A hush fell over the room when Megha Kumar took to the stage in front of hundreds of international delegates at UNESCO's launch ceremony for the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation on 11 February 2013. How often do 23 year olds get to address global leaders and experts in water security?
The Global Water Forum (http://www.globalwaterforum.org) is please to announce a new online short-lecture series: ‘International Water Politics’ (see here: (http://www.globalwaterforum.org/resources/lectures/international-water-politics-short-lecture-series). This open-access course covers 13 topics over a period of 13 weeks. The course is a mix between written articles and short video lectures. The page for each topic will be the focal point for a moderated discussion forum for the duration of that week.
Water is fundamental to life on earth. Water information is critical to understanding our world and the way water and people interact. World Water Online is a system for bringing together geospatial and temporal water information for the whole earth at all scales from global to national, regional and local. It describes the characteristics of the landscape through which water flows, and the properties of the water itself. World Water Online aims to link water observations data with models for simulating water movement and quality. All this will be done on the web to make the information universally accessible.
Less than five percent of our ocean has been explored. Despite impressive accomplishments in ocean exploration, until now, there has never been a national ocean exploration program.
Approximately 64 per cent of Africa’s land surface lies within its 63 transboundary river basins as compared to 47 per cent globally. For the southern Africa region, defined by the boundaries of member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 16 transboundary basins provide nearly 80 per cent of the region’s available water resources. All but one continental SADC state has over 50 per cent of their land mass in transboundary river basins. Some countries rely on more than 50 per cent of their water needs flowing from outside of their borders. In this context, water cooperation has been a serious matter for many African countries throughout their history and is increasingly so as their economies grow and become increasingly integrated.
More than 120 participants attended two workshops held in Algeria for the preparation of a national Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) strategy. The workshops were organised by the Ministry of Land-use Planning, Environment and Town with the support of PAP/RAC.
Lake Tanganyika, which falls under the administration of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, and Burundi, is the world’s second largest freshwater lake by volume and a haven for aquatic wildlife. The lake (map on the right taken from here) is home to about 2,000 species of fish, most of which are found nowhere else in the world. Such diversity is possible both because of the lake’s size and antiquity; geologists believe Lake Tanganyika to be between 9 and 12 million years old. Eons of isolation have allowed a very distinctive ecosystem to form, similar to other large inland bodies of water like Lake Victoria and Lake Baikal. Lake Tanganyika also forms a vital pillar of human life in the area. The lake is a key protein source for millions of locals, and its fisheries directly employ hundreds of thousands of workers.
A Geographic Synopsis” by Jean Margat and Jac van der Gun The book has global coverage and includes 36 tables and 112 full-colour figures. The attachment shows some more details on the book and how to order.
The IRF has recently formed a partnership to deliver a European Riverprize for the first time in 2013. The IRF European Riverprize will celebrate successful approaches that have overcome the challenges to river restoration, ecosystem health, water quality and climate change within the social and political context of the European continent.
Leaders of the US NOAA, the Global Environment Facility, the International Council for Exploration of the Sea, the United Nations Development Program, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, will be informing a unique cross section of scientists, government experts, educators, the public and the press on a global effort underway for healthier oceans, supported by substantial financial assistance to developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific, and eastern Europe.
Government ministers from Angola, Namibia and South Africa met in the Angolan city of Benguela on March 18 to sign the Benguela Current Convention, a formal agreement between the three governments that seeks to bring long-term social and economic benefits to the people of the Benguela region.
Workshop on Transboundary Water Cooperation-Latin American and Pan-European Regions: Sharing Experiences and Learning from Each Other
The workshop will be held back-to-back with a targeted event on 13 June for GEF International Waters projects and partners entitled: GEF IW: LEARN Integration Dialogue on Conjunctive Surface and Groundwater Management in the ECLAC region, organized by UNESCO-IHP and the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) in cooperation with IUCN and with the assistance of the UNESCO regional office in Montevideo. GEF International Waters projects are invited to participate in the workshop and in the Integration Dialogue.
2013 edition of UN-Water "Water for Life" Best Practices Award goes to Japan and the Republic of Moldova
Category 1 has been awarded to a project focusing on groundwater management using the system of nature from Kumamoto city in Japan and Category 2 has been awarded to a project focusing on safe water and sanitation for all in the Republic of Moldova.
World Water Day celebrates water cooperation: UNECE Water Convention set to make a difference by supporting action on the ground
The UNECE Water Convention’s central aim is to strengthen measures at the local, national and transboundary levels to protect and ensure the quantity, quality and sustainable use of transboundary water resources — both surface waters and groundwaters. The Convention takes a holistic approach, based on the understanding that water resources play an integral part in ecosystems as well as in human societies and economies. Today, 38 UNECE countries and the European Union participate in the Convention.
Does Location Really Matter? An Inter-colony Comparison of Seabirds Breeding at Varying Distances from Productive Oceanographic Features in the Bering Sea
Ann Harding, Rosana Paredes, Robert Suryan, Daniel Roby, David Irons, Rachael Orben, Heather Renner, Rebecca Young, Christopher Barger, Ine Dorresteijn, and Alexander Kitaysky “Central place foragers, such as breeding seabirds, need to commute between their nests and foraging grounds, thus close proximity of the breeding colony to productive oceanographic features might be beneficial for seabird reproduction. We tested this hypothesis by investigating the at-sea foraging and breeding behavior of thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) nesting at three colonies (Bogoslof, St. Paul, and St. George Islands) in the Bering Sea located at different distances from the productive continental shelf-break.
By 2025, an estimated 60 percent of the world’s population will live in water-stressed conditions, and a similar proportion will be without adequate sanitation. Securing access to safe drinking water (MDG 7) for all and wisely managing this resource is therefore a high priority on the global sustainable development agenda for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, from 20-22 June 2012.
Findings released on a new study on MPA governance.
Research carried out by scientists from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Old Dominion University, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggest that climate change may have a direct impact on species diversity and that larger and more diverse protected areas could help species respond to environmental changes, including changes in sea temperature.
In a new study just published online in the journal Conservation Letters, an international group of researchers found that much of the world’s oceans lack mechanisms to properly manage for biodiversity conservation or for sustainable use.
4th Meeting of the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) Project culminates with approval of 10-year Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of Shared Living Marine Resources
CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA - MONDAY 11 MARCH 2012: Last week, host country Colombia saw delegates from the Fisheries and Environment Ministries of 21 states from the Caribbean region and adjacent areas convening in Cartagena de Indias. Meeting participants discussed and agreed on a 10-year Programme of Strategic Actions aimed at securing “enhanced long-term socio-economic benefits”, to be obtained from a more sustainable management of the region’s living marine resources.