3rd world water forum100 promises, deadline 2006
More than 100 new promises on water were made by participants on the day, the 3rd World Water Forum concluded. Are these goals acheivable within the target period - 2006?
Held in three neighbouring Japanese cities of Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka from March 16 - 23, it held 351 separate sessions and 38 interlocking themes. Some 24,000 participants from 182 countries addressed issues balancing the increased human requirements with health and sanitation; food production; transportation; energy and environmental needs; effective governance; enhancing capacity; and, adequate finances.
The International Flood Network, has been launched, with a capacity to generate the worlds precipitation map every three hours. Asian Development Bank has signed a memorandum to build the capacity of Asian cities to secure and manage pro-poor investments. About the US $ 10 million worth of grants and loans of US $ 500 million would be made available. UNDP has committed to give small grants US $ 50 million (2003-8) for Community Water Initiative to build on the local communitys capabilities.
While resistance to the global water privatisation is on the rise, the forum promoted the corporate management of drinking water systems around the world.
For instance, the urban water project, which brings in a broad cross section of people from the business sector.
The forum clearly underlined the importance of spreading water literacy to transform these promises into reality.
Water for Food Security and Ecosystem has emerged as a major international concern. "Agriculture is where the real world water crisis is taking place", said the Dutch Crown Prince during the opening ceremony. He echoed the fears expressed by most of the participating delegates. "Of all the water used, 70 % is taken up by agriculture. This will have to reduce to maintain the balance. We need to act now", said Louis Fresco from FAO. Since 2000, over 23 related research projects are in progress to find a sustainable solution. A success has been registered. Water for rice production has been halved. Conservation of ecosystems like wetlands and forests has been mooted to ensure sustainable supply. The main focus in the next WWF would be on wetlands.
Virtual water trade is a major concern. According to the released facts in VWF, global water trade between nations add up to 1,000 sq km / year. This is about 15 per cent of the total water use on earth. This water is consumed unconsciously and is therefore called virtual water. A strong demand was raised to intensively analyse the geo-political importance of virtual water and share the results, widely.
World Bank for More Dams to be built in developing countries to meet the growing demand for water and electricity. Sidelining the fears raised by World Commission on Dams(2000), its position paper says that "affected communities and nature are clear beneficiaries rather than losers due to a hydropower project".
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