Report of main proceedings for 16 March 2003

3rd World Water Forum

The Third World Water Forum (TWWF) opened on Sunday, 16 March, at the Kyoto International Conference Hall, Japan. The Forum is taking place in Kyoto, Osaka and Shiga, cities lying in the Lake Biwa and the Yodo River Basin Area. The Forum seeks to identify concrete actions to be taken on water issues. It comprises a Virtual Water Forum, a Water Voice Project, Thematic and Regional Dialogues, a World Water Actions report, and the preparation of a Ministerial Conference that will be held from 22-23 March in Kyoto. Heads of State, ministers, IGOs and NGOs are participating in 337 sessions on 18 different issues. A Water Fair and Festival "Mizu-En" will be held throughout the Forum.

On Sunday, participants heard statements by Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan, Prince of Orange Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco in an opening ceremony, followed by the presentation of the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize. In the afternoon, opening plenaries were held on: Water and Climate; Water Supply, Sanitation, Hygiene and Water Pollution; Water and Cultural Diversity; and Water and Energy. Participants saw the opening of the African regional day and attended several other sessions, including on World Water Actions and on Actions through Partnership.


In his opening remarks, Ryutaro Hashimoto, Chair of the National Steering Committee of the TWWF, welcomed participants and expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the event and the Government of Japan for hosting the Forum. He noted that at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, it was agreed that the number of people without access to clean water and basic sanitation facilities would be halved by 2015. He stressed the importance of concrete actions and dialogue for reaching these targets. He underscored three basic principles of the Forum: that it is open to all; that it will be created by the participation of all; and that it should translate vision into actions and commitments.

Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, President of the World Water Council, said the Forum provides an opportunity to take stock of progress and assess what further work is necessary. He highlighted four priorities: the development of new world water ethics; the establishment of a funding facility for water activities; the promotion of water security; and the prioritization of developing-country needs. Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan noted that water is in a state of crisis, and said the situation is expected to become more serious. He stressed water as an efficient medium for transportation and stated that the TWWF would provide an opportunity to examine outcomes of the WSSD.

Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco emphasized the need to: prioritize water issues in government programmes; take concrete measures on water issues; establish good governance over water resources; and foster domestic and inter-state solidarity.

Prince of Orange Willem Alexander of the Netherlands underscored the importance of water-related outcomes from the WSSD. He highlighted the need for shared water values and more investment in the water sector. In his Memorial speech, Crown Prince Naruhito addressed the historical importance of water transport in the Kyoto, Lake Biwa and the Yodo River Basin region.

In a video address, French President Jacques Chirac called on governments to recognize water access as a fundamental human right. He stressed the importance of partnerships and called for international monitoring of the water-related targets and goals outlined in the WSSD and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Prince Moulay Rachid then presented the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize to Mahmoud Abu-Zeid (Egypt) and Jerson Kelman (Brazil) for their contributions in the field of water resource management and development.


OPENING PLENARY: The opening session was chaired by Rajendra Pachauri, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and organized by the International Secretariat of the Dialogue on Water and Climate (DWC).

William Cosgrove, DWC, presented the DWCs results. He stressed the need to: develop tools for assessing vulnerability; enhance collaboration between climate and water communities; and build on alliances created through the DWC. Lionel Hurst, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, spoke on the moral dimensions of global climate change. He drew a parallel between economic systems based on slavery and those based on the burning of fossil fuels, noting their moral depravity. G.O.P. Obasi, World Meteorological Organization, stressed the need to address, at the global level, the impact of climate change on the hydrological cycle and freshwater resources.

L. K. Siddiqi, Minister of Water, Bangladesh, drew attention to the water-related vulnerabilities of developing countries. Roberto Costley-White, Minister of Public Works and Housing, Mozambique, underscored Mozambiques vulnerability to climate change impacts, including flooding and drought. Melanie Shultz van Haegen-Maas Geesteranus, Minister of Water, the Netherlands, explained that climate change predictions are influencing several policies in the Netherlands, including those relating to spatial planning.

Motoyuki Suzuki, United Nations University, stressed the increase in pressure on the planets limited freshwater resources. He highlighted the need for international cooperation, but noted the importance of site-specific water management practices. Toshiharu Kojiri, Kyoto University, stressed improving meteorological information and monitoring networks.

