Pressreleases / Communiqués / Pressemitteilungen 
(all in original language, en langue originale, in Originalsprache):


20.09.05 : Breaking down the salmon barriers: Rogue River, USA
By Jamie Pittock / WWF

From its headwaters high up in the Cascade
Mountains of south-west Oregon, the Rogue River
meanders its way hundreds of kilometres towards
the Pacific Ocean. Out here in the rugged
American north-west salmon is king, and the
Rogue, together with its tributaries, provides
crucial spawning habitat for several stocks of
the commercially and recreationally prized fish species.

"Salmon are up against a mighty creek without a
paddle as the Rogue River is plagued with a
thousand barriers that impede fish migration,"
said Brian Barr, a fish ecologist with WWF’s
Klamath-Siskiyou office in Oregon. "Breaking down
some of those barriers will be critical to their survival."

Salmon have a complex life history that makes
their survival truly remarkable. Young salmon
migrate from rivers and streams to the ocean,
spending as much as six years at sea before
returning as mature adults ­ some reaching
weights of 27kg. Once they migrate back to the
rivers and streams of their birth, they spawn and then die.

While in freshwater, either as young or returning
adults, salmon face a deadly race as summer
approaches ­ evacuating the hot, lower river
areas to the cooler tributaries and mountain
streams (river temperatures need to be less than
13°C for spawning and egg incubation, while
salmon will die if the water temperature tops 18°C for prolonged periods).

And, if this wasn’t enough to worry about, they
also have to tend with multiple obstacles along
the way that prevent them from getting to where they need to be.

Hitting the wall
The Rogue River was once one of the most
productive salmon rivers along the west coast of
the United States, but 1,200 barriers block their
passage, compromising current populations.

“Dams are the number one fish killer in the Rogue River Basin,” Barr exclaimed.

“Hundreds of thousands of Chinook and coho salmon
and steelhead trout pile up against them as they
try to find a way past them all year long.”

The first obstacle salmon come across when
starting their yearly migration from the Pacific
is the Savage Rapids Dam. Built in 1921, this
old, decrepit dam located 170km upstream from the
ocean still slows salmon down, and in some cases,
prevents them from reaching spawning habitats up
river. The 12 meter-high dam is used solely to
divert water for irrigation ­ it provides no
storage, flood control, or hydropower.

But, hopefully this will change during summer of
2007 when a US Federal court decree requiring the
Grants Pass Irrigation District to remove the dam
goes into effect, ultimately allowing salmon to
pass this section of the river without hindrance.

"There is still a lot of work to do to secure the
millions of dollars necessary to remove Savage
Rapids Dam and the next two dams located
immediately upstream," said Bob Hunter from
WaterWatch of Oregon, a non-profit river
conservation group devoted to restoring and
protecting natural river flows in Oregon.

"Fortunately for the Rogue River, the dam owners
are working cooperatively to secure the funds to
move these great projects along."

The US National Marine Fisheries Service and the
Bureau of Reclamation agree that the US$6 million
it will cost to remove the Savage Rapids Dam and
install irrigation pumps is the most
biologically-sound way to restore fish passage at the site.

In addition to Savage Rapids, there is also a
commitment to remove the Gold Hill Diversion Dam,
the salmon’s second major hurdle on the Rogue
River. This diversion dam, located only 24km
further upstream, supplies the municipal water
source for the city of Gold Hill. WWF is working
with the city, local government, state and
federal agencies, and WaterWatch of Oregon, to
raise the US$2 million necessary to remove this
structure. Currently, Gold Hill is installing a
new water supply system on the Rogue that will
eliminate the need for the diversion.

"As soon as the new water supply intake is in
place, the old Gold Hill dam will serve no useful
purpose and should be removed," said Craig Harper
of the Rogue Valley Council of Governments. "It’s
an eyesore, poses safety problems for people, and kills fish.”

