Friday, August 26, 2005


      Jakarta, Aug 26, 2005 (ANTARA) - Indonesia will host the Second Southeast Asia Water Forum (SEAWF), which will be held on Bali Island, from August 29 to September 3, 2005, bearing a theme of 'Better Water Management Through Public Participation'.
   The forum is organized by the Global Water Partnership- Southeast Asia, the Indonesian Ministry of Settlement and Regional Infrastructure, and Indonesia Water Partnership.     Among keynote speakers of the forum is Erna Witoelar, UN Special Ambassador for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Asia and the Pacific, which will talk on 'Building Political Support for Water Supply and Sanitation Reforms'.
   The forum will organize several sessions discussing issues on advancing national water agenda, managing water resources in river basins, and managing water resources in growing cities.
   The discussions are expected to provide an overview of the general problems faced by growing cities vis-a-vis water and sanitation, discuss the region's progress in terms of meeting MDGs and ADB's role in assisting Governments to secure the sustainability of urban, rural and basin water.
   Southeast Asia (SEA) is one of the water-rich regions in the world. It is also one of the most populated, with about 522 million in 2002 and growing at an annual rate of 2.1%. Nearly 33% of the population lives in urban areas.
   The region has an average annual water resource of about 6,476 km3, representing 15% of the world's total. More than 90% of total freshwater withdrawals go to agriculture; the remaining 10% go to household and industrial uses.
    Given the importance of water resources in the region, it is important to address water management issues at various levels.
   Among such issues are the escalating demands on water resources brought about by rapid urbanization and industrialization, and the resulting water stress, which is indicated by reduced water quantity, low water quality, low reliability of supply, and high cost of water.
    In the Asia and Pacific region today, 700 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2 billion live without adequate sanitation.
   The First Southeast Asia Water Forum was conducted in Thailand, in November 2003, and issued several recommendations including on the need to ensure participation of all stakeholders in water resources management and development.  (T.F001/C/I010/A014) 26-08-2005 15:38:30

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