• In March 2000, IUCN The World Conservation Union presented the Water and Nature - Vision and Framework for Action, forming the environmental component of the World Water Vision prepared by the World Water Council. The message in the Water and Nature - Vision is very clear: to achieve a sustainable society that cares for its resources, we must establish a fundamentally new paradigm for the use, development and conservation of water resources. A key element of this new paradigm is developing and implementing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) using an ecosystem approach within catchments. This will require us to 'learn to care' about our world. A world in which water resources will no longer be overused and wasted, but conserved and restored for the benefit of both ecosystems and humankind. The IUCN Water and Nature Initiative is a direct response to the call for moving from vision to action, a call that was heard over the last two years during the consultations for the Water and Nature - Vision and during and after the 2nd World Water Forum. The Initiative addresses many of the challenges, changes and actions IUCN witnesses in the field, and that were defined in the Ministerial Declaration of The Hague, the report of the World Commission for Water in the 21st Century (WCW), the Global Water Partnership (GWP) - Framework for Action and the World Commission on Dams - Framework for Decision Making. The Ministerial Declaration of The Hague stresses the need for protecting and improving freshwater, coastal and related ecosystems. It emphasises the need for guaranteeing safe water for every person at affordable prices and the need for protecting the vulnerable from risks of water-related hazards. The WCW stresses the fact that water is the basis for all living ecosystems and habitats. It envisions a world in which adequate water is provided to meet basic human needs in an equitable manner and in harmony with nature. The GWP Framework for Action builds on this in its focus on mobilising political will, making water governance effective and generating water wisdom. It also emphasizes the need for tackling some of the most urgent water priorities, including the protection and restoration of water resources and ecosystems, and investing for a secure water future. The World Commission on Dams recently called for establishing a new framework for decision making regarding dam development and management. An equitable sharing of benefits and protecting people and the environment are central to this framework. Website: "http://www.iucn.org/themes/wani/" [Summary provided by the IUCN World Conservation Union.]
  • Water & Nature Initiative, IUCN -The World Conservation Union