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New paths to international environmental cooperation

In 2012, the Government of the Netherlands asked the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) to produce an advisory report on global environmental public goods. The request was prompted by the observation in the Advisory Council on Government Policy’s report «Attached to the World» that the Netherlands is increasingly affected by complex global issues such as climate change, energy and security, and by the interrelations between these issues. The government notes that global environmental public goods are particularly important for global stability and security, as well as sustainable economic growth and prosperity. An improved ‘supply’ and regulation of environmental goods – a stable climate, access to energy and resources, an adequate water supply and preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems – are essential for growth and stability in rich countries, emerging middle-income countries and poor countries.

Without Water, Revolution

In the Sunday Review, part of the International Herald Tribune, Thomas Friedman describes how he – during his recent visit to Syria – was shaken up by a local school. »War refugees had occupied the classrooms and little kids’ shirts and pants were drying on a line strung across the playground. [...] Classes had not been held in two years. And that is what terrified me. Men with guns I’m used to. But kids without books, teachers or classes for a long time — that’s trouble. Big trouble.« The Jafaf, or drought, is one of the key drivers of the Syrian war.

UN Secretary-General appoints a new chair for his water and sanitation advisory board

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, has appointed His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan as the new Chairman of his Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB). In highlighting the challenges facing the international community in achieving the water and sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals, the Secretary-General stated that 2.5 billion people around the world still lack access to proper sanitation and 768 million do not have access to improved sources of water.

UNESCO-IHE presents its 2012 annual report

The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, based in Delft, the Netherlands, has just released its 2012 annual report.

Inaugural address professor Michael McClain

On Thursday 20 June 2013 Professor Michael McClain, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, will deliver his Inaugural Address. The Inaugural Address will be preceded by a mini symposium, featuring the ecohydrological research of UNESCO‑IHE and its partners and considering how growth in this area contributes to the mission of the institute.

Ambassador Aslov about the UN International Year of Water Cooperation

Ambassador Sirodjidin Aslov is Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the United Nations. In the most recent issue of UN Chronicle, Mr Aslov wrote about the Tajik vision for the UN International Year of Water Cooperation, 2013.

Unprecedented glacier melting in the Andes blamed on climate change

Glaciers in the tropical Andes have been retreating at increasing rate since the 1970s, scientists write in the most comprehensive review to date of Andean glacier observations. The researchers blame the melting on rising temperatures as the region has warmed about 0.7°C over the past 50 years (1950–1994). This unprecedented retreat could affect water supply to Andean populations in the near future, according to a paper in The Cryosphere.

Conclusions of Zaragoza International UN-Water Conference on Water Cooperation

Mutual trust and understanding the real needs of communities are key factors for successful water cooperation, according to the participants of the International UN-Water Conference on water cooperation which took place from 8 to 10 January 2013 in Zaragoza, Spain. The participants shared a wide range of initiatives, including experiences in rural and urban areas, and cases at country and basin level, to identify lessons learned and key success factors. The need for cooperation was highlighted as critical for sustainable water management.

High-level roundtable public and private sector on groundwater governance

In December 2010 the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. In view of its multidimensional mandate UNESCO was appointed by UN-Water to coordinate the Year. A roundtable session on groundwater governance is therefore a contribution to the 2013 United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. The session is organized within the framework of the project on «Groundwater Governance: a Global Framework for Action» and takes place in The Hague on 21 March 2013, just prior to the official celebration of the World Water Day on Water Cooperation.

Salt Water Intrusion Meetings proceedings now available online

The Salt Water Intrusion Meetings (SWIMs) have been organized since 1968 and have become an important platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas about saltwater intrusion and coastal hydrogeology. Currently, SWIMs are organised every 2 years, and the venue alternates between a European and a non-European country. The proceedings and abstracts from the 22 meetings held to date form an important scientific legacy and they illustrate the developments in this field over the past 45 years.

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