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“We need a common vision to align Water Stewardship in a global context”

Jun 15th, 2010 |

Brussels, 15 June 2010. “We need a common vision to align Water Stewardship in a global context”,  Mr. Fritz Barth, Vice-Chairman of the European Water Partnership, urged today in his opening speech on the occasion of the first Water Roundtable, taking place at Hotel Bloom in Brussels, Belgium.

The first Global Water Roundtable, a two-day conference, provides a platform for the development of a freshwater stewardship standard that recognizes and rewards water users and managers who take major steps to minimize the negative impacts of their water use and management. Today, the conference participants discussed the benefits of the Water Stewardship Program and the focus of International Standard setting.

Mr. Stuart Orr, WWF-International, outlined that increasing water scarcity is a reality which attracts increased social and media attention. “Water must be better managed by all”, he added, stressing the need for constructive solutions and international cooperation on water issues.

The EWP Water Stewardship Program Coordinator, Ms. Sabine von Wiren-Lehr, presented the Alliance for Water Stewardship, emphasizing the need for a harmonized response to global water challenges: “We need a global approach to share lessons learnt and a strong regional input to create a Water Stewardship response to impacts of water use across all sectors, including all stakeholders.”

Mr. Matthew Wenban-Smith, Co-Secretary, Alliance for Water Stewardship, defined the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of Water Stewardship:  “A Water Stewardship Program can align participants around a shared framework for achieving change, and will reward participants for working cooperatively within that framework.“

Tomorrow, the Global Water Roundtable, organized by the Alliance for Water Stewardship and hosted by the European Water Partnership will vet the Draft Standard(s) Framework, chart an a Road Map to agreement building and clarify the next steps.

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