JIS News

Minister of Water and Housing, Donald Buchanan left the island on Sunday, March 19 to attend the ministerial session of the 4th World Water Forum, which is being held in Mexico City.
The forum, which has been in session since yesterday (March 16), and will continue until Wednesday, March 22, is centred around the main theme: ‘Local Actions for a Global Challenge’.
Out of this central theme, five sub-themes were selected to serve as a framework for dialogue and deliberation at the Forum – ‘Water for Growth and Development’, ‘Implementing Integrated Water Resources Management’, ‘Water Supply and Sanitation For All’, ‘Water Management for Food and the Environment’, and ‘Risk Management’.
The Ministerial Conference, which will convene on Tuesday, March 21 and Wednesday, March 22, will be structured around two plenary sessions and five simultaneous working sessions divided by themes. The working sessions will take into account the results of both the previous five days’ thematic forum and the 13th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, which was held in April 2005.
“All Water Ministers across the globe have been invited and most will be in attendance to finalise the discussion on these five themes and to come out with a common position with respect to how we go forward,” the Water and Housing Minister told JIS News. This position will take the form of a Ministerial Declaration.
The participating ministers intend to create a declaration that will reflect all the commitments made in other international fora, and that will invoke the validation of local projects and actions that are currently being implemented with the support of non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), local and national governments, international agencies and organisations.
Minister Buchanan heads Jamaica’s five-member delegation to the Ministerial meeting, which includes Genefa Hibbert, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Housing; Desmond Munroe, Chief Technical Director in the Water Ministry; Basil Fernandez, Managing Director of the Water Resources Authority and Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Land and Environment.
Jamaica is also represented by another four Government officials who are currently in Mexico participating in the wider conference. They include Courtney Lawes, Vice President for the Eastern Division of the National Water Commission, who will participate in the ‘Water Supply and Sanitation For All’ discussion, and Judith Reid, Managing Director of the Rural Water Supply Company Limited, who will focus on both discussions on ‘Water for Growth and Development’ and ‘Implementing Integrated Water Resources Management’.
The other two officials are drawn from the National Irrigation Commission – Managing Director, Donovan Reid and National Irrigation Development Plan (NIDP) Project Director, Michael Lawrence, who will both concentrate on the theme: ‘Water Management for Food and the Environment’.
The World Water Forum is an initiative of the World Water Council that has the aim of raising the awareness on water issues all over the world. As the main international event on water, it seeks to enable multi-stakeholder participation and dialogue to influence water policy making at a global level, thus assuring better living standards for people all over the world and a more responsible social behaviour towards water issues in line with the pursuit of sustainable development.