5th World Water Forum
Global collaboration on water problems
ISTANBUL, 16-22 March 2009 - The 5th World Water Forum took place in Istanbul. It is one of the most significant water-related events in the world, aimed at putting water firmly on the international agenda. A stepping stone towards global collaboration on water problems, the forum offers the water community as well as policy-and-decision- makers from all over the world, the unique opportunity to come together to create links and debate. Furthermore, it attempts to find solutions to achieve water security.
From a global view, water resources are exposed to increasing levels of stress. The exploitation of coastal resources, both freshwater and marine, have considerably increased over the past century. Nowadays, populations are moving to the coast at alarming rates, increasing the pressure over coastal resources and ecosystems, bringing many communities to a turning point for their economic and social development. Given the critical economic, social and ecologic importance of coastal waters, there is an urgent need to establish Integrated Coastal Area and River Basin Management at the local, national and international level. In this context, UNIDO’s Water Management Unit gave a key note presentation on the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) Approach in the Ministerial Roundtable on Sustainable Management of Coastal Areas.
LMEs are recommended by the Global Environment Facility as the spatial unit for the implementation of Integrated Coastal Area and River Basin Management Programmes. Worldwide, 64 LMEs have been identified on ecologic criteria; they provide more than 90% of the globally harvested fish biomass. The LME approach integrates five modules: (1) Productivity, (2) Fish and Fisheries, (3) Pollution and Ecosystem Health, (4) Socioeconomics and (5) Governance and has proven to provide an effective framework to combat living resource depletion and coastal area degradation.
UNIDO is successfully executing LME projects in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Guinea Current LME. In the Ministerial Round Table, UNIDO’s water management unit shared its experience with the participants and discussed ways of further cooperation.