Today a panel was convened to discuss the importance of developing and managing fisheries in achieving a successful Post-2015 Development Agenda. H.E. Mr. Sveinsson opened the dialogue by highlighting the four main areas of emphasis for the world’s living marine resources. These areas include protecting the marine environment from pollution and other environmental concerns, responsibly managing fisheries through the elimination of subsidies and illegal fishing, increasing economic benefits to decrease poverty, and supporting capacity building in less developed countries to allow for better resource management.
Dr. Tómasson continued the panel by highlighting the importance of fisheries, focusing on their role in economic development, food security, and a healthy diet. About 10-12% of the world’s population depends on fisheries, aquaculture, and post-harvest production for their livelihoods. Furthermore, fish account for 30% of animal protein in the human diet, and also provide important nutritional components. Yet, many people in fishing communities suffer from malnutrition and poor health. Expounding these concerns, in last 30 years the number fishermen have more than tripled. This, coupled with an improvement in fishing technology, has led to the exploitation and unsustainable use of the marine capital. However, with improved management and better handling and processing of fish, fisheries have the potential to address these concerns- becoming a foundation for human well-being and economic growth.
Dr. Tómasson proceeded by turning his focus to the United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme and its importance in helping achieve sustainable use of fisheries. The Post-Graduates enrolled in this six-month program are trained in enhancing institutional and individual capacities to better support the sustainable use of living aquatic resources. These students, in tandem with supporting partners who provide global research based capacity building, are vital in providing the leadership necessary to increase the sustainability of fisheries all over the world.
Meeting Title: FISHING FOR DEVELOPMENT: How the Sustainable Use of Living Marine Resources Can Impact The Post-2015 Development Agenda
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs; Dr. Tumi Tómasson, Director of United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme; H.E. Ms. Gréta Gunnarsdóttir, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
Location: United Nations HQ, ECOSOC Chamber
Date: 7 July 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Zachary Halliday
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan
A panel of experts provided vital information on the critical issue of water management and sustainability in today’s NGO-led briefing. Talking about water conservation, Sharon Megdal said that we should not only discuss technological solutions but we should think about ways in which individuals and smaller organizations can conserve water. The issues of persuasion and education, she said, especially the education of youth are important. Youth are an opportunity for the future, she emphasized. She also said that cooperation between states is the way forward for the water issue.
Mr. Lipchin explained the concept of chronic water scarcity. He said that the ability to meet basic needs for water and sanitation is below 500m3/capita/year. While noting that the Middle East is a region of water scarcity, he said that Israel, Jordan and Palestine are all below this threshold. Israel has been able to meet an increasing demand for water through desalination and treatment of waste water for agricultural use. Initially the idea of using treated waste water was thought to have an impact on crop yield due to the low quality of water. However, Mr. Lipchin said that there has been an increase in crop yield. He also highlighted a challenge that Israel and its neighbors face. Almost everything in the region in terms of water is transboundary. The Arab institute is trying to address this issue cooperatively, solving not only Israel’s problems but also of its neighbors, including Palestine and Jordan.
Mr. Siegel shed light on drip irrigation, a process invented by Israel. In drip irrigation, water is dripped on the roots and the rest of the field does not get irrigated because it is of no value. 75% of all irrigated fields in Israel use it. It improves the crop yield and addresses the issues of food security, carbon footprint, water scarcity and gender issues.
Meeting Title: Every Drop of Water Makes A Difference
Speakers: Joseph Hess, JNF Vice President, Government Relations; Sharon B. Megdal, PhD., Director, Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona; Clive Lipchin, PhD., Director, Center for Transboundary Water Management, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies; Seth M. Siegel, J.D., Co-founder of Beanstalk, Sixpoint Partners and Vringo, and writer on water issues.
Date: 19 June 2014
Location: Conference Room 4 (NLB), UN Headquarters New York
Written by WIT Representative: Shan Cheema
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan
At the ‘Sustainable Energy for All Forums’ there was a panel discussion on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, which highlighted interlinkages in the energy and water sector. Tania Rodiger-Vorwerk (Deputy Director General-Directorate 31, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) began the discussion, by stating that this was the very first public discussion on the HIO nexus. The demand for natural resources is consistently increasing and it is anticipated that the there will be severe shortages of natural resources if we don’t control and manage our resources effectively. Thus the aim of the nexus is to find intersectoral solutions designed to increase efficiency.
Rodiger also highlighted that Germany has been involved in the nexus through supporting regional dialogues through the high level African dialogue on Water-Food-Energy nexus in Nairobi in 2012 and supporting educational management. The main objectives of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development for the nexus are: collect and develop resources for nexus challenges; exchange information concerning practical experiences; integrate nexus perspective on policy level; promote nexus in other related sectors such as agriculture, irrigation etc.; and ensure HIO policy coherence.
Olivier Dubois (the Senior Natural Resources Officer and Coordinator, Energy Programme, FAO) added that nexus contributes phenomenally to sustainability, through three dimensions: resource efficiency; tradeoffs; and linking tradeoffs to opportunities. He highlighted that we are at the initial stages of building the nexus and thus need to develop nexus assessment and cost effective tools approach.Martin Hiller (Director General, REEEP) shared REEP’s contribution and initiatives, for instance a very simple technology of solar water pumps was converted into a private business in Kenya.
Anna Delgado (Water Unit, World Bank) noted that it is important to integrate energy-water planning at local and international level. The Thirsty Energy Initiative works to ensure governments integrate across the food, water and energy sectors. REEEP is in dialogue with China, as their water resources required energy expansion plans. She concluded by saying that the nexus requires a methodological approach, driven by demand and we should quantify tradeoffs.
Meeting Title: Water-Energy-Food Nexus HIO, Sustainable Energy for All Forums
Speakers: Tania Rodiger-Vorwerk, Deputy Director General-Directorate 31, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; Olivier Dubois, Senior Natural Resources Officer and Coordinator, Energy Programme, FAO; Anna Delgado, Water Unit, World Bank; Martin Hiller, Director General, REEEP; Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General, EuropeAid, European Commission.
Location: United Nations HQ; Conference Room B, New York
Written By WIT representative: Aslesha Kaur Dhillon