Next on the list of dam removals is the inactive
Gold Ray Dam, just 5km up from Gold Hill.
Although it has a fish ladder that allows salmon
to climb up and over this five metre-high
structure, it does not meet minimum standards for
adequate fish passage. There are no plans
currently underway to address fish passage at
Gold Ray, but it is clearly the next likely
location to address salmon migration restoration along the river.

Climbing the ladder
It’s an early June day and four huge spring-run
Chinook salmon are spied resting in the slack
water just upstream of the Gold Hill Diversion
Dam. A fungus is visible on all four of the 1.5
metre-long fish, with two almost completely covered by the disease.

“These fish have battered their bodies so badly
with unsuccessful leaps against the concrete of
the Savage Rapids’ poorly designed fish ladder
and the Gold Hill Diversion structure that the
fungus will likely kill them before spawning begins in September,” said Barr.

“The fish damage themselves and can become
exhausted in their search for a way over the dams.”

Further on at Gold Ray Dam another salmon
attempts to leap from pool to pool up a steep
ladder. Water is spilling over the sides of the
ladder with flows far too great to create the
specific hydraulic conditions that would allow
the migrating fish to swim efficiently through
the structure and over the dam. As a result,
salmon appear to fail in their leaps as often as
they succeed, frequently getting washed down a step in their exhaustion.

“While it is possible to build successful fish
ladders at smaller dams, each and every barrier
has the potential to damage these salmon and
delays them on their race upstream to reach the
safety of cool water before the heat of summer
stresses them, potentially to their death,” Barr stressed.

“We can see the battered adult salmon migrating
up from the Pacific, but far greater numbers of
juvenile salmon migrating downstream over the
dams to the sea are killed by many of these structures.”

Working up river
Even further upstream in some of the river’s
tributaries, WWF has been working with landowners
to remove smaller barriers, many less than
two-metres high that prevent migrating fish from
getting to where they need to spawn. For the past
two years, the global conservation organization
has provided some of the funding needed to remove
eight structures blocking fish passage on Sucker
Creek, restoring some 360km of river access for
salmon to streams where they spawn.

Restoring the river for salmon will also help
populations of other depleted and threatened fish
and wildlife species such as river otters.
Helping water users find environmentally-friendly
alternatives to dams is also an important part of
the work. For example, installing pumps to
replace dams prevents the diversion of juvenile
salmon out of the river system. Replacing leaky
canals with pipes can save 50–100 per cent of the
diverted water during the dry summer months.

“By the end of 2007, we hope to remove at least
12 of the most important barriers to fish in the
Rogue River Basin,” said Barr.

“I’m looking forward to the day when Rogue Basin
salmon runs are restored to their former
grandeur. A healthy salmon run means a healthy
river for both people and wildlife.”

* Jamie Pittock is Director of WWF’s Global Freshwater Programme

22.03.05 : Bangladesh : Country faces disaster due to water diversion by India

Construction of dams and barrages in upstream India are shrinking fresh
water sources in Bangladesh and adversely affecting its ecological balance,
bio-diversity, agriculture, fishery, navigability and public health.
By Staff Reporter, The New Nation

Bangladesh will face a big disaster if India implemented its much-vaunted
river-linking project.
Experts said this at a seminar on "Water for Life: Our Challenges" held at
IDB Bhaban, Agargaon yesterday.

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, while inaugurating the
seminar as chief guest said about 342 children die in Bangladesh everyday
becoming prey to waterborne diseases and the country foots a health expense
bill of Tk 50 billion on this head every year.

Quoting a survey, Mannan Bhuiyan said about 3.20 crore people in Bangladesh
are apprehended to be directly and indirectly affected by arsenic

The NGO Forum, UNICEF, DPHE and WHO jointly organised the seminar as part
of the global observance of UN proclaimed International Decade for Action,
Water for Life: 2005-2015. Bangladesh and UN member countries observe World
Water Day on March 22 to raise peoples' awareness on safe drinking water
and hygienic sanitation.

