世界水資源論壇:氣候變遷、文化、區域與私有化議題的交錯 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

世界水資源論壇:氣候變遷、文化、區域與私有化議題的交錯

2006年03月23日
ENS墨西哥,墨西哥市報導;莫聞、郭綉娟編譯;陳瑞賓審校

為彰顯世界水資源日,一場著眼於未來全世界淡水資源的國際會議「世界水資源論壇」討論了各項新行動,以確保11億無乾淨飲水可用的人口可獲取更多乾淨的飲用水。但是,一位舉世聞名的大氣化學家對與會代表如此表示,其成功與否與氣候暖化有關。

除飲用水匱乏之議題外,全世界約有26億人口(也就是40%的人口)缺乏衛生設施可用。參與第四屆世界水資源論壇的各國部會首長與水資源專家認為,此狀況已牽涉到人道危機的處理,有必要列入全球議程的最優先議題。

氣候變遷使水資源問題更惡化

諾貝爾化學得獎主馬林納諾貝爾化學得獎主馬林納(Mario Molina)21日在論壇演說中警告,氣候變遷加上水資源管理不當,可能會使全球暖化程度在本世紀末前變得更加劇烈。他指出:「這是令人無法忍受的風險。」

馬林納以研究臭氧層破壞物質「氟氯碳化物」(CFC)知名,並以此獲得1995年諾貝爾化學獎。他表示,若當前的全球暖化趨勢持續下去,地球溫度將在本世紀內提升攝氏8度,他稱此為「創歷史新紀錄的升溫幅度」。

馬林納指出,近來不論降雨或乾旱程度都更趨劇烈,這與氣候變遷和冰河融化脫不了關係,也就是說,氣候變遷水使得資源匱乏與洪水氾濫情形更為嚴重。他利用古氣候資料圖表說明2005年「是近千年來最暖和的一年」──這份古氣候資訊是分析自古樹木外層年輪,以及冰封在冰河中的水滴而來。

水資源管理需考量文化議題

UNESCO總幹事松浦晃一郎有關「水資源與文化」的主題,聯合國教科文組織(UNESCO)總幹事松浦晃一郎指出,這是UNESCO特別重視的議題,也是今年世界水資源日相關活動的主軸。

松浦晃一郎說:「要獲得有助於公平、和平及發展的永續性解決方案,水資源管理和治理問題必須適度考量文化及生物多樣性因素。因此,UNESCO相認為有必要從文化的角度切入,深度探討水資源問題,人們才能對其紛雜交錯的面向有更好的理解。」

他認為:「當前的水資源管理方法似乎過於科技導向,打算完全仰賴科技來解決這世界上最迫切的水資源問題。」然而,「科技本身並不會帶領我們得出可行的解決方案。」

松浦晃一郎指出:「傳統知識提醒了我們,水並非僅只是一種日常用品而已。因為從人類出現之時,水就扮演了啟迪的角色,賦予人類精神上、物質上、智識上與情感上的生命。分享我們豐富的知識系統,並加以應用,或許能大大有助於我們找到當前水資源問題的解決方式。而所謂豐富的知識系統,則包括了傳統與原住民社會的知識,以及人類與水互動所獲得的歷史教訓。」

他接著說:「若能瞭解文化與自然的關聯性,就能理解到社會體系與生態系統的韌性、創造性與彈性。從這個觀點出發,水資源永續利用與永續的未來,端賴水與文化之間的和諧關係。」「因此,重要的是,談水資源管理與治理,就必須嚴肅考量文化傳統、原住民的做法、以及社會價值。」

水資源匱乏導致疾病與死亡

同時,UNESCO已在一份紀念世界水資源日的聲明中宣稱,全球水資源危機持續擴大,已威脅到地球的安全、安定與永續性,而人類自身也因而處於上述危機當中;而這也是聯合國宣布2005年到2015年為「生命之水國際十年行動」的原因。

世界水資源委員會主席馮恩(Loïc Fauchon)則重申缺水問題是導致死亡與疾病的主要原因,他並宣布「校園之水」行動計畫啟動。該計畫目標是讓10個國家的1,000個校園有水資源可用。

無水可用者多集中於亞太地區

由於天災重創亞太地區,亞洲國家代表21日宣布將成立區域性的「亞太水資源論壇」。聯合國亞太經濟社會委員會(簡稱亞太經社會,UNESCAP)一份最近的研究報告顯示,全世界死於天災的人數,亞太地區就佔了91%。而天災導致亞太地區的經濟損失,從過去50年每年平均損失106億美元,上升到過去15年來每年平均損失290億美元。

日本水資源論壇主席、身兼聯合國水與衛生諮詢委員會主席的日本前首相橋本龍太郎,已簽署協議支持成立亞太水資源論壇。他在論壇演說中提醒與會者:全球有60%的人口居住在亞太地區,並說明如何協助社區水資源專案取得經費來源。

亞太經社會(UNESCAP)執行秘書金學洙亞太經社會(UNESCAP)執行秘書金學洙則表示,新成立的區域性論壇將有兩大課題需優先討論:其一是發展出「整合式水資源管理」的運用工具,其二是更有效的風險管理與風險預防議題。

金學洙點出,雖然亞太地區有世界上最高的經濟成長率,但其每人平均可使用到的淡水資源是世界最低,生活在貧窮線以下的人口處則是世界最高。

世銀建議私部門投資水資源服務事業

世界水資源論壇上,世界銀行發表了新報告《成長與發展之水》。報告中指出,投資於水資源管理與水資源發展方案,對發展中國家至為重要;而且這些投資必須具永續性,以達到水資源安全、社會安全與環境保護之間精準的平衡。世銀主管基礎設施投資業務的副總裁席拉(Kathy Sierra)表示:「僅僅興建基礎設施是不夠的,有效管理與治理水資源才是最重要的。」

