Water & Nature Initiative, IUCN -The World Conservation Union

Data Center Description
In March 2000, IUCN The World Conservation Union presented the
Water and Nature - Vision and Framework for Action, forming the
environmental component of the World Water Vision prepared by
the World Water Council.

The message in the Water and Nature - Vision is very clear: to
achieve a sustainable society that cares for its resources, we
must establish a fundamentally new paradigm for the use,
development and conservation of water resources.

A key element of this new paradigm is developing and
implementing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) using
an ecosystem approach within catchments. This will require us to
'learn to care' about our world. A world in which water
resources will no longer be overused and wasted, but conserved
and restored for the benefit of both ecosystems and humankind.

The IUCN Water and Nature Initiative is a direct response to the
call for moving from vision to action, a call that was heard
over the last two years during the consultations for the Water
and Nature - Vision and during and after the 2nd World Water
Forum.

The Initiative addresses many of the challenges, changes and
actions IUCN witnesses in the field, and that were defined in
the Ministerial Declaration of The Hague, the report of the
World Commission for Water in the 21st Century (WCW), the Global
Water Partnership (GWP) - Framework for Action and the World
Commission on Dams - Framework for Decision Making.

The Ministerial Declaration of The Hague stresses the need for
protecting and improving freshwater, coastal and related
ecosystems. It emphasises the need for guaranteeing safe water
for every person at affordable prices and the need for
protecting the vulnerable from risks of water-related hazards.

The WCW stresses the fact that water is the basis for all living
ecosystems and habitats. It envisions a world in which adequate
water is provided to meet basic human needs in an equitable
manner and in harmony with nature.

The GWP Framework for Action builds on this in its focus on
mobilising political will, making water governance effective and
generating water wisdom. It also emphasizes the need for
tackling some of the most urgent water priorities, including the
protection and restoration of water resources and ecosystems,
and investing for a secure water future.

The World Commission on Dams recently called for establishing a
new framework for decision making regarding dam development and
management. An equitable sharing of benefits and protecting
people and the environment are central to this framework.

Website: http://www.iucn.org/themes/wani/

[Summary provided by the IUCN World Conservation Union.]