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Pacific progresses partnerships for water and sanitation at the 7th World Water Forum

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17 April 2015, Gyeongju - World Water ForumPacific representatives at the 7th World Water Forum in Gyeongju, Korea, have stressed the importance of effective partnerships to the region achieving development goals for water and sanitation.

The World Water Forum, held every three years, brings together Governments, international organisations and civil society to progress solutions to the world’s most pressing water and sanitation issues.

While the recent impacts of cyclones made participation difficult for many in the Pacific, representation by the Governments of Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa ensured that Pacific issues and solutions were communicated to Forum delegates.

Messages from the Pacific were further supported at a side session convened by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Water and Sanitation Programme, enabling dialogue on issues affecting the water security of Small Island Developing States.

In addressing the Ministerial process of the Forum, the Hon Faamoetauloa Lealaiauloto Dr Faale Tumalii MP, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for Samoa, highlighted the region’s success in applying Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approaches to addressing water and sanitation issues.

“IWRM has a lot of benefits for the small island states of the Pacific, and it is our hope that development partners will continue to be more involved in strengthening water and sanitation approaches,” the Hon Minister said.

 

The Hon Ben Micah MP, Minister for Public Enterprise and State Investments for PNG, stressed the key role of civil society in increasing people’s access to safe water and sanitation, urging delegates to actively engage non-government organisations as “partners for human needs”.

Addressing the Forum’s parliamentarian process, the Hon Dr Jiko Luveni, Speaker of the Parliament of Fiji, reaffirmed the status of safe water and sanitation as a fundamental human right, while also noting the particular challenges facing Pacific island communities.

“Water is vital for the life and health of our people and ecosystems, and the challenges that our Government has are substantial, especially relating to climate adaptation and managing risks,” the Hon Dr Luveni said.

Participants in the SPC side session reviewed emerging regional data on levels of access to safe water and sanitation, including estimates that only about half the population of the Pacific currently has access to an improved drinking water supply, while only one-third has access to improved sanitation.

Participants also explored how new and existing partnerships can be harnessed to support movement towards universal access to safe water and sanitation, as the Pacific prepares for the ambitious targets of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
Media contacts: Rhonda Robinson, Deputy Director, SPC Water and Sanitation Programme, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dave Hebblethwaite, Water Governance Coordinator, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

NOTES TO EDITORS
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has a Water and Sanitation Programme that works across the region to assist Pacific island countries and territories demonstrate the benefits of improved water and sanitation management on the ground.  More information on water management in the Pacific can be found at www.pacificwater.org.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 June 2015 10:40  

Newsflash

Tuesday, 12 November 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji –  On the old main wharf in Funafuti, Tuvalu, few passers-by normally stop to take note of the tall white hut that juts out over the lagoon. For the last two weeks, however, this hut- one of 14 similar dockside huts across the Pacific that monitor sea level and weather conditions- has been buzzing with activity as regional technicians work to upgrade the sensors, power, and data communications systems housed within.

The completion of this work in Tuvalu represents the successful conclusion of a 2-year project funded by the Australian Government to improve sea level and climate monitoring across the region.

‘The sea-level stations always collected data continuously, but only transmitted the data every hour,’ explains Stamy Criticos, logistics and installation manager from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.  ‘With the upgrade, the network of 14 stations are now transmitting every minute and will soon be able to provide real-time data to meteorologists around the Pacific. It will also be used to enhance tsunami  tracking and warning systems.’

Known as the Observation Network Upgrade Project (ONUP), this project is boosting the capability of the Pacific Sea Level Monitoring Project, which has collected data from 14 sites across the Pacific since 1991.  This data is used to understand sea-level changes and is frequently referenced for coastal development work, urban planning, tidal predictions, formulation of maritime boundaries, wave modelling and for navigational purposes.