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UNESCO Etxea participtes at the inauguration of URA, the Basque Water Agency

The Heads of UNESCO Etxeas Departments for the Environment and the Human Right to Water, Josu Sanz and Natalia Uribe respectively, participated at the inauguration of the Basque Water Agency (Agencia Vasca del Agua URA) on 24th January in Miano, attended by representatives from water management bodies and civil society organisation with the aim of disclosing the functions of the recently created agency.

The presentation of the Basque Water Agency (Agencia Vasca del Agua URA) attended by over 200 people, was chaired by the Lehendakari (Basque President), Juan Jos Ibarretxe, and the Basque Minister for the Environment, Esther Larraaga. The Minister announced a new water policy based on the criteria of efficiency, sustainability and participation.

The inauguration was also attended by Carlos Fernndez-Juregui, Head of the United Nations Decade for Water. Fernndez-Juregui referred to the 2nd United Nations World Water Assessment Report which established that the world water crisis is not a problem of scarcity but of governance. He clarified that this means it is important to have a specific and adequate law, sufficient resources, prepared professionals and the participation of the different agents involved.

The Lehendakari (Basque President) emphasised the international dimension of the Agencys work, and remembered the 1.1 billion people in the world without access to drinking water and 2.6 billion without adequate sanitation. He stressed that in 2002 the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights established the right to water as a fundamental human right, and reaffirmed the commitments made to the Millennium Development Goals.

The Basque Water Agency (Agencia Vasca del Agua URA) was created by the Waters Act 1/2006, of 23rd June, and aims to regulate the water policy in Euskadi (the Basque Country). The Agency is attached the Basque Department for the Environment.

Fotografa: Carlos Fernndez-Juregui, Head of the United Nations Decade for Water.

Press Pack:

Gobierno Vasco / Basque Government

EITB

Deia: 24/01/07 - 25/01/07

El Correo

Berria

Complementary information:

World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

UNESCO and water (pdf - 80KB)

UN and water

Documents of interest:

WWAP (2006). The 2nd United Nations World Water Development Report: 'Water, a shared responsibility'

Complete report

Executive summary (english) (pdf - 2.68MB)

Executive summary (spanish)(pdf - 1.50MB)

Executive summary (basque) (pdf - 6.2MB)

UNDP (2006). Human Development Report 2006. Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis

Complete report

Summary (english) (pdf - 1.70MB)

Summary (spanish) (pdf - 1.53MB)

Summary (basque) (pdf - 1,03MB)

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With the support of
Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia / Diputación Foral de Bizkaia

Eusko Jaurlaritza / Gobierno Vasco