2013: International Year Of Water Cooperation

UN International Year of Water Cooperation

The year 2013 is the International Year of Water Cooperation. In December 2010, the UN General Assembly made the declaration (Resolution A/RES/65/154). In the backdrop of climate crisis, the emphasis on cooperation in the area of water is significant.

UN Water informed:

In reflection of this declaration, the 2013 World Water Day, which will take place on 22 March 2013, also will be dedicated to water cooperation. Therefore, UN-Water has called upon UNESCO to lead the 2013 United Nations International Year on Water Cooperation, in particular because of the Organization’s unique multidisciplinary approach which blends the natural and social sciences, education, culture and communication. Given the intrinsic nature of water as a transversal and universal element, the United Nations International Year on Water Cooperation will focus on these aspects.

The objective of this International Year is to raise awareness on the potential of increased cooperation and the challenges facing water management in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation and services.

The Year will highlight the history of successful water cooperation initiatives, as well as identify burning issues on water education, water diplomacy, transboundary water management, financing cooperation, national/international legal frameworks, and the linkages with the Millennium Development Goals. It will also provide an opportunity to capitalize on the momentum created at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), and to support the formulation of new objectives that will contribute towards developing water resources that are truly sustainable.

Celebrations throughout the year will include featured events at UNESCO HQ in Paris, as well as events promoting actions at all levels in relevant areas including education, culture, gender, the sciences, conflict prevention and resolution, ethics. (To know more please contact Lucilla Minelli at: l.minelli@unesco.org)

South Asia

In South Asia, the issue of water cooperation is very important. Not only prosperity, but also essential condition for existence of millions of people in countries in the region depends on cooperation in the area of water. The issue is important within countries as well as among countries. The area provides a scope for building foundation for solidarity among peoples in countries. Democratic movements can raise the issue of to resolve problems related to water sharing and cooperation with a democratic approach.

Three basins

On the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna basins in this subcontinent Kai Wegerich and Jeroen Warner’s (ed.) The Politics of Water, A Survey mentions:

“The three rivers, although separate hydrologic systems, share a common terminus in the Bay of Bengal and together cover a large part of the […] subcontinent. The tributaries and main branches of the sacred rivers (the Ganges and the Brahmaputra in the Hindu religion) spring in the Indian, Nepali and Tibetan Autonomous Region of China’s Himalayas; the total drainage area covers parts of China, Myanmar, Nepal, India and Bangladesh, and all of Bhutan, with altogether 1,634,900 sq. km. of surface area.

“Bangladesh is the downstream nation of this multinational trans-border river basin, and is regularly affected by the effects of monsoon floods and dry season droughts (from a water-quantity viewpoint) and severe pollution by all riparian states and sectors.

“The basins cover approximately 10% of the earth’s surface area, home to […] two-fifths of the poor of the developing world.”

Source: Countercurrents.org

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