Mannan Bhuiyan said Bangladesh was facing various problems for the lack of
adequate fresh water as its major rivers are losing navigability due to the
unilateral withdrawal of water and diverting the normal course of
international rivers by India.

About 93 per cent of the water of Bangladesh's major rivers comes from
across the border and country's weather and environment are totally
dependent on the flow of water from the upstream, he said.

Bangladesh faces desertification due to the withdrawal of water of the
common rivers and quick fall in groundwater level, Mannan said.

Chaired by DPHE Chief Engineer Khurshed Alam, the seminar was addressed,
among others, by Water Resources Minister Hafizuddin Ahmed, WHO
Representative Dr Duangvadee Sungkhobol, UNICEF Country Representative
Morten Giersing, LGRD and Cooperative Secretary AHM Abul Qasem, and joint
secretary Mokhlesur Rahman.

Addressing the seminar as special guest Hafiz Uddin Ahmed said lack of
river dredging, construction of unplanned dams and barrages, change in
river courses, absence of a water policy for a long time, withdrawal of
water by India and increased population have caused more than 80 rivers to die.

Water Resources Minister Hafizuddin Ahmed told the seminar that arsenic had
been found in groundwater in 271 upazilas in the country's 61 districts,
while tube-wells in 36 upazilas remained out of service during the dry
season, creating a serious water crisis in the areas.

Experts said supply of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and unhygienic
environment had been the main reasons behind the widespread health hazards
in Bangladesh, resulting in the death of 125,000 under-five children every

They, however, fear that gradual subsidence of subsurface water tables
might prompt a serious natural disaster in future.

Human and industrial wastes and chemical and pesticides used in farming,
fertiliser and arsenic contamination are the main causes of various
waterborne diseases in Bangladesh, they said.

Executive Director of NGO Forum SMA Rashid presented keynote paper at the
seminar, while Kazim Ali Reza, officer in charge of UNICEF, read out the
message of UN-Secretary General Kofi Annan.

UNICEF Country Representative Morten Giersing said concerted efforts are
need by all to improve the quality of life through reducing diarrhoeal
deceases, improving nutritional status and lightening the work burden for
women and children.

WHO Representative Duangvadee Sungkhobol said in Bangladesh recent
sanitation coverage has been around 39 per cent in rural, while 68 per cent
in urban areas, and WHO will give more attention to it in the years to come
to minimise the sanitation gap.

Executive Director of NGO Forum SMA Rashid said, "Unsafe water, open
defecation and unhygienic environment are the direct roots of a number of
health hazards, which lead to a series of socio-economic problems."

Later, a working session was held where Dr M Mujibur Rahman of BUET
presented keynote paper and Dr Ainun Nishat, Dr Guy Howard, among others,
took part as panel discussants.

© Copyright 2003 by The New Nation

22.03.05 : Czech Republic to ban phosphate detergents (Environment Daily)
Tschechische Republik will Phosphate in Waschmitteln
verbieten (Environment Daily)

The Czech republic has proposed legislation ban phosphates in laundry
detergents. A draft law has been notified to the European Commission
and other EU member states. If no internal-market objections are
raised, the rules will enter force in July.

Several EU countries and regions have limits of some kind on the
phosphate content of detergents aimed at combating eutrophication, or
nutrient over-enrichment, of water bodies. Environment Daily
understands that the Czech republic is only the second member state,
after Italy, to move to a total ban.

