The second world water forum was successful not only

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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 capable tool. 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 efficiency; facilitating public-private partnerships; developing gender-sensitive policies and programs; involving all concerned stakeholders in a variety of decisionmaking, management, and implementation 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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