The Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held next month, should renew the global commitment to integrated and sustainable management of freshwater resources, according to WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
“Efficient water resources management is synonymous with sustainable development, and the national gross domestic product is the degree of a country's water resources development,” Mr Jarraud told the African Ministers’ Council (AMCOW) on Water 10th anniversary commemoration held in Cairo, Egypt, during Africa Water Week .
“The crosscutting nature of water issues calls for a strongly-coordinated response of the entire UN System, to provide all the necessary knowledge, tools and skills to the various socio-economic sectors in need and to support high-level decision-making at global, regional and local scales. While the UN System can provide the operational development framework, the support of all Member States and regional bodies, in particular of AMCOW, is indeed decisive,” said Mr Jarraud, who is current chair of UN-Water.
AMCOW was formed in 2002 in Abuja Nigeria, primarily to promote cooperation through the effective management of the continent’s water resources and provision of water supply services. It organizes Africa Water Week to mobilize political commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) water and sanitation targets by 2015, and the 2025 Africa Water Vision.
“Increasing attention will be required in Africa on the potential impacts of climate variability and change on the water cycle and its connected issues, especially in terms of the increasing vulnerability of the developing world and the complexity of the associated uncertainties,” said Mr Jarraud. Water management is one of the priorities of the Global Framework for Climate Services currently being developed by WMO and partners.