“There is no food security without water security”, said Director-General of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, at the 2012 World Water Week‘s opening ceremony. This year’s event, taking place from 26 to 31 August in Stockholm, Sweden, will address the relationship between water and food security.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) estimates that by 2025 around 1.8 billion people will live in areas with absolute water scarcity, and that the world will require 10 per cent more water to meet food production needs of over nine billion people by 2050.
To address the problems arising from water being a crucial but finite resource, participants at the event will discuss and showcase solutions to ensure that the planet’s limited water resources can meet the needs of growing economies and support a healthy global population (World Water Week press release).
2012 World Water Week is one in a series of events addressing water issues this year, including the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the European Commission’s Green Week, and is a prelude to the International Year of Water Cooperation (2013). Its participants include a number of UN and EU representatives.
Among high-profile EU officials to remark on the event are the European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, who called for integrated sustainable policies in the fields of water, energy and food (official statement), and Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, who urged donors, partners and the private sector to join their efforts to preserve limited water supplies before it’s too late (official statement).
World Water Week is an annual event, organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) since 1991. It brings together policy makers and experts from all over the world to discuss pressing issues related to water and its management.
Several UN entities are involved in this year’s World Water Week seminars, events and workshops, including:
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
For information on other UN entities’ involvement, please see the programme of 2012 World Water Week.