News
New paths to international environmental cooperation

In 2012, the Government of the Netherlands asked the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) to produce an advisory report on global environmental public goods. The request was prompted by the observation in the Advisory Council on Government Policy’s report «Attached to the World» that the Netherlands is increasingly affected by complex global issues such as climate change, energy and security, and by the interrelations between these issues. The government notes that global environmental public goods are particularly important for global stability and security, as well as sustainable economic growth and prosperity. An improved ‘supply’ and regulation of environmental goods – a stable climate, access to energy and resources, an adequate water supply and preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems – are essential for growth and stability in rich countries, emerging middle-income countries and poor countries.

 
UN Secretary-General appoints a new chair for his water and sanitation advisory board

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, has appointed His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan as the new Chairman of his Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB). In highlighting the challenges facing the international community in achieving the water and sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals, the Secretary-General stated that 2.5 billion people around the world still lack access to proper sanitation and 768 million do not have access to improved sources of water.

 
Inaugural address professor Michael McClain

On Thursday 20 June 2013 Professor Michael McClain, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, will deliver his Inaugural Address. The Inaugural Address will be preceded by a mini symposium, featuring the ecohydrological research of UNESCO‑IHE and its partners and considering how growth in this area contributes to the mission of the institute.

 
Without Water, Revolution

In the Sunday Review, part of the International Herald Tribune, Thomas Friedman describes how he – during his recent visit to Syria – was shaken up by a local school. »War refugees had occupied the classrooms and little kids’ shirts and pants were drying on a line strung across the playground. [...] Classes had not been held in two years. And that is what terrified me. Men with guns I’m used to. But kids without books, teachers or classes for a long time — that’s trouble. Big trouble.« The Jafaf, or drought, is one of the key drivers of the Syrian war.

 
Ambassador Aslov about the UN International Year of Water Cooperation

Ambassador Sirodjidin Aslov is Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the United Nations. In the most recent issue of UN Chronicle, Mr Aslov wrote about the Tajik vision for the UN International Year of Water Cooperation, 2013.

 
Book of the Year 2012: Bankrupting Nature – Denying our Planetary Boundaries

Bankrupting Nature 120We are well into the year 2013, so it is safe to say what our 2012 Book of the Year is. It is «Bankrupting Nature – Denying our Planetary Boundaries».
This powerful book shows us that we are in deep denial about the magnitude of the global environmental challenges and resource constraints facing the world. Despite growing scientific consensus on major environmental threats as well as resource depletion, societies are largely continuing with business as usual, at best attempting to tinker at the margins of the problems.

 
News on World Water Day 2013 and the UN International Year of Water Cooperation

In 2013, the Netherlands is host to the global celebrations of World Water Day, 22 March. At the same time, the year 2013 is the UN International Year of Water Cooperation. What is going on? Stay tuned for up-to-date information.

 
Unprecedented glacier melting in the Andes blamed on climate change

Glaciers in the tropical Andes have been retreating at increasing rate since the 1970s, scientists write in the most comprehensive review to date of Andean glacier observations. The researchers blame the melting on rising temperatures as the region has warmed about 0.7°C over the past 50 years (1950–1994). This unprecedented retreat could affect water supply to Andean populations in the near future, according to a paper in The Cryosphere.

 
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