September 01, 2009
World Water Week Participants Call for Attention to Water Issues at Copenhagen Climate Conference
by Robert Kropp
Unanimously supported by 2,500 participants, the Stockholm Statement calls for inclusion of
adaptive measures with broad development goals, and increased funding to support adaptive measures.
Hosted by the Stockholm International Water
Institute (SIWI), a policy institute that seeks sustainable solutions to the global water
crisis, the annual World Water Week
was held in August. The 2,500 participants in this year's session included representatives from
scientific, business, policy, and civic sectors in 130 countries.
This year, participants of the
conference unanimously supported the release of the Stoc
kholm Statement, in which they stated that the issue of water must be included in the United nations Climate Change Conference (COP-15)
negotiations, to be held in Copenhagen in December. The COP-15 climate treaty is intended to
replace the Kyoto Protocol.
In the Statement, the World Water Week participants conveyed
several messages to government leaders who will be meeting in Copenhagen. Because effective
management of water resources is key to successfully responding to climate change, practices
conceived by the Integrated Water Resources
Management Organization (IWRM), should be considered. The IWRM is a participatory planning and
implementation process for meeting water resource needs while maintaining essential ecological
services. The importance of addressing trans-boundary water management issues was also emphasized.
Conference participants also emphasized the integration of adaptive measures into broader
objectives. Examples of adaptive measures include the integration of water with land and forest
management, and the protection and restoration of natural resources.
called for sharing higher-quality information at all levels of policy and practice, effective
vulnerability assessments and risk management, and the allocation of additional funding to support
Anders Berntell, Executive Director of SIWI, said, "Water is a
fundamental element in economies, communities, and public health. We know that it is the medium
through which climate change manifests its most serious effects. To be effective, climate
negotiations must factor in the impact and importance of water for the world and, indeed, human
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