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Unformatted text preview: which now plays a central role in coordinating
the Framework for Action.
The Second World Water Forum was successful
not only for putting IWRM on the political agenda, but also
for endorsing the active participation of the developing
world’s water stakeholders, and for gathering world water
leaders and communities together. In close co-operation with the United Nations,
Germany hosted, in December 2001, the International
Conference on Freshwater in Bonn. The aim of the
conference was to contribute to solutions for global water
problems, and to support preparations for the World Summit
on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg,
2002, and the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, 2003.
The conference reviewed all previous water
resources development principles and recognized that there
was often a gap between policy development and practice. In
a novel way, the Bonn Conference focused on practical
implementation, not only identifying challenges and key
targets, but also recommending action programs to
implement policies in the field (ICFW, 2001).
The Bonn Keys, which summarized the conference
discussions, highlighted the key steps toward sustainable
development through meeting water security needs of the
poor, and promoting decentralization and new partnerships.
To achieve these steps, it suggested IWRM as the most
The Bonn Conference recommended prioritizing
actions in the fields of governance, mobilizing financial
resources, building capacity, and sharing knowledge. The
Bonn Recommendations for Action addressed, at the lowest
appropriate level, issues such as poverty, gender equity,
corruption mitigation, and water management. The
Conference identified a set of actions necessary to mobilize
financial resources: strengthening public funding
capabilities, improving economic efficiency, and increasing
official assistance to developing countries. In the field of
capacity building, it prioritized the need for education and
training regarding water wisdom, research, effective water
institutions, knowledge sharing, and innovative technologies.
The Conference also recommended that WSSD harmonize
water issues with overall sustainable development objectives
and integrate water into national poverty reduction strategies.
The Bonn Conference should be commended by
the water world for connecting the views of the developing
and developed world and impartially divulging practical
implementation problems. It also provided action programs,
a historical milestone for making IWRM truly effective in
the field. The key success of the Bonn Conference was the
adoption of the Bonn Recommendations in the WSSD Plan of
Implementation (WSSD, 2002). World Summit on Sustainable Development Johannesburg 2002
The World Summit on Sustainable Development
(WSSD), held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002,
should be recognized as a success because it put IWRM at
the top of the international agenda.
The WSSD’s Plan of Implementation includes
IWRM as one of the key components for achieving
sustainable development. It provides specific targets and
guidelines for implementing IWRM worldwide, including
developing an IWRM and water efficiency plan by 2005 for
all major river basins of the world; developing and
implementing national/regional strategies, plans, and Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy | http://ejournal.nbii.org
17 Spring 2005 | Volume 1 | Issue 1 Rahaman & Varis: Integrated Water Resource Management programs with regard to IWRM; improving water-use
developing gender-sensitive policies and programs;
involving all concerned stakeholders in a variety of
processes; enhancing education; and combating corruption.
For the most part, it seems that the Bonn
Conference recommendations were adopted within WSSD,
and IWRM has now become the most internationally
accepted water policy tool. The WSSD outcomes also
encouraged major donors to commit themselves to
implementing IWRM in the developing world. A number of
broad strategic partnerships were declared at Johannesburg;
the EU, in particular, launched a series of partnerships on
Water for Sus...
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