Monday, March 17, 2003


     Kyoto, March 17, 2003 (ANTARA) - Delegates of 40 small island countries of the Pacific and the Carribean have agreed that a top priority must be given to water resources management, capacity building in local water utilities an improved water governance.
     After having a two-day meeting since Sunday, the small island countries' delegates in Kyoto, on Monday, also called for a global action program at the on-going 3rd World Water Forum.

        The "Water and Small Islands' session is a part of the broader "water and climate" theme of the Forum and was co-convened by ADB (Asian Development Bank) and the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), in cooperation with, among others, with the Carribean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI).
        The session, attended among others by Tonga's minister of land, survey and natural resources, agreed that there is an urgent need to better understand the unique constraints and issues being addressed by small island countries in trying to achieve sustainable mater management.
        The small island countries, which are the most vulnerable to natural disasters triggered by climatic change, have also agreed that they should collaborate on a range of issues.
        The coral coast of Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island, is described by locals as the "dead coal coast" as a result of climate warming and intensive cultivation.         (t/f001/b/RI1)

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