Tuesday, 30 December 2014

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Monday, 29 December 2014

Water and Sanitation News

Safe water and basic sanitation would slash maternal deaths, report says

The lives of new mothers and babies are being put at risk by an unreliable supply of safe water, lack of good hygiene and an inadequate number of toilets, according to a report published by a group of health organisations. The report, a joint publication by WaterAid, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the World Health Organisation (WHO), Unicef, UN population fund the UNFPA and the Share research consortium, calls for greater emphasis on water and sanitation in the next set of development goals.
An estimated 289,000 women die from childbirth complications each year. Researchers say this figure could be quickly reduced through better provision and monitoring of safe water, and basic sanitation and hygiene to prevent infection and improve care.
The report, From joint thinking to joint action: A call to action on improving water, sanitation and hygiene for maternal and newborn health, argues for better coordination between those promoting water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) programmes and the maternal health sector.

UN-water global annual assessment of sanitation and drinking-water (GlAAS) 2012 report: the challenge of extending and sustaining services.

UN­Water is the United Nations inter­agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related issues. Established in 2003,UN­Water fosters greater cooperation and information sharing among UN entities and relevant stakeholders.UN­Water monitors and reports on the state, utilization and management of the world’s freshwater resources and on thesituation of sanitation through a series of interconnected and complementary publications that, together, provide a comprehensive picture and, individually, provide a more in­depth analysis of specific issues or geographic areas.

Costing MDG Target 10 on Water Supply and Sanitation: Comparative Analysis, Obstacles and Recommendations

In the past few years, many reports have been written assessing the investment requirements for attaining Target 10 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for water supply and sanitation (“halve by 2015 the proportion
of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation”), all with different results. It is therefore necessary to clarify what lies behind the figures presented in the reports and to explain the reasons for the differing estimates. To this end, this comparative study compares eleven global, regional and national cost assessments.
• The global assessments reviewed range from 9 billion to 30 billion USD per year. The variation between the estimates is largely due to (i) imperfections and inadequacies in the terms used to define Target 10, (ii) the lack of consistent data reflecting the real situation with respect to WSS; this leads to considerable vagueness and shortcomings in the assessments; (iii) the different methods and assumptions used, throughout the calculations, to assess the target population for service provision by 2015, the level of service to be implemented
and the unit cost of each water supply and sanitation technology. Consequently, it is difficult to compare the estimated costs.

Pathways to Progress: Status of Water and Sanitation in Africa

A Status Overview of Sixteen African Countries

In sub-Saharan Africa, decreasing the number of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation has proved to be a significant challenge. The region is lagging behind the rest of the world with respect to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water supply and sanitation, which aim to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015. While some impressive progress towards meeting the MDGs is noted, the continent, as a whole, still requires more focused
efforts towards meeting the global targets.

Most African countries have developed plans to reach the MDGs on water supply and sanitation, but these often exist only as documents and are neither country-owned nor actively implemented. Further, the plans have little consistency between different countries, making it difficult for policy makers to measure and track progress. In response to this gap, an Africawide, country-owned, regionally supported WSS MDG Roadmap process was conceived by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to help support achievement of the targets
and to enable more effective learning processes and support mechanisms. The roadmaps
were conceived as planning frameworks and include strategic investment programs to align
and accelerate existing country plans towards the targets.

The World Water Development Report 2014

Water and energy are inextricably linked. Water is essential for the production, distribution and use of energy. Energy is crucial for the extraction and delivery of safe drinking water – and for the very safety of water itself. People everywhere – but especially the most vulnerable and marginalized – face great risks when access to either is limited or compromised.This World Water Development Report provides detailed analysis of these connections and their implications for the world’s pursuit of sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals. It is the fruit of collaboration by UN-Water, the UN inter-agency coordination mechanism dedicated to all freshwater-related issues. The Report addresses a wide range of key issues, including agriculture, cities, industry, infrastructure and the environment. Its message is clear: the ‘water–energy nexus’ is about substantially more than hydropower and biofuels. Water and energy can drive economic growth and improvements in human health. They are enablers for poverty reduction, job creation, women’s empowerment and human well-being in general. This was also a central lesson that emerged from last year’s observance of the International Year for Water Cooperation. It is also a fundamental premise of my ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative.

Strategic Financial Planning for Water Supply and Sanitation

Providing water supply and sanitation (WSS) is a major business which needs to have a sound financial basis. The sums involved in operating and maintaining services and infrastructure, expanding their coverage and upgrading them to meet current social and environmental expectations, are huge. Yet most systems are underfunded, with dire consequences for WSS users, especially the poorest. This report argues the vital importance of using national or regional strategic financial planning (SFP) for WSS services to give them a solid platform for achieving the aims (including the Millennium Development Goals) set by national and international communities. As the name suggests, SFP entails taking a long term perspective of the financial needs of the sector, the factors affecting them, the main sources of funds and the balance between them, and how needs can be reconciled with potential resources. At present, policy decisions are rarely based on such comprehensive long-term analyses. The alarming evidence of current underfunding, and the looming costs of future
development lend urgency to these exercises.

Getting more money into WSS is a crucial part of SFP but is not its sole objective. SFP aspires to producing a realistic balance between the demand and supply of finance and promoting the financial
sustainability of the sector. This quest involves looking beyond money to service standards and quality, efficiency in provision, and how governance of the sector needs to change. The OECD Task Team originated in the
Ministers endorsed a Framework for Common Action which included a proposal for work on “sustainable financing to ensure affordable access to water supply and sanitation”, with a focus on the preparation of finance strategies for the water sector in selected developing countries. France was elected to chair the group. The work programme adopted by the Task Team included the analysis of existing good practice in
member countries and the development of two pilot initiatives in Africa. The Report is due to be delivered to the conference of Ministers of Environment and Development in 2009.

