United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: NGOs

Joanna Phillips, BirdLife International (RSPB)
NGO Intervention - IWRM Session Tuesday 12th April 2004.
In response the Chair?s call for responsive and targeted replies to her questions ? on the ?how?,
the ?who? and the ?what?, the NGO Major Group had hoped to make the following intervention
in the IWRM session, but time did not permit.
We welcome the several interventions that have highlighted the importance of ecosystems to
integrated water resource management. We call on CSD 13 to:
(i) Reaffirm the importance of producing and implementing IWRM and water efficiency plans
using an eco-system based approach, taking into the account the strong call for policy
change to address degradation in our life support systems from the UN Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis report.
(ii) Agree UN-based mechanisms for monitoring and reporting progress on water, sanitation
and human settlements after CSD 13, including for IWRM noting the soon- lapsed target
date of 2005. Regional mechanisms supporting river basin cooperation and information
exchange could support agreed international process(es).
Acknowledge critical elements to be considered in IWRM, including:
ü an open and transparent participatory process,
ü assessment and valuation of ecosystem services,
ü objectives for ecosystem management, and
ü establishment of environmental flows to balance various demands for water, protect down
stream users and ecosystems and ensure long term prosperity of a river basin or catchment.
· Agree that all member states make specific reference to IWRM plans in their National
Sustainable Development Strategies and poverty reduction strategies.
· Urge donor countries to provide technical assistance, especially for capacity building, and
funding to ensure that IWRM and water efficiency plans are developed and operationalised
as soon as possible.
· Request the World Bank (who?s engagement we welcome) and IFIs uphold their agreed
safeguard polices.
· Request the Global Water Partnership, and other organisations assisting governments, to
review their methodologies for IWRM to ensure that the conservation and management of
ecosystems is incorporated adequately.
· Ensure all member states take due recognition of linkages between poverty reduction,
IWRM, and environmental sustainability targets and objectives (in particular MDG7, the
JPOI 2010 biodiversity target) in policy and decision making.
· Urge governments to involve all relevant departments and agencies (including those
working on Multilateral Environmental Agreements), and other stakeholders including
women?s groups, NGOs, farmers and the private sector to engage openly and transparently
in the IWRM planning process. This is crucial to ensure social equity and vital to develop
local entrepreneurship, to find locally appropriate solutions as well as develop capacity and
awareness to support long term sustainable solutions.
NGOs are working, and will continue to work, in partnership with governments and others
towards achieving these commitments.