What WWF wants from the Third World Water Forum
WWF hopes that the 3rd World Water Forum will provide an opportunity for informal, multi-stakeholder debate in which the major groups (governments, private sector, NGOs, international organizations, etc) discuss and agree practical ways of integrating missing environmental and social concerns in water management. Its informal nature could enable more open and transparent debate to occur, but to date the organizers have not tried to take advantage of this.
WWF is calling for an ecosystem approach to water management at the 3rd World Water Forum
Stakeholders must take action to:
1. INVEST IN ECOSYSTEM HEALTH. The Forum should call upon national governments, multilateral organizations, and the global donor community to recognize that water scarcity, disaster, mitigation, and risk management are not always best addressed by infrastructure development.
2. PROVIDE FOOD SECURITY AND ALLEVIATE POVERTY. The Forum should call for sustainable management of freshwater fisheries to be incorporated as a key component of all water resource management programmes. A commitment to use water more efficiently, especially in agriculture, is essential to make limited water supplies stretch further to meet the needs of people and nature.
3. IMPLEMENT INTEGRATED RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT (IRBM) TO SUPPORT WATER SERVICES. Without a commitment to implementing IRBM, there is danger that progress in providing access to water services will be curtailed by over-exploitation and degradation of the freshwater ecosystems that are the ultimate source of the water. This should include establishing river basin management organizations for more than 261 basins shared by more than one country. Operationalising the World Commission on Dam's guidelines for new dams projects is a key requirement for good river management.
4. INCREASE INVESTMENT EFFECTIVENESS. WWF is calling on participants in the Forum, especially governments, international financing institutions and domestic banks, to apply the WCD Guidelines, the only sure way to guarantee the effectiveness of new investments made in infrastructure without severe social or ecological consequences.
5. ENCOURAGE DIALOGUE, TRANSPARENCY AND PARTICIPATION. The Forum should reiterate that conflicts over water use are best resolved through transparent and inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogues, involving water users.
6. CONSERVE BIODIVERSITY AND LIVELIHOODS. The Forum should commit to stemming and reversing the dramatic decline of freshwater biodiversity, which particularly affects people in subsistence livelihoods in poorer societies.
At the Forum WWF (Jamie Pittock is team leader) can be contacted at the:
Hearton Hotel Kyoto
Higashi no Toin Oike Agaru
Tel.: +81 75 222 1300
Fax: +81 75 222 1313
More information is available on: www.panda.org/livingwaters
(Mr) Jamie Pittock
Director, Living Waters Programme
c/o Postbus 7, 3700 AA Zeist, Netherlands
Ph +31 30 6937 844
Fax +31 30 6912 064
Mob +31 62 9091 841