IT PAYS TO BE PREPARED: BETTER PROTECTION FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE AGAINST THE VAGARIES OF CLIMATE: Bert Diphoorn, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chaired this session of speakers from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Robert Fraser explained that responding to climate vulnerability requires effective partnerships between every sector of society. Dang Van Tao introduced a video on community involvement in disaster preparedness in Vietnam and Bangladesh. Lionel Hurst, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, explained that many of the poorest people lack the capacity to adapt and said that new technologies must be developed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Thanh Le presented a case study on the Red Cross' response to extreme flooding of the Mekong Basin in 2000. Lessons learned include the need to give more consideration to community priorities, and to form effective partnerships. Madeleen Helmer explained that the newly formed Red Cross Climate Centre focuses on disaster preparedness. She noted that the number of people affected by extreme weather events tripled over the last thirty years. Participants explored disaster preparedness as a link between relief and development, and discussed issues relating to capacity building, early warning systems, and weather data availability and usefulness.

CLIMATE CHANGE INFLUENCE ON FLOOD AND DROUGHT IN EAST ASIA: EFFECTS AND RESPONSE: This session, chaired by Kaoru Takara, Kyoto University, was convened by the Committee for Climate Change Influence on Flood and Drought. Kenji Nakamura, Nagoya University, recalled a pre-Forum conference initiating work on this issue. Hidehiko Isobe, Japan Meteorological Agency, spoke on weather conditions associated with climate change and stressed the increase in spatial and temporal variation of annual rainfall in Japan. Zong-ci Zhao, China Meteorological Administration, said shortages in water resources are a problem for China, and stressed the need for more research on how to narrow uncertainties of climate and hydrological models on a regional scale. Noting droughts and floods in India are mainly determined by the monsoon rainfall, P. Mujumdar, Indian Institute of Science, said that forecasts help those managing water resources.

Ueda Takeshi, Ministry for Land, Infrastructure and Transport, said planning for floods and droughts in Japan is based on old statistical data and that recent climatic phenomena indicate a greater annual variation of precipitation than previously recorded. Hiroshi Uyeda, Nagoya University, explained some problems and expectations associated with recording and predicting precipitation in East Asia. Satoru Oishi, Yamanashi University, discussed evolving technologies for observing climate, as well as various characteristics of Japanese rainfall patterns. Seirou Shinoda, Gifu University, spoke on the influence of climate change on forest basins, noting increased run-off. Tomoharu Hori, Kyoto University, explained how data on human behavior could be used in statistical analyses for risk management of floods and droughts.

Summary: Chair Takara highlighted the need to: intensify observation; develop new hydrological and meteorological technologies; provide information and risk management measures; and initiate collaboration and dialogue among public, researchers and officials.

NATIONAL ACTION PLANS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT: This session was chaired by Ainun Nishat, IUCN, and organized by the International Secretariat of the DWC. Henk van Schaik, DWC, discussed national, basin and regional coping plans and stressed the need to match local action with adequate national-level and external financial support.

Explaining that climate change is likely to cause significant changes in rainfall in the Mekong Basin, Hans Frederick, IUCN, noted the need for: integrated management; agricultural diversification; inter-sector collaboration; and local community involvement.

Max Campos, Regional Committee for Hydrological Resources (CRRH), highlighted Central Americas vulnerability to extreme weather events, including drought and flooding, and called for increased investment in adaptation.

Maria Lamin, European Commission (EC) Directorate General for Development Cooperation, discussed the consultation draft "Poverty and Climate Change: Reducing the Vulnerability of the Poor," submitted to the Eighth Conference of the Parties (COP-8) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Stressing that climate change is a serious threat to poverty eradication, she underscored that climate change adaptation requires capacity building, awareness raising, and dedicated financial resources.

Pablo Gonzales, Organization of American States, described a community-based approach to integrated floodplain management in small valleys in Central America. The approach aims to incorporate early warning and vulnerability reduction components into integrated floodplain management plans, and to support national and local groups through training and technology transfer.

Addressing the development of a national strategy and action plan for adapting to climate variability in Bangladesh, Ainun Nishat identified the need to build on existing coping strategies, and the need for strategic investments in infrastructure and disaster management. Andrea Marla, GEF, explained that the GEF supports projects that address adaptation planning and capacity building in particularly vulnerable areas, and outlined the GEF Trust Fund, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Fund, Special Climate Change Fund and the Adaptation Fund.

Bengt Johansson, Swedish International Development Agency, noted the importance of considering climate change impacts within all development work, and of taking a holistic view and a long-term perspective. Henk van Schaik, on behalf of the Netherlands?Directorate General for International Cooperation, recommended a follow-up to the DWC to maintain high levels of international awareness regarding the linkages between water and climate.

