United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: NGOs

NGO Intervention (2nd half) pm 1st March 2005
Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and ecosystems
We welcome the intervention by Switzerland. Protecting and valuing ecosystems
and ensuring fair distribution amongst different user groups is fundamental to
water security and human livelihoods. Whilst many 'natural resources', such as
water, are the 'basis for development', they are also part of the complex web that
supports life on Earth in its entirety. IWRM provides a participatory and integrated
framework to ensure the long-term environmental security necessary for truly
sustainable development and the provision of water and sanitation required to
meet the MDG targets.
CSD-13 needs to reaffirm the IWRM and water efficiency plans (WEP) targets,
with:
(i) Clear processes and support agreed to help countries that have been
unable to meet the target to meet it and implement plans;
(ii) Clear processes for continued reporting on achievement of this target
after CSD-13; and
(iii) Agreement on a mechanism for monitoring implementation of IWRMWEP
plans, with clear indicators.
Policy recommendations for CSD-13 include:
· That national governments create an enabling environment for IWRM
through the creation of specific legislation and appropriate institutional
processes that: (i) reconcile and address hydrological boundaries with
political ones and local needs (i.e. address river basins, catchments and
local communities) with transboundary cooperation where necessary, and
(ii) ensure cross-sectoral and stakeholder coordination to deliver IWRMWEP
· Policy outcomes that adopt a functional ecosystem perspective on water
resources including total ecosystem valuation in public and private
decision making. Including as the basis of incentive schemes for
catchment and ecosystem conservation.
· Inland wetlands have been estimated to provide services worth US$ 2-5
trillion but over half of the worlds wetlands have been destroyed or heavily
altered in the past 100 years (Ramsar 2004). CSD-13 needs to reaffirm
the CSD-6 recommendation providing support for implementation of the
Ramsar Convention and further encourage co-operation between the
Convention and others working towards IWRM-WEP, such as the Global
Water Partnership.
Joanna Phillips (BirdLife International / RSPB)
Joanna.phillips@rspb.org.uk