2013 has by the UN General Assembly been declared the “International Year of Water Cooperation”. The questions to be addressed in 2013 include: why do we need to cooperate, on what, for what aim, at what level, with whom and, not least, how?
With an expected world population of more than 9 billion people by 2050, basically depending on the same finite and vulnerable water resource as today for sustaining life and wellbeing, our inter-dependence is growing every day. In 2015 we shall take stock of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a process of developing a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has been initiated as an outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, “Rio +20″, in June 2012. The Rio +20 outcome document clearly states water as one key area for achieving sustainable development and thus on important part of the upcoming SGDs and post 2015 development framework.
We need to understand how ‘my water use’ effect everybody else’s, and enter into meaningful and informed dialogues with other people and communities of practice, inside and outside the “water box”, engaged in using, or wasting or polluting, our common and shared water resource. In this endeavour we need to engage with groups of people who can help us understand the very essence of cooperation: what is cooperation? What drives people, states and organisations to “cooperate” rather than “defect”? What determines the direct and indirect reciprocities that make us cooperate, and the mechanisms of selection of those with whom we want to do so? And how do we identify and measure the quality, aim, benefits and barriers to cooperation, and create an enabling environment for cooperation? How can more effective cooperation enable us to reach future-oriented decisions and force implementation, and how can we best build partnerships among actors to achieve common goals?
Click here for more information on 2013 World Water Week.
2012 World Water Week was held in Stockholm, Sweden from August 26-31. WASH Advocates hosted a panel, The Politics of Water: Strengthening National Advocacy for WASH. This session featured new and experienced advocates from the developing world discussing how they are positively influencing public policies and increasing WASH budgets in their countries.