David Grey, World Bank, explained the influence of climate variability on economic growth, noting the high costs climate variability imposes on African economies without major investments in water security. Maria Lamin highlighted the recent adoption of the Commission Communication on Climate Change in the Context of Development Cooperation, which aims to assist EU partner countries in meeting the challenges posed by climate change, in part by supporting their implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.

IT PAYS TO BE PREPARED: RISKS, INSURANCE AND FINANCE: Laurens Bouwer, Free University Amsterdam, and Holger Hoff, International Secretariat of the DWC, chaired this session. It was organized by the International Secretariat of the DWC and focused on how the financial services industry can contribute to water-related disaster management. Wolfgang Kron, Munich Reinsurance Company, explained that insured losses due to "great" disasters increased from US$6.1 billion in the 1960s to US$124 billion in the 1990s. He outlined several causes for this increase, including increases in population, population density, and the frequency of severe weather events. Ian Fox, Asian Development Bank (ADB), explained that instead of flood control, the ADB encourages flood management as a way to reduce the economic and social costs associated with extreme flooding. In particular, he said the ADB is promoting flood insurance to protect the livelihoods of those living in flood prone areas and to discourage unreasonable development in such areas. Mihir Bhatt, Disaster Mitigation Institute, focused on local lessons from disaster risk management. He noted that existing financial services do not adequately provide for water-related disaster risk, particularly in poor communities.

Discussion: Panelists discussed the potential for long-term partnerships between private and public sector entities to further risk management and information exchange among stakeholders. They further remarked on integrating risk assessments into development plans, noting the need for risk assessment tools and capacity building.


OPENING PLENARY: Yoshitsugu Kunimatsu, Governor of the Shiga Prefecture, welcomed participants to the session and outlined the management of Lake Biwa. Challenging participants to generate additional priorities for the ministerial meeting, Richard Jolly, Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), suggested five framework points for discussion: knowledge vested in people; financing small-scale projects; equity; people-centered participation; and gender. Carol Bellamy, UNICEF, emphasized that village water supply and sanitation in schools are critical components in securing girls?access to education. Pierre-Andr?Wiltzer, French Minister Delegate for Cooperation and Francophony, underscored the need to fund infrastructure development and decentralize water supply, and suggested establishing an institution to ensure transparency in water contracts.

Panel Discussion: Anna Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT, and Bellamy highlighted the linking of water and sanitation at the WSSD as an important advancement. Citing a greater focus on sanitation in some countries, several participants underscored the WSSDs role in enhancing policymaking. Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, stated that the MDGs and WSSD targets were insufficient as they leave many people without water supply and sanitation and, with Jamie Bartram, WHO, stressed low-cost solutions and "getting what is good enough to all, and not only the best to some." Anwarul Chowdhury, High Representative for LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, urged a focus on LDCs, and with Gleick and Bartram, stated that actions targeting the poor would yield the greatest results. Tibaijuka stressed the need to consider human settlement patterns, the effect of HIV/AIDS on water demand, and the dignity of women and girls. Many participants agreed that both bottom-up and top-down approaches, and large- and small-scale projects were important in reaching the water-related targets, and emphasized the importance of involving local communities in selecting technological options.

WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT AND WATER POLLUTION: This session, organized by the Japan Sewage Committee for the TWWF, was chaired by Naohiro Taniguchi, Japan Sewage Works Association. Hisataka Sokawa, MLIT, drew attention to the WSSDs sanitation-related target and emphasized its international significance.

Saburo Matsui, Kyoto University, presented a brief history of wastewater legislation and management in Japan. In his outline of key aspects of sewage system development in Jakarta, Eben Koesbini Tamani, Jakarta Sewerage Enterprise, emphasized the need to increase institutional capacity and improve local access to capital through ODA and public private partnerships (PPP). Helmut Kroiss, European Water Association, presented key EU legislation for maintaining water quality, groundwater protection and effluent control from sewage infrastructure and industrial point sources. Stressing that EU legislation sets new standards in a global perspective, he said meeting these goals across transboundary river basins requires effective cooperation. Highlighting the challenges facing sewage utility managers arising from tightening regulations, technical change and increasing inflow volumes, Robert McMillon, Water Environment Federation, presented a range of technical solutions.

Discussion: Acting as moderator of the panel discussion, Matsui depicted the relationship between urban population density and different sewage treatment systems, indicating that new and efficient technologies can reduce water and energy consumption. A panelist suggested that instead of focusing on wastewater treatment, efforts should be directed toward minimizing water use. Participants stressed the significance of information exchange, education and public participation in reducing pressure on sewage infrastructure and promoting cooperative watershed management. Discussions focused on the financing of sewage infrastructure development, maintenance and renewal, covering: cost sharing between residents, local government, central government and the private sector; cost recovery mechanisms; and PPP.

