General comments

Katalin Czippan
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Started by Katalin Czippan on
03 Sep 2013 at 13:38
Know-how: Communications and Outreach
General
  1. Water has brought civilizations livelihood, sustenance and well-being.  Water has been a central factor shaping both earth system history and human history; therefore, water carries the collective memory of humanity. Water has been instrumental in our past development. It is equally the key to our future development as well to maintaining our life support on Earth, our home.

2.      Water unites rather than divides. It unites people among and across generations, nations and cultures and is a source of cooperation. Its uneven temporal and spatial distribution worldwide, in addition to the numerous challenges such as demographic and climatic changes, renders water management essential and critical as our entry point for sustainable development and poverty eradication. All basic planetary and ecosystem functions will be endangered if water is not governed properly and therefore water must underpin all future Sustainable Development Goals.

3.      Tapping the power of water for our modern era to meet the water challenge requires new policy approaches both within the water sector and in concert with other social sectors, especially, health, food, energy and economy. Human-centered development and environmental stewardship, including preserving the function of ecosystems and protecting biodiversity must reinforce any modern paradigm of water management.

4.      The Budapest Water Summit was driven by five important areas for robust water policy approaches with a view to contributing to the development of well defined, globally, regionally and national meaningful SMART[1] targets for:

  • Ensuring universal and sustainable access to safe water and sanitation;
  • Improved methods of integrating the technical, environmental, social and the political into water management;
  • Facilitating good and efficient water governance, relevant for any political system, with due consideration of local specificities when developing and implementing laws, regulations, management, pricing, subsidies and allocation methods;
  • An effective philosophy and incentives for using water to create and support green economies; 
  • New micro and macro, private and public funding mechanisms to be implemented for sustaining the management of blue water within green economics.

[1]Specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound

Comments

Tamas Pocsi
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Some suggested changes in formulation:
Article 2: Change first sentence: Water can unite, but also divide especially when scarcities and vulnerabilities increase. Take out the sentence that “it unites people……and that it is a source of cooperation”. Change last sentence: All basic planetary ……..if water is not governed properly and therefore water GOVERNANCE must underpin all future sustainable development goals as well as policies and strategies to achieve these. The importance of water and good governance has been recognized in numerous national declarations and conventions. Eliminating corruption across water-related sectors and building integrity into policies and action plans will be essential to these ambitions.

What seems clearly lacking between article 2 and 3 is an article that links the vast investments needed in the sector to an essential need for integrity and accountability. Why is that necessary? Answer: Complex new challenges posed by fast population growth, urbanization, rapid destruction of productive aquatic ecosystems and climate change all threaten to overwhelm existing structures. To ensure efficient us of large-scale funding becoming available to pay for climate change adaptation and ecosystem services presents additional integrity challenges as evidence has already shown.

Article 4-c: Processes of integer, equitable and participatory water governance, relevant for any political system with due consideration of local specificities and shared ethical values and principles.
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