The importance of water and energy as lifelines for
sustainable ?growth ?and ?prosperity in the region was a key message of the
World Water Day (WWD) celebration at the United Nations Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today.

In ?commemoration ?of WWD 2014, ESCAP and the United Nations Scientific and
Cultural ?Organization ?(UNESCO), ?together with the Government of Thailand
held a joint event in Bangkok, under the global theme: Water and Energy.

?Water ?and ?energy, ?both ?central ?to ?the basic needs of people, and the
well-being ?of our planet, are lifelines to sustainable economic and social
prosperity,? ? said ? United ? Nations ?Under-Secretary-General ?and ?ESCAP
Executive ?Secretary, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar in her opening remarks. ?Strongly
interlinked ?and ?interdependent, ?the ?nexus ?between ?water and energy is
critical for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.?

In ?2012, ?4.3 ?billion ?people ?(about ?60% of the global population) were
living ?in ?the ?region. Yet Asia-Pacific has only about 38% of the world?s
freshwater. ?As ?a ?result, ?the region has some of the lowest regional per
capita ? water ? availability ?in ?the ?world. ?While ?Asia-Pacific ?energy
consumption remains lower than the global average, this is expected to rise
sharply ?in ?the next three decades, to drive the required pace of regional
economic growth.

?The ?growing ?challenges ?of the water-energy nexus require innovative and
pragmatic ?solutions, application of the right technologies, and supportive
economic ?enablers,? ?Ms. ?Akhtar ?stressed. ??These ?elements ?need ?to be
integrated ?into ?national policies for more efficient and effective energy
and water services.?

The WWD event also featured the regional launch of the United Nations World
Water Development Report 2014 and a panel discussion on ?Water and Energy,?
followed ? by ?a ?session ?on ??Integrated ?Resource ?Management ?in ?Asian
Cities-The ?Urban Nexus,? in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft f?r
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

?Without ?improved ?cooperation ?between ?the water and energy sectors, the
bleak ?reality ?is ?that sustainable development is unachievable,? said Dr.
Gwang-Jo ?Kim, ?Director ?of UNESCO Bangkok at the launch. ?The survival of
the ?rich ?water-based cultures of the Asia-Pacific region and, indeed, our
collective ?future ?depends ?on ?our ?ability to understand the connections
between ?water ?and ?energy ?and ?develop ?policies that take an integrated
approach to their management for sustainability.?

This ? year?s ? World ?Water ?Day ?commemoration ?was ?held ?alongside ?the
ESCAP/UN-HABITAT ? ? ?Regional ? Policy ? Workshop ? of ? Stakeholders ? on
Decentralized ?Waste ?Water Treatment Systems (DEWATS) in South-East Asia.?
The ?three-day ?event ?enhanced ?participants ?knowledge ?of ?DEWATS, their
capacity ?to ?generate innovative financing from financial institutions and
donors ?for ?DEWATS, ?as ?well as their capacity in building, operating and
maintaining the systems.

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