International Conference on Freshwater
Bonn, Germany; 3 - 7 December, 2001

  Tuesday, 4 December  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
  Wednesday, 5 December HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
Daily Reports: Thursday 6, December  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
  Friday 7, December  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
  Summary  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
Daily coverage (pictures and RealAudio): Monday, 3 Dec , Tuesday, 4 Dec , Wednesday, 5 Dec , Friday, 7 Dec

Thursday, 6 December
Delegates met in Plenary for discussion of Integrating Gender Perspectives: Realizing New Options for Improved Water Management, heard outcome reports from the Working Groups, and concluded by debating on the Draft Conference Recommendations

Jennifer Francis


Facilitator Jennifer Francis, Gender and Water Alliance, opened the morning Plenary on gender perspectives

Barbara Schreiner

Keynote Presentation
Stressing that water flows to power, Barbara Schreiner, South Africa, proposed that addressing gender inequity requires measures for redressing historical imbalances in decision-making and access, at both local and catchment levels. Noting that benefits of gender-sensitive water management include greater efficiency, effectiveness, equity, and sustainability, she called for secure rights and entitlements, non-discriminatory conflict resolution, and clear indicators, targets and programs of action. She concluded, urging mainstreaming gender in development

Listen to the RealAudio

Sial Saleem, Nepal, summarized the Gender Working Group’s recommendations for water management, inter alia: disaggregating data; analyzing gender impacts of technologies, projects and policies; revising inequitable land tenure; ensuring equitable representation in decision-making; building women’s agricultural skills, access to credit, and scientific, professional and financial capacity; integrating water issues into the UN Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; and reporting on progress to the WSSD and Third World Water Forum


Chair Bärbel Dieckmann, Mayor of Bonn

Jennifer Moore and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudry

Report from the Working Group on Mobilizing Financial Resources
Jennifer Moore
, Canada, reviewed cross-cutting goals, including: alleviating poverty, addressing international trade, incorporating other development issues e.g. climate change, financing for development, achieving gender balance, and preserving biodiversity. Calling for innovative approaches, she suggested: a multi-stakeholder review of private sector involvement, a network for sharing regulator experiences, a ‘code of conduct’, a fair allocation of risk between public and private sectors, and a safety net for the poor. She reported that the Working Group distinguished urban from rural and willingness-to-pay from affordability, calling for strengthened public regulatory and negotiating capacity, and for more transparent and accountable finances

Listen to the RealAudio


Report of the Working Group on Governance, Integrated Management, and New Partnerships
Rapporteur Aizaz Chaudry, Pakistan, noted that in protecting water resources and ecosystems, this working group urged: increasing efficiency; mobilizing social capital; and decentralizing management. Participants stressed targets and plans of action, and noted the UK/Sweden proposal to halve by 2015 the number of river basins without management plans. Challenges identified included: attracting investment; fostering community and cross-sectoral participation; interfacing between national and local governments, local communities, and the private sector; and providing general recommendations to complex challenges. Improving water allocation requires, inter alia, treating water as an economic and social good, managing demand, valuing water, and harnessing multi-sectoral approaches, whereas better management of transboundary waters requires sharing benefits, better coordinating better between existing mechanisms, managing international waters, involving local communities, and educating decision makers

Listen to the RealAudio


Alison Drayton

Report from the Working Group on Capacity Building and Technology Transfer
Alison Drayton
, UNDP, highlighted the need for flexibility, adaptability and partnerships. Noting that developing countries often receive rigid training, she stressed the need for adaptive capacity building for all, in particular women and children. With respect to knowledge-sharing, she noted a call for: full community participation; educating policymakers; advancing young professionals; and including gender perspectives. Also urged were integrating information systems, and collecting and sharing local and NGO knowledge. The Group recognized the importance of technology transfer over aid, agreed that technology should be appropriate and tropicalized, and encouraged entrepreneurial partnerships. Forecasting ability, awareness and preparedness were seen as critical for coping with extreme events, while transparency, anti-corruption measures, integrated decision-making and flexible policies were considered necessary for good governance

Listen to the RealAudio

Draft Recommendations for Action
The first section addresses: securing equitable access to water for all people; ensuring that water infrastructure and services deliver to the poor; promoting gender equality; allocating water among competing demands; sharing benefits from international waters; ensuring equitable sharing of benefits from large projects; improving water management through trade in goods; protecting water quality and ecosystems; coping with variability and climate change; encouraging more efficient service provision; managing water at the lowest appropriate level; and combating corruption effectively. The second section on mobilizing financial resources addresses: ensuring significant increase in funding levels for water; strengthening public funding capabilities; designing water tariffs to sustain operations and investment; making water attractive for private investment; and increasing development assistance to water. The third section on capacity building and technology transfer addresses: education and training on water wisdom; research and information management on problem solving; enhancing the effectiveness of water institutions more effective; and sharing knowledge and innovative technologies. The fourth section describes roles for governments, local communities, NGOs, the private sector and the international community

Margaret Catley-Carlson

Presenting the Draft recommendations, Facilitator Catley-Carlson urged delegates not to negotiate text, as their aim is to communicate the Conference deliberations to the outside world. Nevertheless, negotiations carried on until 9:30 pm

Halifa Drammeh, UNEP

Fritz Holzwarth, Hans-Peter Schipulle and Margaret Catley-Carlson


Participants reconvened in Plenary, chaired by Fritz Holzwarth, and Hans-Peter Schipulle, Germany, and facilitated by Margaret Catley-Carlson, Global Water Partnership, to hear reports from the Working Groups. Preceding the Reports, Masaaki Nakayasu, Japan, highlighted Japan’s commitment to water issues, and urged continued dialogue on the online Water Forum and at the WSSD, leading up to the Third World Water Forum. Facilitator Catley-Carlson presented the conference outputs and their inter-relationships: the Ministerial Declaration; the Plenary Session Record; the Working Group Reports; the Bonn Recommendations for Action; and the ‘Bonn Keys’, a précis for decision-makers

Participants in the Plenary

Felix Dodds, UNED Forum

Franklin Moore, US delegate


Cesar Gutierrez, National Peasant's Forum with John R. Gagain Jr, ENB


Friedrich Barth

Action in the Field of Mobilizing Financial Resources
Controversy swirled over the 0.7 percent GNP development assistance target and over prioritizing of aid for water. DENMARK called for an end to donor and IFI conditionalities mandating privatization, and consensus emerged that donors should target aid to mobilize other financial sources

The panel: Margaret Catley-Carlson, Masaaki Nakayasu, Fritz Holzwarth, Hans-Peter Schipulle, Alison Drayton and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudry

Masaaki Nakayasu


On the private sector role, discussion focused on the compatibility between profit, environmental and ethical concerns. Business and Industry noted general acceptance of these responsibilities compatible with economic viability, and urged a code-of-conduct for all stakeholders, not solely companies

Co-Chair Schipulle closed the session, informing participants that the drafting team would submit an updated RFA for consideration on Friday, 7 December

International Conference on Freshwater (Homepage)
Conference Documents
UN CSD Freshwater site
Background and Briefing to the Conference
Background - Past and Future Conferences
NGOs and Freshwater (Homepage)


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