The Water Challenge at the Bled Strategic Forum
The Slovenian Government's annual Bled Strategic Forum promotes high-level dialogue among leaders on key issues facing Europe and the 21st Century world, allowing Europe to better use its strategic space and leverage, and builds political commitment to these strategies. At the 2010 forum, R. Andreas Kraemer of Ecologic Institute provided input and moderated the panel on "The Water Challenge" focusing on threats to and from the water environment, human security, cooperation, and the avoidance of international conflict.
Water security, including safe water supply and effective sewerage, is essential to reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. Climate change will impact on the most vulnerable communities, the livelihoods and their settlements in developing countries, multiplying the adverse effects of poverty, poor governance and political instability.
The water challenges of effective water resource protection and their efficient and equitable use are rising to the top of the international agenda. With increasing demand and increasingly depleted or degraded water supplies, water security is becoming equally important as energy security. Water scarcity and the lack of water security can exacerbate existing political rivalries or promote cooperation for management of cross-boundary water resources.
Guiding questions addressed by the panel at the Bled Strategic Forum:
- How can the global discussion on water governance promote understanding of the link between human security, economic development and environmental sustainability?
- How can awareness be raised of the importance of water resource management in adapting to climate change?
- How can the water challenges be addressed at different decision-making levels? How can we combine water policy-making at the global level with regional, national, and local strategies?
- What is the role of new technologies in reducing water stress, e.g. carbon neutral desalination of seawater, or wastewater recycling?
Panel "The Water Challenge"
Moderated by: Mr R. Andreas Kraemer, Director of the Ecologic Institute, Germany
- Dr Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for the Environment
- Jorge Borges, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Co-operation and Communities of Cape Verde
- Dr Kerri Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary and Head of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, United States of America
- Prof Dr Francisco Nunes Correia, Former Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning of the Portugal and Full Professor at IST - DECivil, Portugal
- Prof Dr Lucka Kajfez Bogataj, Professor at the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Dr John Matthews, Senior Program Officer for Freshwater Program at World Wildlife Fund, United States of America
- Ecologic Institute Project: Climate Change, Hydro-conflicts and Human Security (CLICO) or CLICO's project website
- Ecologic Institute Project: Climate change — water scenarios, impacts & adaptation measures
- Overview of the Ecologic Institute's activities in the area of Security Policy
- Overview of the Ecologic Institute's activities in the are of Water Management and Policy