Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO; Michel Jarraud, UN-Water Chair and Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO); and Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan today launched the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters, in Paris.
Although water scarcity is the Arab region’s most pressing challenge, it gets little diplomatic attention, HRH Princess Sumaya said on Sunday. She urged Arab countries to work together in order to solve the growing water crisis in the region, highlighting that water is the essence of life. “We must establish the underlying truths that neighbouring states which share water resources should work together,” Princess Sumaya said at the opening of the 2nd Arab Water Week.
Through strategic planning and investment in research and technology, strong political will, and effective governance, Singapore has emerged from water insecurity to become a global hydrohub.
India can use the vibrant civil society network spanning Southeast Asia to highlight the shared concerns of rural riparian communities and engage China in a sub-regional dialogue to resolve trans-boundary water issues, Nimmi Kurian, Associate Professor, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, says.
Through strategic planning and investment in research and technology, as well as strong political will and effective governance, Singapore has emerged from water insecurity to become a global hydrohub... It has earned international recognition as a model city for water management. This has also led to its water diplomacy changing in character from being centred on securing water supply from Malaysia to a new direction in its water diplomacy.
In October last year, big headlines about two idyllic South Pacific island nations, Tokelau and Tuvalu, which are facing a water crisis, made a splash in the Asia–Pacific region. After six months without rainfall they were running out of fresh water fast and had declared a state of emergency.
Population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation and climate change are putting pressure on the world’s river basins, and “hydro-diplomacy” is essential if water-related conflicts are to be avoided, experts said on Wednesday.