Sustainable Development News

UN secretary general says no plans to reduce sustainable development goals
In his report, Ban Ki-moon backs the 17 goals and 169 targets proposed by the UN working group, despite the difficulty member states may have in communicating them

2015: the year of sustainable development

2015 will be one of our greatest opportunities to change the world
The year 2015 will be our generation’s greatest opportunity to move the world toward sustainable development. Three high-level negotiations between July and December can reshape the global development agenda, and give an important push to vital changes in the workings of the global economy. With United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call to action in his report The Path to Dignity, the Year of Sustainable Development has begun.
In July 2015, world leaders will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to chart reforms of the global financial system. In September 2015, they will meet again to approve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide national and global policies to 2030. And in December 2015, leaders will assemble in Paris to adopt a global agreement to head off the growing dangers of human-induced climate change.

Sustainable development goals could be compromised by cuts, MPs warn UK

House of Commons committee fears Britain’s wish to reduce goals from 17 to 12 would undermine environmental sustainability
Britain will undermine the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) by trying to reduce their numbers and continuing to give tax breaks and susbsidies to the fossil fuel industry, a powerful group of MPs has warned.
The targets, which will be approved in September 2015, when the millennium development goals expire, will set all countries objectives for poverty reduction, social development and protection of the planet. But MPs on the House of Commons environmental audit committee said they feared that if the 17 goals proposed were reduced to 12, as Britain wants, environmental sustainability was likely to be sacrificed, with dangerous consequences. 
“The UK must not risk undermining the sustainable development goals. Any continued argument for a smaller number of goals, in the face of the secretary general’s recent guidance, risks creating unnecessary divisions between countries when it should be seeking to build support for ambitious action,” they said.

2015: the year businesses recognize that climate change is real

It would be an understatement to say that a lot happened in 2014.
There was pervasive civic and social unrest across the US, bringing issues like racism and justice to the forefront yet again, as well as a historic agreement with China to mitigate carbon emissions. Meanwhile, India enacted a law requiring companies to spend 2% of their net profits on social development, the Philippines suffered yet another big typhoon, and the Ebola crisis killed more than 7,000 people in west Africa. Then there were the media shakeups, including buyouts at the New York Times, a mass exodus at the New Republic and a shift in Bloomberg’s top ranks.


Global Sustainable Development Report


Bringing together great global issues at the UN: peace and security, freedom, development, environment. Since the creation of the United Nations, the world’s peoples have aspired to make progress on the great global issues of peace and security, freedom, development, and environment. At the end of World War II the primary focus was on peace which was sustained globally throughout the cold war, but broken locally in many places. From the 1950s, the aspiration of freedom was expressed in the struggle to end colonialism and oppression, and later to extend human rights. The success in attaining national independence was followed in the 1960s by a focus on economic development to provide the basic necessities for the poorest two-thirds of the world and higher standards of living for all. In the 1970s, global values for nature and the environment emerged, as illustrated by the UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972.



The Panel came together with a sense of optimism and a deep respect for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The 13 years since the millennium have seen the fastest reduction in poverty in human history: there are half a billion fewer people living below an international poverty line of $1.25 a day. Child death rates have fallen by more than 30%, with about three million children’s lives saved each year compared to 2000. Deaths from malaria have fallen by one quarter. This unprecedented progress has been driven by a combination of economic growth, better policies, and the global commitment to the MDGs, which set out an inspirational rallying cry for the whole world.
Given this remarkable success, it would be a mistake to simply tear up the MDGs and start from scratch. As world leaders agreed at Rio in 2012, new goals and targets need to be grounded in respect for universal human rights, and finish the job that the MDGs started. Central to this is eradicating extreme poverty from the face of the earth by 2030. This is something that leaders have promised time and again throughout history.
Today, it can actually be done.


The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat is a vital interface between global policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres and national action. The Department works in three main interlinked areas: (i) it compiles, generates and analyses a wide range of economic, social and environmental data and information on which Member States of the United Nations draw to review common problems and to take stock of policy options; (ii) it facilitates the negotiations of Member States in many intergovernmental bodies on joint courses of action to address ongoing or emerging global challenges; and (iii) it advises interested Governments on the ways and means of translating policy frameworks developed in United Nations conferences and summits into programmes at the country level and, through technical assistance, helps build national

Progress towards Sustainable Development in Africa Summary Report

This report was prepared for the Rio+20 UN Summit1
 and presents a synopsis of efforts made
by the region, starting from the Earth Summit in 1992 (the Rio Summit), through the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+10), to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable
Development (Rio+20), scheduled for 20-22 June 2012, and is thus a guide to the extent to which the Africa region has implemented international and regional commitments on sustainable

African countries have been growing at a relatively fast rate since the beginning of the new millennium, which in turn has led to improvements in several areas such as trade, mobilization of government revenue, infrastructure development, and the provision of social services and vice versa. Indeed, over the period 2001–2008, Africa was among the fastest growing regions in the world economy, and it is interesting to note that this improvement in growth performance has been widespread across countries. Despite the progress that has been made by the region over the last decade, the current pattern of growth is neither inclusive nor
sustainable. There are various reasons for this.

An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development REPORT FOR THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL


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