New harmonised EU rules on detergents entered force last year. But
attempts by the Commission to harmonise provisions on phosphates under
this legislation were rebuffed by member states. Instead the
Commission was asked to gather more information and develop separate
proposals by April 2007 (ED 14/04/04

This left member states free to maintain existing or adopt new rules
on phosphates. The only proviso is that the restrictions must not act
as artificial barriers to trade in the internal market, as defined in
the EU treaty. A Commission official told Environment Daily on Tuesday
that the EU executive would soon begin scrutiny of the Czech proposal.
Follow-up: Draft Czech decree
, plus Czech environment ministry legislation page
See also European Commission detergents page

22.03.05 : JRC: new eu water policies "urgently needed" in light of climate change

New EU water policies 'urgently needed' in light of climate change, says JRC
To mark the international observance of World Water Day on 22 March, the
Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a new report
entitled 'climate change and the European water dimension'.

Co-authored by more than 40 leading scientists from the JRC and other
institutions in Europe, the report will be used to make an assessment of
existing water policies within the EU and determine whether they can adapt
to the impact of real or anticipated climate change.
The report documents alterations in the biological, chemical and physical
characteristics of European water bodies. According to a Commission
statement accompanying the report: '[S]mall variations in climate, leading
to sea level rises of 1-2 millimetres per year, are having strong effects
on aquatic ecology, intensifying coastal erosion, affecting nutrient and
sediment transport, and resulting in a redistribution and loss of marine

The authors predict that incidences of weather-driven natural hazards in
Europe will increase, and that continued climate change will present
challenges to water resources and policy makers alike.
In response, the report highlights the 'urgent need' for a new approach to
the problem, particularly through the application of new climate change
scenarios, to predict the impact on land and water systems at local level
and assess effective mitigation strategies and their associated costs.

To read the full report, please consult the following web address:

Category: Publication
Data Source Provider: European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Document Reference: Based on the JRC report 'Climate change and the
European water dimension'
Subject Index : Meteorology; Earth Sciences; Environmental Protection;
Scientific Research; Forecasting; Measurement Methods

RCN: 23554
CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities

21.03.05 : Marking World Water Day, UN to launch Water for Life Decade

To spur efforts by governments and civil society to meet agreed targets on
halving the number of people lacking access to safe drinking water and
basic sanitation by 2015, the United Nations is launching the
international Water for Life Decade tomorrow on World Water Day.

With agriculture being the main consumer of water and women in developing
countries often being the main carriers of water, UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan said in a
<>message, "We need
to increase water efficiency, especially in agriculture. We need to free
women and girls from the daily chore of hauling water, often over great
distances. We must involve them in decision-making on water management."

The least progress was being made in providing basic sanitation and many
millions of children were dying each year from water-borne diseases, he
said, urging the world "to respond better" on an urgent matter of human
development and human dignity.

"And we must show that water resources need not be a source of conflict,"
but can be a catalyst for cooperation, Mr. Annan said.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization
(<>FAO), noting
that it now takes a ton of water to produce 2.2 pounds of wheat, said,
"Appropriate polices and good governance are needed to encourage and guide
farmers to make better use of water."

A continuing rise in farm productivity of 67 per cent is needed to meet
food requirements between 2000 and 2030, but the increase in water use
could be kept down to 14 per cent, FAO's Land and Water Division Director
Kenji Yoshinaga said.

The agency's water management expert, Jean-Marc Faurès said, "Agriculture
is now coming under much more scrutiny as water resources are shrinking,
populations are growing and competition between sectors is increasing.
Substantial adaptations of agricultural policies are necessary."

On the question of health and sanitation, UN World Health Organization
(<>WHO) Director-General Lee Jong-Wook
the collective failure to tackle diarrhoeal disease, which was killing
30,000 people per week, was "a silent humanitarian crisis" that impeded
the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
(<>MDGs), a list of targets for reducing
many socio-economic ills by 2015.

"It has been estimated that an additional investment of $11.3 billion per
year over and above current spending could result in a total economic
benefit of $84 billion annually," Dr. Lee said. "The economic benefits
would range from $3 to $34 per $1 invested, depending on the region."

The launch will be marked by a "Blessing of the Waters" tomorrow at UN
Headquarters in New York, while a
<>web site on the decade
will be made available.

