Speech by Ambassador at the High Level International Conference on The Mid Term Review of The Implementation of the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005 – 2015

6/10/2010

 
Excellencies, distinguish delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to convey my appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan for the hospitality extended to the Indonesian Delegation and for the excellent arrangements to host this Conference at the historic city of Dushanbe.
It is timely that we should start focusing seriously on water, since water is not only a basic human need but an important pillar of development as acknowledged in the Millennium Development Goals.
With the General Assembly’s resolution proclaiming the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” 2005-2015, the international community must make every effort to maximize the progress being made to achieve the goals of the “Water for Life” Decade.
As the Secretary-General’s report “Keeping the Promise”, as well as UNDP’s “Beyond the Midpoint” highlight, targets to reduce by half the proportion of the global population without access to safe and sustainable drinking water sources and basic sanitation are still out of reach for many developing countries.
Unwisely managed, this invaluable resource would only become a source of fundamental problems on many levels. Those consequences will manifest themselves as water-borne diseases, conflict, hunger, drought, desertification and other difficulties correlated with inadequate water supplies. Therefore the sustainability of water supplies is vital.
In this regard, several points related to water are important to note, as follows:
First, significant improvement in research, development of science and technological innovations to manage and conserve water resources has proven important to increase the efficiency of water management. This not only promotes effective water management but also serves to develop a system that ensures the sustainability of clean water in the future.
Second, with the world’s inhabitants expected to reach 9.2 billion people in 2050, water will continue to be a vital source for life, this underlines the critical importance of water management. Therefore an accurate and precise inventory of water supplies will be crucial. In this regard, the development of remote sensing technology to trace the source of clean water is imperative.
Third, global partnership in this regard is very essential. Effective water resource management, water conservation and control over water resource-related damages require adequate funding and innovative technology, which developing countries lack for the most part.
Fourth, in order to have a successful plan for and effective management of water resources, we need to ensure that all part of society including women’s participation is seriously considered and well reflected in the decision-making process in water practice and water management.
Excellencies, distinguish delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
During the High-Level Interactive Dialogue on Water convened at the United Nations recently, countries were of the view that water-related climate change impacts have already become evident. Severe and frequent drought and flood conditions have been experienced. And as many experts have stated that water related disasters are expected to increase as climate change continues to unfold. Therefore, improving water resource management systems will help countries to adapt to the challenges of climate change.
To prepare for climate change related disasters, including water disasters, we need a balance between effective leadership and appropriate technical solutions. The continued engagement of leaders is of crucial importance. Leaders in the water domain and beyond the water decision making circle must work together.
It is also important that leaders should continue to identify and establish new financing mechanisms for adaptation so that vulnerable communities, especially in developing countries, will have the resources and support they need to protect themselves from the worst impacts of climate change.
Together they must craft adaptation measures, particularly those that put more resilient water management systems in place and minimize risks caused by water disasters. At the same time, it is important to recognize that every country has a right to safe drinking water and use of water resources for its economic development purposes. This is a prerequisite for any water related cooperation.
In this regard, leaders and decision makers must be kept in the loop about activities by the water community so that national, regional and local budgets can be adequately apportioned to address not only water for development but water related disasters, particularly capacity building for water disasters.
Excellencies, distinguish delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
Although Indonesia is blessed with abundant water resources, water shortages during dry season and floods have already been experienced in different areas. Being an archipelagic country, Indonesia needs access to affordable desalinization technology as well as potable water and sanitation services in order to achieve the MDGs target to provide clean water for half of the population.
Indonesia is also extremely vulnerable to negative impacts by climate change. Frequent heavy rains have caused floods. It is also expected that sea level rises will result in the submerging of coastal lowlands in various parts of the country, including the agricultural areas. This will impact negatively on our activities in the areas of agriculture, fishery and forestry, thus threatening the overall food security and sources of livelihood of communities.
In addressing this issue, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia has implemented policies and strategies for water resources management during the period of 2009 – 2025. These policies encompass integrated management of water resources; policies and strategies on conservation of water resources, on effective and efficient utilization of water resources, and on enhancement of the roles of communities, business and the government.
With regard to the negative impact of climate change, the Government of Indonesia has taken measures to improve the reliability of the irrigation water supply as well as to develop adaptation efforts for water users.
Excellencies, distinguish delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
Let me conclude by saying that, as our development process deepens, the demand for water will increase. This demand will be exacerbated by the unpredictable changing of climate and the occurrence of disasters. Therefore, it is important that the international community enhance its international cooperation so that this pivotal issue can be addressed.
Thank you.