Wednesday, 22 March
Roundtable: Capacity building for effective water management and basic
sanitation at the local level
The roundtable on capacity development and social learning was
co-chaired by the Philippines and Cuba. Richard Meganck, UNESCO-IHE,
opened the session by noting that water management is facing increasing
challenges, including water scarcity, climate change, urbanization and
decentralization, and said these challenges require more capabilities of
people and institutions strengthened at all levels. Discussion focused
around two questions: who is responsible for capacity development and
social learning efforts, and does it apply to water and risk management;
and how important is it to take into account gender perspectives for
capacity building policies and actions.
Roundtable: Water and the environment
José Luis Luege Tamargo, Mexico's Secretary of Environment and
Natural Resources, intervening during the roundtable on water for the
environment . In this roundtable discussion, delegates were presented
with two questions, namely: what is the added value of including the
ecosystem sustainability in plans of IWRM, National Development, and
Integrated Coastal Zone Management; and how can scientific, legislative
and policy approaches foster involvement of local communities and
traditional knowledge in water resources management. Participants
discussed integrating ecosystem sustainability in management plans,
better integrating local communities and traditional knowledge, and the
need to integrate ecosystem management and restoration in poverty
Roundtable: Financing local water and sanitation initiatives
The roundtable on financing local water and sanitation initiatives
was co-chaired by Paula Dobriansky, US Undersecretary of State for Global
Affairs and Donald Buchanan, Minister of Water and Housing, Jamaica.
Alan Hall, Global Water Partnership, opened the roundtable by noting
that financing for water has not increased significantly, if at all, in
recent years, and asking participants to consider concrete action to
change this situation. Participants discussed how to mobilize funding
at the community level, how governments can help to develop an enabling
environment, and how partnerships can best achieve action.
Roundtable: Development and strengthening of national water monitoring
mechanisms and targeting
Nelly Olin, France's Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development,
and Hector Antonio Velez Andrade, Ecuador's Minister of Urban Development
and Housing, chaired the roundtable. Participants heard a presentation
by Daniel Zimmer of the World Water Council on problems related to
monitoring. Several countries shared their experiences in monitoring,
with some drawing attention to the value of monitoring for disaster
preparedness and climate change scenarios.
Closing of the Ministerial Conference
President of France Jacques Chirac addresed the ministerial conference
through a video message. He noted that water presents not only a
health crisis but a political crisis that needs to be prioritized. He
added that lack of access to water supply and sanitation is first and
foremost a financial issue, and urged imagination for finding solutions
and new financing instruments. He also underscored the importance of
ensuring good governance and local democracy.
Cristóbal Jaime Jáquez, Director General of CONAGUA, opened the
closing plenary session, noting that the theme of the 2006 World Water
Day celebrated on 22 March is "Water and Culture." Stressing
that water is central for cultural expressions and the survival of
humanity, he stated that a new water culture begins with each one of us
and requires understanding of its environmental, social, economic and
Children representatives presented their statement, calling, inter alia,
for: fulfilling human rights and provisions on access to water and
sanitation; supporting children's activities; ensuring children
participation in decision-making, including through the establishment of
a Children's Parliament; law enforcement, including the
"polluter pays" principle; investments to ensure children's
access to water; and education in support of a water culture.
Stressing the key role that young people play in implementing local
actions, a Youth representative called for investment in young
peoples' education, taking into account local knowledge.
Koïchiro Matsuura delivered a message to the 4th Forum on the occasion
of the 2006 World Water Day and introduced the Second Edition of the World
Water Development Report entitled "Water: A Shared Responsibility."
Gordon Young, Director of the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP),
presented the Report's cross-cutting themes, namely: poverty
alleviation and preservation of the natural environment.
Representatives of collaborating UN agencies, including UN University,
UNESCAP, UNEP, WHO, FAO, UN-ISDR, and UNDP, welcomed the Report and
highlighted their contribution. Presentations were also heard by from
the Report's case study countries, including Brazil, Spain, Estonia,
Kenya and Mexico.
Kyoto World Water Grand Prize
Kimiko Yamauchi, Chair of the Soroptimist International of Kyoto,
explained that the Kyoto Prize was created to spread the positive
impacts of increased awareness globally. Urging continuous progress, she
congratulated Gram Vikas for winning the Kyoto Water Prize.
Accepting the prize, Joe Madiath, Executive Director of Gram Vikas,
recognized the efforts of local people in the province of Orissa who
contributed to the success of the project. He explained that people in
290 sites now have access to toilets, showers, and 24-hour water
delivery, highlighting 100 percent coverage in these sites, including
for the poor.
Loïc Fauchon, World Water Council President, announced that the 5th
World Water Forum will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2009. Alejandro
Encinas, Mayor of Mexico City, expressed hope that the Forum's outcomes
would make water a priority in national agendas and noted the important role
of public participation and local authorities in Mexico's water
governance. He concluded by stressing that water should be seen as a
common public good and not as a commodity.
Around the Forum
Rina from the conference Secretariat was flanked by Xenya and Maria of
the IISD bulletin team.
Participants chatted in the lobby after the closing session.
The closing plenary session included a mariachi band.
Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO, displayed the Second Edition of
the World Water Development Report, "Water: A Shared Responsibility."
At times, security found it difficult to keep photographers and ministers
Venezuela's minister highlighted a complementary declaration expressing
water as a fundamental element of life, and inviting everyone to become
a "promoting force" to recognize this right.
Participants read the World Water Forum Bulletin to stay aware of
the previous day's outcomes.
4th World Water Forum Site
World Water Council
3rd World Water
Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka, Japan, March 2003
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Kampala, Uganda, November 2005
Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands,
Paris, France, January 2006