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Water Stewardship – Key to Food Security

22 January 2014

GERMANY - How sustainable water use can secure food production over the long term was the central theme of the Blue Planet session at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture during Green Week in Berlin.

The panel discussed the thesis that new partnerships on the basis of Water Stewardship can contribute to food security.

As a result of the panel concrete recommendations will be formulated for the creation and implementation of such partnerships as well as for the necessary financial instruments.

The high-level panel was part of the BLUE PLANET – Berlin Water Dialogues organised by the European Water Partnership (EWP) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research of Berlin and the Messe Berlin GmbH.

The panel discussion centred around the concept that access to safe and reliable sources of local water is the basis of global food production and represents around 70 per cent of all water demand.

Meeting the needs of an expanding global population in the face of climate change thus requires fair and responsible management of increasingly scarce water resources. Whilst global competition for both food and water resources is rapidly increasing, innovative solutions can be found through deepening cooperation.

This is the starting point of the interactive format BLUE PLANET. It promotes the exchange on water-related issues across various sectors and along the regional, national and international positioning of businesses, institutions and organizations.

The goal is both a comprehensive awareness building and the elaboration and communication of practical solutions in order to promote the NEXUS thinking.

According to the panel. the concept of water stewardship serves to unite a wide set of stakeholders interested in the improvement of water management and the reduction of water related impacts of internal and value chain operations.

It is also a commitment from businesses and agriculture to the sustainable management of shared water resources in the public interest through collective action with other water users, governments, NGOs and communities.

The European Water Stewardship (EWS) – an initiative of the European Water Partnership – is an integrative system for industry and agriculture, enabling food producers and processors to better understand the long-term trends influencing their water source and to engage constructively with other water users to tackle shared risks at the source.

EWS provides a catalyst for collective action through established channels and resources, drawing all water-related activities into a comprehensive response strategy.

It is a regional implementation initiative of the global standard developed by the Alliance for Water Stewardship.

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