2013 – United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation

The year 2013 has been declared by the United Nations as ‘International Year of Water Cooperation’ and March 22, 2013 would be celebrated as ‘World Water Day’. Water has been treated with great respect and piousness in many cultures of the world and therefore its conservation has been made the duty of each and every member of the society. Water is essential for survival therefore early humans might have evolved around water resources. All ancient civilizations thrived around rivers, lakes and large water bodies. Water is not only a natural resource but has immense cultural value as well. Distribution of water has been the bone of contention at the micro as well as at macro level. Water has been used mainly for drinking, personal use and irrigation purposes. Inter-state disputes of water distribution have resulted in conflicts in many regions of the world taking a great toll of life, liberty and resources. There is a need to bring to focus the grey issues and instances in the history of water cooperation among different cultures and learn from their experiences. United Nations has called upon UNESCO to lead the initiative for water cooperation around the world. UNESCO has unique outreach linkages the world over through its vast network of resources and helps in cultural and linguistic cooperation among people and seems to be best suited and organized to take up this task. Water utilization, management, conservation and cooperation is immensely linked to the achievement of many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations like eradication of poverty and hunger, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating malaria. The celebration of the year 2013 as year of water cooperation will hopefully spread awareness about water cooperation and its conservation. Let us usher in a new dawn of peaceful coexistence with equitable allocation and distribution of water resources among all the members of the human race.

Professor S. P. Singh, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Human Biology Review
Former Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences,
Punjabi University, Patiala, India

 

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