WASH: WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE FOR ALL: This session was organized by the WSSCC, chaired by Richard Jolly and moderated by Jan Pronk.

Hygiene promotion: Valerie Curtis, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, stressed the importance of hand-washing with soap in preventing deaths and diarrheal diseases. Dibalok Singha, Dushtha Shasthya Kendra, outlined his NGOs methodology for educating a community in Bangladesh on hygiene and sanitation. Merri Weinger, USAID, presented a case study from the Dominican Republic and identified as elements for success: a comprehensive, multisectoral approach; systematic methodology; and capacity building.

Environmental sanitation: Roland Schertenleib, Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology, outlined principles of sustainable environmental sanitation, highlighting, inter alia, decentralized solutions and people-centered policies. Rory Villaluna, Philippine Center for Water and Sanitation, described a pilot study, and noted several challenges of promoting ecological sanitation.

Institutional options: Pieter van Dijk, International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE), stated that there is no standard institutional solution for water and sanitation problems, and underscored stakeholder involvement and small-scale participatory schemes relevant to local conditions.

Monitoring: Sandy Cairncross, Disease Control Vector Biology Unit, presented results from field trials of evaluation and monitoring studies on access to water and sanitation in Kenya. Rivka Kfir, Water Research Commission of South Africa, presented findings of a pilot study on assessing the WSSCC indicators for meeting Vision 21 objectives, highlighting the cost of performing surveys as a potential barrier.

Community-based approaches: In his presentation on scaling up community management of water systems, Patrick Moriarty, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, stressed that while community management is important, it does not replace government responsibility for water systems. Edgar Quiroga, Univeristy of Valle, Colombia, discussed the limitations of community management and proposed association of water committees and government participation as alternatives.

Discussion: Participants diverged on entry points for addressing water-related problems and on whether or not water, sanitation and hygiene should be de-linked.


OPENING PLENARY: This session was convened by UNESCO, the French Water Academy, and the Japan Center for Area Studies. Janos Bogardi, UNESCO, underscored the central role played by culture in providing solutions to the worlds water crisis. Jean-Louis Oliver, French Water Academy, stated that water is significant in all cultures as seen through its representation in, amongst others, poetry, music, and literature. Tadao Ando, University of Tokyo, explained that he has combined architecture with water in order to create a poetic atmosphere and stimulate thought on the relationship between people and water. Kazuhiro Takai, Okami-no-Kami and Kifune Shrine, presented a history and overview of the Shrine dedicated to the Water God.

Evo Morales, Representative of Indigenous Peoples? Organizations, called on the organizers of the TWWF to provide for greater involvement of indigenous peoples. Jeannette Armstrong, Traditional Knowledge Keeper, stated that everyone has a spiritual responsibility to protect water and must remember that actions taken now will impact on future generations. Roimata Minhnnick, Maori, stated that legal claims presented by the Maori people to the New Zealand Government have not yet resulted in obtaining the right to exercise authority and control over their water resources. Maria Jose Vi?ls, Ramsar Convention, stated that wetland cultural heritage includes cultural landscapes, works of art, heritage buildings, and tools. Marta Pan, sculptor, introduced a range of her water-inspired artwork.

TRANSLATING THE CULTURAL DIMENSION OF WATER INTO ACTION: This event was convened by UNESCO, the French Water Academy, and the Japan Center of Area Studies. Terje Tvedt, University of Bergen, explained that one purpose of the upcoming UNESCO book series on the history of water and civilization is to improve understanding of the current water challenge. Misako Ohnuki, Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), stated that ACCU produces childrens books related to nature, and provides literacy learning material dealing with environmental issues. Francis Jos?Maria, Intercommunal Syndicate of Water Distribution of the Corniche des Maures, introduced an education programme on water and cultural diversity for children. Claude Salvetti, French Water Academy, presented a worldwide survey carried out by the French Water Academy on different means of water education. Anne Le Strat, Public Society for Water Management in Paris, outlined water education classes convened for French school children.

