Friday, October 12, 2012

Caribbean ministers address regional water security and climate change

Caribbean 360: At the first-ever meeting of water ministers in the Caribbean, nine ministers with responsibility for water resources management committed to making all essential efforts in addressing water security and climate change in the region.

The assurance was given last week at the 8th Annual High Level Session (HLS) Ministerial Forum in The Bahamas. The Forum is a joint initiative of the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) and its partner the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA).

Critical to the declaration signed by the ministers was their recognition that high level political leadership is key for meeting water security and climate change challenges faced by the Caribbean. This, along with other recommendations, was sanctioned by ministers from The Bahamas, Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

It was also deemed imperative that Caribbean governments in collaboration with regional partners should conduct national assessments on the status of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) implementation in the Caribbean and keep the implementation of IWRM under continuous review.

During the two-day HLS, ministers and senior government officials offered their perspectives on national and regional priorities for water security in the Caribbean and discussed regional water resource coordination at the ministerial level.

Included in the main issues brought to the table were the need for greater focus on IWRM; disaster risk reduction; closer integration of the water sector with other sectors; access to water; water tariffs; the need for more water experts in the region; raising water conservation consciousness at the national and regional level; looking into various water technologies to control resources; the use of rainwater harvesting as a mitigation practice;  water's impact on health; and climate being key to addressing water security....

St. Catherine's beach in Bermuda, shot by dbking, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, no user license given, though Flickr usually is Creative Commons 2.0

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