2012 : turning point in European initiatives for water protection and water management

13 March 2012

European Union and United Nations representatives meet at the 6th World Water Forum to discuss the state of play and a to find new ways concerning water management and protection in Europe and beyond.

Since 2000, the European Union (EU) has been committed to meeting the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) of better access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. 2012 celebrates the 10th anniversary of the EU Water Initiative launched with this aim in 2002. Since then, 32 millions people have benefited from European actions on water and the first MDG has thus be reached already in 2010. However, a lot still needs to be done and the European Union will consequently intensify its efforts on access to sanitation services. Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Cooperation and Development declares that "now, it is time to shift gear (… )".  Looking forward to the Rio +20 Conference, the 2012's edition of the European Report on Development puts the focus on management of water, energies and soil towards an inclusive and sustainable growth. Cooperation, the key to adaptation to the impacts of Climate Change Climate change strengthens the intensity and frequency of water and sanitation related issues in Europe and beyond. Water does not stop at boundaries. Accordingly cooperation is needed to ensure proper management and protection of water resources in transboundary river basins. 2012 will also be the year of the 20th anniversary of the United Nation Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes. This legal instrument has facilitated transboundary water cooperation in the Pan-European region since 1992. At the occasion of the 6th World Water Forum, Andrey Vasilyev, Acting Executive Secretary of the UNECE, express his wish to have the Convention getting an international dimension in 2012, thanks to numerous new countries joining since the opening to non EU countries in 2003. Cooperation leads to upstream-downstream solidarity and contributes accordingly to an improved and fair integrated water management in transboundary river basins.

Category: News in brief

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