世銀的報告中指出,水資源安全基礎項目的公共融資,不論過去或未來都扮演重要角色,但其融資規模不能僅止於公共基金的投資,私部門也必須扮演互補的角色。「不論公、私部門,所有的投資都應該搭配健全的規範與監控機制,而此機制則應由用水人與公民社會中的主動參與者來設計。」

世銀報告雖然如此建議,但水資源私有化正是多數人所害怕的,因為人們擔心水價將因此超出負擔可負擔的範圍。18日在墨西哥市街頭示威遊行的近1萬名民眾,就是要求水資源服務不得私有化。

Global Warming Will Make Water Crisis Intolerable
MEXICO CITY, Mexico, March 22, 2006 (ENS)

An international meeting on the future of the world's fresh water resources is marking World Water Day today with a renewed effort to ensure that more clean drinking water reaches the 1.1 billion people who do not have access to safe water, but the crisis is complicated by the impacts of a warming climate, an world renowned atmospheric chemist told delegates.

In addition to drinking water scarcity, about 2.6 billion people, four out of every 10, lack access to sanitation. This situation is a humanitarian crisis - dealing with it must move to the top of the global agenda say ministers and water experts meeting here for the 4th World Water Forum.

In his keynote speech to the Forum Tuesday, Nobel Prize Winner in chemistry Mario Molina warned that climate change and inappropriate water management might intensify global warming by the end of this century, creating "an intolerable risk."

If the current global warming trend is maintained, the temperature of the planet will rise eight degrees Celsius during this century, "an increase of historic proportions," said Molina, who shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the destruction of the ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons.

Molina said intensifying rains and droughts are related to climate change and to the melting of glaciers. Climate change has exacerbated flooding and water scarcity, he said. The year 2005 "was the warmest in the last thousand years," Molina pointed out, showing charts of "paleo-climate data," extracted from drops of water encapsulated within glaciers and information from the outer rings of trees in ancient forests.

Director-General of UNESCO Koïchiro Matsuura says the theme of Water and Culture is of particular significance for UNESCO, which is leading the activities surrounding this year's World Water Day.

"To achieve sustainable solutions that contribute to equity, peace and development, water management and governance need to take proper account of cultural and biological diversity," Matsuura said. "For this reason, UNESCO believes that the cultural dimension of water deserves further exploration so that its many ramifications may become better understood.

" Modern approaches to water resource management have tended to be overwhelmingly technology-driven in their attempt to solve the world's urgent water problems, he said. But, he said, technology alone will not lead us to viable solutions.

"Traditional knowledge alerts us to the fact that water is not merely a commodity," Matsuura said. "Since the dawn of humanity, water has inspired us, giving life spiritually, materially, intellectually and emotionally. Sharing and applying the rich contents of our knowledge systems, including those of traditional and indigenous societies, as well as lessons learned from our historical interactions with water, may greatly contribute to finding solutions for today's water challenges."

"The nexus between culture and nature is the avenue for understanding resilience, creativity and adaptability in both social and ecological systems. In this perspective, sustainable water use and, hence, a sustainable future depend on the harmonious relationship between water and culture," the UNESCO director-general said. "Consequently," he said, "it is vital that water management and governance take cultural traditions, indigenous practices and societal values into serious account."

The global water crisis is growing, UNESCO said in a statement to mark World Water Day. The water crisis threatens the security, stability and sustainability of the planet and consequently, humanity itself. This is why the period from 2005 to 2015 has been declared the International Decade for Action Water for Life.

Reiterating that lack of access to water is a major source of death and disease in the world, World Water Council President Loïc Fauchon announced the launch of the Council's Water for Schools initiative, which seeks to provide access to water in 1,000 schools in 10 countries.

The representatives of Asian countries Tuesday announced the creation of the Asia Pacific Water Forum in a region particularly hard hit by disasters. A recent UNESCAP study showed that the Asian and Pacific region accounted for 91 per cent of the world's total deaths due to natural disaster. The average annual economic damage has increased from US$10.6 billion over the past five decades to US$29 billion over the past 15 years.

Ryutaro Hashimoto, former Prime Minister of Japan and president of the Japan Water Forum, and chair of the UN Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, supported the agreement creating the Asia Pacific Water Forum. He reminded the audience that 60 percent of the world population lives in the Asia Pacific region and explored how to obtain financing for local water projects in his keynote address.

Kim Huk Su, executive secretary for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), said that there are two major priorities for the new regional forum - the need for tools to support Integrated Water Resource Management, and "radically" more effective risk management and risk prevention.

Kim said that although the Asia-Pacific region has the highest economic growth rates in the world, it also has the lowest per-capita fresh water availability, and the highest number of people living below the poverty line.

New investments in water management and development are essential for growth in developing countries, and they need to be sustainable – achieving the right balance between water security, and social and environmental protection – said a new World Bank report, Water for Growth and Development, presented at the Forum. "Simply constructing new infrastructure projects is not enough on its own," said Kathy Sierra, World Bank Vice President for Infrastructure. "It is essential to manage and govern water resources effectively."

Public financing for basic water security has been and will remain essential, but the scale of needed investments cannot be provided by public funds alone so the private sector will have an important complementary role to play, said the World Bank report. "All investment, whether public or private, should be complemented by robust regulatory and monitoring frameworks, designed with the active participation of water users and civil society."

But privatization of water is just what many people fear, because the essential liquid could be priced out of their reach. Some 10,000 people marched in the streets of Mexico City on Saturday, demanding that water services not be privatized.