

#Water&EnergyWorld Bank Group shares updates of the Thirsty Energy initiative

In order to help countries integrate water constraints into the energy sector and better address water and energy challenges, the World Bank launched the Thirsty Energy initiative on January 2014. The initiative aims to demonstrate the importance of combined energy and water management approaches through demand-based work in several countries. In order to share progress of the initiative, an update document presents the initiative’s communications materials, raising awareness events and promotion of dialogue between governments, international organizations and the private sector. A Private Sector Reference Group (PSRG) has been established to share experience and knowledge, to provide technical and policy advice, and to scale-up outreach efforts. The initiative also shares the implementation of their work at the country level, in South Africa, Morocco, and China, and preliminary discussions in Mexico and Brazil.
>> Read the Thirsty Energy updatePDF document

#Sanitation&Gender UN- Women and WSSCC Call for Global Action on Ending Menstruation Taboos

At an event hosted by the Permanent Missions of Singapore and Senegal to the United Nations on March 13, 2015, Government representatives, policymakers, researchers and development practitioners articulated the need to talk about a neglected area in women’s health and education- menstrual hygiene management. In this context, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and UN Women revealed that women and girls in Central and West Africa lack access to clean water, private spaces for managing their menstruation, and clean, functioning toilet facilities. The organisations presented the series of studies on Menstrual Hygiene Management Behaviour and Practices developed within the Joint Programme on Gender, Hygiene and Sanitation in West and Central Africa. Amongst the key policy recommendations from the event is the call to Member states to break the silence around this issue, articulating menstrual needs in policies, budgets, programmes and monitoring systems and calling upon the global community to empower women and girls by guaranteeing safe menstrual hygiene management.
>> More information >> WSSCC/UN Women Studies on Menstrual Hygiene Management Behaviour and Practices in Senegal, Niger and Cameroon

#Water&DRR Integrated Water Cycle Management for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainability

Both urbanization and climate change increase urban flood risk throughout the world. United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education co-organised the side event ’Integrated Water Cycle Management for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainability’ at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan on 15 March 2015. This event explored sustainable approaches to urban water management for disaster reduction and amenity through water cycle stability. The event compared experiences from different countries to understand the balance between centralised and decentralised (on-site) measures and the importance of community participation. It also analysed how community participation varies depending on awareness levels, presentation, and the direct benefits received by the immediate community.
>> More information

From the Decade’s Programmes
#WaterDecade UNW-DPAC presents the exhibition ’Water for Life Voices’ and key activities in the final stretch of the Water Decade

In the context of worldwide celebrations of World Water Day (22 March), the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) held a press conference in Zaragoza, Spain, to present the exhibition ’Water for Life Voices’, on Tuesday 17 March 2015. The exhibition, launched at the UN Headquarters in New York on 9 March 2015 and which can be visited until 14 April 2015, aims to reflect progress during the Water Decade by gathering the voices of those whose water and sanitation life has changed over the last 10 years. UNW-DPAC Director Josefina Maestu also presented key milestones of the last months of the Decade, including the 5th edition of the UN-Water Best Practices Award and the High-level Interactive Dialogue on the International Decade for Action, ’Water for Life’, 2005-2015, on 30 March and the High Level International Conference on the implementation of the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’, 2005-2015 in June 2015. The same day representatives of different United Nations entities in Spain met in Zaragoza to organize the preparations for the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in the country.
>> Access the Water for Life Voices website! >> See the exhibition!

#Water&Health 11th meeting of the Compliance Committee of the UNECE Protocol on Water and Health

Date: 24 - 25 March 2015
Place: Geneva, Switzerland
Organisers: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe

The main objective of the 11th meeting of the Compliance Committee of the Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes will be to discuss the preparations and the expected outcomes of a Consultation Process under the Committee, as well as to consider implementation of and compliance with the reporting requirements under the Protocol. The UNECE-WHO/Europe Protocol on Water and Health aims to protect human health and well being by better water management and by preventing, controlling and reducing water-related diseases.
>> Agenda of the meetingPDF document
>> More on the Protocol on Water and Health

#Water&Energy&Food Expert Group Meeting on the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus in the Arab Region

Date: 24-25 March 2015
Place: Amman, Jordan
Organiser: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)

ESCWA is collaborating with the League of Arab States to organize this Expert Group Meeting to increase understanding of the water, energy, and food nexus and foster interactive discussion between ESCWA Committee on Energy and ESCWA Committee on Water Resources as well as official representatives from Arab countries in related sectors and specialized Arab and international organizations on how this conceptual framework can support efforts to improve integrated natural resources management and progress towards sustainable development in the Arab region. The meeting will be held back-to-back with the 10th Session of the ESCWA Committee on Energy (Amman, 22-23 March 2015) and the 11th Session of the ESCWA Committee on Water Resources (Amman, 26-27 March 2015).
>> Information notePDF document
>> Working paper: Conceptual Frameworks for Understanding the Water, Energy & Food Security NexusPDF document
>> More information

#Desertification 13th session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification

Date: 25-27 March 2015
Place: Bonn, Germany
Organiser: Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

According to its tentative agenda and programme of work, the 13th session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention will focus on three main topics: 1) assessment of implementation of the Convention against the five operational objectives; 2) review of financial support for the implementation of the Convention; 3) formulation, revision and implementation of action programmes in view of the post-2015 sustainable development framework. The session will be preceded by meetings of the five Regional Implementation Annexes to the Convention, on 23 and 24 March 2015.
>> Provisional agendaPDF document
>> More information

#Wastewater&SanitationRegional Policy Workshop on Wastewater Management & Sanitation in South-East Asia

Date: 2-3 April 2015
Place: Bangkok, Thailand
Organiser: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

ESCAP and UN-Habitat are jointly implementing a project on ’Strengthening capacity of policymakers in South-East Asia to promote policies and developing plans for improved wastewater treatment and reuse in urban and peri-urban areas’, to address wastewater and sanitation issues through the promotion of the Decentralized Waste Water Treatment Systems (DEWATS). The goal of this 2nd regional policy workshop is to further enhance knowledge and awareness of the national level policy makers, local government officials and other experts on DEWATS amongst urban and peri-urban communities in South-East Asia (SEA) and identify the framework of the regional cooperation.
>> Concept note, tentative programme and more information
>> More information on the 1st Regional Policy Workshop

Latest videos

Joint Conference International Women's Day / World Water Day 2015

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, March 2015

UNESCO-IHE, together with Women for Water Partnership, held its annual Women's Day conference with a World Water Day twist on 12 March 2015. This video of the conference, 'Women and Water Make Sustainable Food Security Happen', also shows the presentations of the speakers.
>> More videos accessible from the UN water video library

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