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World Water Day 2014: Water and Energy

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09.04.2014

Each year, 22nd March is being recognized as World Water Day by United Nations. United Nations celebrates celebrated World Water Day to highlight a specific aspect of freshwater that is advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year, the focus is on the relationship between the water-energy nexus and the importance of recognizing and stabilizing their relationship.

On Friday 21st March 2014, in recognition of this celebration, UNESCO Bangkok and UNESCAP organized an event that features Thailand’s leading professionals and governmental representatives in the field of Water resources and Energy and representatives from many UN agencies. The objective of the event is to discuss and raise awareness of contemporary and regional issues pertaining to water and energy.

During the ceremony Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of ESCAP quoted that “Water and energy, both central to the basic needs of people, and the well-being of our planet, are lifelines to sustainable economic and social prosperity”. In addition she stressed that “Strongly interlinked and interdependent, the nexus between water and energy is critical for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Dr Kim, Director of UNESCO Bangkok indicated that “the survival of the rich water-based cultures of the Asia-Pacific region and, indeed, our collective future depends on our ability to understand the connections between water and energy and develop policies that take an integrated approach to their management for sustainability.” He underlined the importance of improved cooperation between the water and energy sectors without which the sustainable development is unachievable.

Furthermore, during the event the United Nations World Water Development Report 2014 on Water and Energy was launched for first time at regional level. The UN World Water Development Report has become annual report from 2014 and the main focus of the report will follow the theme of the year. The UN World Water Development Report is prepared by World Water Assessment Programme of UNESCO with the participation of 31 UN agencies and other international partners. 

Many issues with regards to water and energy were highlighted at the event, particularly during the panel discussions. Representatives from UN Regional Offices in Bangkok and relevant governmental stakeholders were present. On-going issues such as food system and its rising energy and water demand, the budget allocations for water compared to energy, water availability, and gender equality were eagerly discussed and debated.

The event concluded with a luncheon talk on ‘Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities – The Urban Nexus’, in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

 

For further information Ramasamy Jayakumar (r.jayakumar@unesco.org)