The 'Water for Life' Best Practices Award aims to acknowledge and promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and related issues by 2015. This is being done by recognizing outstanding best practices that can ensure sustainable long-term management of water resources and help achieve the water and sanitation targets of the Millenium Development Goals, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
The 'Water for Life' best Practices Award is awarded to projects, initiatives or programmes, rather than individual organizations. Self-nominations are not accepted. Candidatures must be submitted through an independent nominating organization.
Nominations commence 4 July 2014 and close on 15 September 2014. The overall theme 'Water and Sustainable Development' mirrors the theme for the World Water Day 2015.
The award is managed by the United nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action 'Water for Life' 2005-2015 / UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) and the UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP). It is awarded yearly in two categories, one in 'best water management practices' and another in 'best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices'.
For more information on the nomination procedure, visit the website of the 'Water for Life Decade'
UN-Water is the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater and sanitation related matters. Building on a long history of coordination in the UN System, UN-Water was formalized in 2003 by the United Nations High Level Committee on Programmes. It provides the platform to address the cross-cutting nature of water and maximize system-wide coordinated action and coherence. UN-Water promotes coherence in, and coordination of, UN system actions aimed at the implementation of the agenda defined by the Millennium Declaration and the World Summit on Sustainable Development as it relates to its scope of work. Through UN-Water the United Nations act as "One UN".
UN-Habitat's Cooperation with UN-Water
UN-Habitat is the Vice-Chair of UN-Water and continues to play an active role in two taskforces of the organization:
i) UN-Water Taskforce on Wastewater Management
UN-Habitat and UNEP co-chairs the UN-Water Taskforce on Wastewater Management, which was established in 2010 to facilitate coordination among UN agencies and partners on wastewater management and water quality. The main objectives of the Task Force are:
- To strengthen UN-System collaboration on activities related to wastewater management
- To increase awareness on waste4water challenges and solutions by governments
- To link with other contemporary issues, such as climate change, food security and the reduction of poverty
- To take a proactive and constructive role in the formulation and implementation of wastewater management policies.
Key achievements of the Taskforce include:
- Launch of the Rapid Assessment Report on Wastewater Management (Sick Water) during the 2010 World Water Day celebrations in Nairobi, Kenya
- Launch of the Rapid Assessment Report on Green Hills, Blue Cities during the 2011 World Water Day Celebrations in Cape Town, South Africa
- Co-convening of the 2010 and 2011 World Water Days
- Initiated process to support formulation of draft SDG target on water with a strong component on wastewater.
As a follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference, a process has been initiated by the Taskforce to formulate a Sustainable Development Goal on Water, including targets on wastewater management.
ii) UN-Water Task Force on Capacity Development for Water Operators
Recognizing the critical importance of the world’s public operators in achieving the Millennium Development Goals for Water and Sanitation, it is crucial to support utilities’ capacity to improve the quality and the efficiency of their services. Within the UN-Water family, there are a wealth of open-source products and resources – publications, toolkits, experiences, training courses, knowledge – that deserve to be put more directly at the disposal of water operators.
UN-Habitat presented a proposal to establish a Task Force on Capacity Development for Water Operators. The work of the Task Force would focus on strengthening capacity at the water operator level in the framework of the guiding principles of solidarity-based peer-to-peer cooperation approaches. The Task Force would capitalize upon UN-Water Members’ and Partners’ work with regard to public utilities responsible for water supply and sanitation services. Priority will be given to water operators in poor countries and in regions with a lack of systematic exchange of know-how and expertise.
In its 17th Meeting in August 2012 in Stockholm, UN-Water’s Senior Programme Managers endorsed the proposal to establish a Task Force on Capacity Development for Water Operators (2013-2014), led by UN-HABITAT/GWOPA. It was recommended that the Thematic Priority Area on Drinking Water and Sanitation would act as “overall umbrella” to the Task Force. The work of the Task Force focuses on strengthening coordination of the UN-Water efforts to support capacity at the water operator level and capitalize upon UN-Water Members’ and Partners’ work with regards to public utilities responsible for water supply and sanitation services.
Activities of the Taskforce include:
- Mapping out existing work available from UN-Water Members and Partners (actors, products, activities, networks)
- Gathering existing resources and facilitate their access by water operators.
- Communication of good management practices among water operators and raising awareness among stakeholders and water users
- Developing adapted training material based on mapping and gaps analysis
- Facilitating the establishment of new Water Operators’ Partnerships and supporting established WOPs with developed material.
- Facilitating other types of twinning programmes.