Claudine Brelet, Network on Water Anthropology for Engineering and Sociocultural Interaction (NETWA), explained that NETWA consists of an internet-based network of anthropologists that promotes water rights. Lye Mudaba Yoka, University of Kinshasa, noted that the Congo River is central to art-making and stated that the Pan-African Music Festival promotes peace and dialogue among Congo-based communities. Honor?Mobonda, Marien NGouabi University, introduced the Congo River peoples culture and explained how river culture promotes peaceful relationships between different ethnic groups. Samia Galal Saad, University of Alexandria, outlined the importance attributed to water by the Koran and noted that women have started to call for more effective water management practices. Jos?Badelles, Author, reviewed the treatment of water in Filipino childrens books over time. Masayuki Aizawa, Nippon Koei Co., stated that hydroscape, the form water adopts as a result of hydrodynamic mechanisms, is represented in a variety of artworks. Bernadette de Vanssay, French Water Academy, presented tools for a new water management strategy, including cultural exchanges of water-related practices.


ACTIONS THROUGH PARTNERSHIP: This session was convened by the Global Water Partnership (GWP). Opening the session Emilio Gabrielli, GWP, said that partnerships are a viable mechanism for achieving results, since they create platforms for change and action, and are central to the implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). Fred Kimatte, GWP, presented the Uganda water partnership and outlined approaches in relation to public education and awareness, capacity building and the involvement of stakeholders. Miguel Solanes, GWP, highlighted elements of a partnership between Morocco and Chile to share experiences in creating markets for agricultural products. Udo Gattenlohner, Living Lakes Campaign, provided an overview of the Living Lakes Partnership for the protection of lakes and drinking water. He also presented a case study on the protection of the St. Lucia World Heritage Site in South Africa.

Jozef Gayer, GWP, reported on a series of stakeholder dialogues in the Central Eastern European region focusing on water, food and the environment, governance, and finance. Michie Kishigami, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives Japan, reported the results of a national study on water resource management in Japanese local governments and stressed the importance of capacity building and stakeholder involvement. Apichart Anukularmphai, GWP, reported on partnerships to address policy changes in Southeast Asia including national water policy processes, budgetary procedures, and the management of water river basins. Hilary Sunman, GWP, presented a video outlining the GWPs toolbox approach to supporting the development of IWRM.

A panel of partnership practioners presented their views, focusing on how partnerships can address implementation challenges, produce visible results, develop appropriate institutional frameworks, and ensure stakeholder involvement. Participants emphasized the need for: creating trust between participants; optimizing interests and strengths of all partners; creating public awareness and knowledge; and applying local knowledge and experience in the implementation of partnerships. In closing, Gabrielli stressed the need for: well-defined objectives for creating successful partnerships; increased dialogue among all stakeholders; partnerships in both developed and developing countries; clearly defined implementation roles for all stakeholders; and increased synergies and complementarities between various water management partnerships and implementation organizations.


WORLD WATER ACTIONS: This session was organized by the World Water Council (WWC). Opening the session, Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, presented the recommendations of the World Water Actions report, highlighting the proposal for the establishment of a global monitoring system to report on the state of the worlds water resources and progress in meeting the MDGs. He stressed the need to deepen understanding and increase public awareness of the benefits of water and improved water management. Francois Guerquin, Coordinator of the WWCs Water Action Unit, presented the database of water actions noting that 3000 worldwide projects had been identified. Margaret Cartley-Carlson, GWP Chair, said the reporting methodologies should provide greater detail on the substance of the projects and suggested the development of indicators for assessing water management and implementation. Ravi Narayanan, Water Aid, stressed the need to address future water management challenges in mega-cities and proposed the development of a water action ranking similar to the UNDP Human Development Index.

Frank Rijsberman, International Water Management Institute, emphasized the need to validate water projects included in the database and proposed addressing water pricing and bottled water. Kuniyoshi Takeuchi, International Hydrological Society, suggested that the Water Action Unit facilitate communication between grassroots projects and ensure that local voices are included in international decision-making processes. Several participants proposed the database include community-based campaigns to address unsustainable water management practices. Other participants proposed that the reports recommendations call for the application of the findings of the World Commission on Dams, highlight the need to invest in watershed health, address benefit sharing from international watercourses, and re-evaluate impacts of the private sector and privatization policies on water access and meeting basic needs.


ISSUES: Water and Climate, Water Supply, Sanitation, Hygiene and Water Pollution, Water and Cultural Diversity, and Water and Energy will be continuing today. Water, Food and Environment, Water, Nature and Environment, and Water and Transport will be opening.

REGIONAL DAY: The African Regional Day will continue.

MAJOR GROUPS: The Water Journalist and the Gender and Water Panels will be held today.

CEREMONIES: The award ceremony of the Water Journalists?Competition will take place today.

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