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E-Newsletter: Vol. 3

The International Conference on Water for Food and Environment

The International Conference on Water for Food and Environment organized by the FAO and the Netherlands was held from 31 January to 4 February 2005 in Hague, the Netherlands. 26 ministers and more than 300 delegates from 140 countries attended the conference.

The conference identified 11 challenges, and adopted a list of actions to improve the efficient use of water for food production and ecosystem conservation.

There was a general agreement among the participants on the need to manage water in a way that better reflects its value. Valuing water should take into account socio-economic, environmental, and cultural factors.

Economic mechanisms could be used to put a price tag on water for food and ecosystems through water charges and payments for environment services.

However, attention should be paid to ensuring equitable and fair access to water resources and the ability of the poor to pay for water consumption.

HRH the Prince of Orange summarized discussion in a ministerial meeting that was held during the conference, and introduced its conclusions. The ministers recommend that participants focus on implementation of IWRM at local level and integrate activities that address the challenges of sustainable development, poverty eradication and food security.

The outcome of the conference will be taken to CSD-13 and WWF4.

Further information about the final report is available at: http://www.fao.org/ag/wfe2005/conference09_en.htm

INWEPF special session on "Water for food and environment"

The INWEPF hold a special session, "Water Governance for Holistic Values of Multi-Functional Paddy Agriculture", as a side event of the conference on February 1. More than 70 audiences attended at the special session.

After a Korean INWEPF member gave an opening remark, three exports from the INWEPF community made presentations about attributes of paddy farming in Asia monsoon, multiple values of paddy farming and cooperative governance in paddy water management.

This session offered an excellent opportunity to discuss the importance of accounting multiple services and values of paddy farming in terms of socio-economic and environmental functions.

Also, the INWEPF introduced a new concept of participatory irrigation management as "social capital" into the special session.

The special session contributed to discussion at the conference on "Water for Food and Ecosystem".

For further information on the INWEPF side event, please visit: http://www.maff.go.jp/e/nousin/kaigai/inwepf/i_news/fao_holland.html
You can obtain all presentation documents on the special session.

Preparation for 13th session on Commission on Sustainable Development

The intergovernmental preparatory meeting of the 13th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was held at the United Nations headquarter.

In the preparatory meeting, a wide variety of themes were discussed, including cost recovery, irrigation subsidies and efficient water use in agricultural sector. There are many important topics closely related to agricultural water use discussed in the CSD.

At the end of the meeting, the chair's text was formulated. This chair's text will provide a base for further discussion and policy formulation at the forthcoming CSD session in April.

For further information on the CSD session, please visit: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/csd/csd_csd13.shtml