Caribbean Ministers Sign Regional Water Security Declaration
10 October 2012: Ministers responsible for water resources management in nine Caribbean countries have signed a declaration on water security at the 8th Annual High-Level Session (HLS) Ministerial Forum, a joint initiative of the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C) and the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA).
Water ministers from the Bahamas, Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines signed the declaration committing to address regional water security issues and climate resilience in the Caribbean. They agreed that governments, in collaboration with regional partners, should conduct national assessments on the status of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) implementation in the region, and identified seven critical concerns relevant to achieving national and water security: water as a national development issue; IWRM; climate change and water; wastewater; regional cooperation; capacity building; and public awareness.
The HLS is the only meeting of water ministers in the Caribbean region and receives technical input from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Other issues discussed at the meeting included: disaster risk reduction (DRR); access to water; water tariffs; the need for water experts; awareness raising regarding water conservation; rainwater harvesting as a mitigation practice; water and health; and the need to build climate resilience.