The actual debates and policy recommendations will, however, take place
next month at the 13th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable
which will focus on the three themes of water, sanitation and human
settlements. This will be the first policy-setting session since the World
Summit on Sustainable Development was held in 2002 in Johannesburg, South
Africa, and government delegates will decide on concrete policy options
and actions to be taken to achieve the internationally agreed development
goals and targets in these three areas.

Among the goals CSD-13 will consider will be ensuring that no one is
excluded from essential water supplies.

"Examples of possible actions include the provision of targeted
means-tested direct subsidies to the poor, as in Chile, applying
increasing block rate tariff structures to water pricing, as in Côte
d'Ivoire, and the provision of a basic daily quantity of water free of
charge to households, as in South Africa," the Commission said in a

Countries could also make basic sanitation access affordable to poor
people, by subsidizing household hook-ups to sewerage services, as in
Jamaica and in Trinidad and Tobago, and providing cross-subsidies to meet
the sanitation needs of the poor, as in Egypt, it said.

Source: UN


The world is celebrating a United Nations-proclaimed Water Day tomorrow,
March 22. The occasion gives Russia reason to say contentedly that it does
not know what thirst feels like-God has given it 20 per cent of the
world's water resources. Lake Baikal alone, the world's largest and
cleanest natural reservoir, and East Siberia's gem, would suffice to
supply drinking water to the entire human race for forty years, say
scholarly calculations. Russia has another 2.3 million lakes. They are
nothing to compare to huge Baikal but, anyway, they all together possess
26,000 cubic kilometers of water.

Source: RIA Novosti

21.03.05 : NGOs call for water to remain public good

Non-governmental organisations meeting in Geneva are demanding the creation
of a solidarity fund for water to ensure it remains a "universal public good".
The NGOs, attending the Alternative World Water Forum, also called for a
"World Water Parliament" to regulate water distribution fairly.
The aim of the forum, according to Bastienne Joerchel of the Swiss
Coalition of Development Organisations, is to create a global public water
The NGOs say access to potable water must be declared a human right, and
therefore should not be privatised.
In order to reach this goal, the forum - which ended on Sunday - has
recommended the introduction of a "solidarity cent", paid to ensure private
capital is not required.
As an example, the Swiss multinational food giant, Nestlé, was accused of
controlling 50 per cent of Pakistan's drinking water, bottling it and
selling it at prices only few Pakistanis can afford.
The authors of the study, commissioned by Swiss NGOs and Amnesty
International, said that only about 20 per cent of Pakistanis had access to
clean drinking water.
They added that Nestlé in one case took the water from an underground
source near Lahore, which had led to a drop in the groundwater level,
making it difficult for thousands of people to pump water from their wells.

Water parliament
Joerchel said the NGOs expected the first meeting of a "World Water
Parliament" to be held next year in Brussels.

The initiatives announced by the alternative forum come just ahead of the
United Nations-sponsored "World Water Day" on Tuesday.
It will mark the start of what the UN general assembly has proclaimed the
"International Decade for Action", which will last until 2015.

But the NGOs say the world body's initiative, which includes an
international conference planned for Mexico next year, will be ineffective.
"These [UN-organised] events don't respond to the fundamental objectives
that every human being on the planet has a right to access to water," said
Alberto Velasco, president of the Swiss organising committee behind the
alternative meeting.

He is critical of the place that will be accorded to multinationals in Mexico.
Speaking earlier this week, Velasco said people in industrialised countries
were as much at risk of having water resources privatised as those in
developing nations.
"We see what has happened with electricity in Switzerland," he said. "The
government is against privatisation at the moment, but it may only be a
question of time [before it gives in]."
The NGOs believe only public pressure can turn the tide against
privatisation, as was the case in Uruguay and Bolivia where people took to
the streets and voted to introduce laws forbidding the liberalisation of
the sector.
The alternative forum is being run along the same lines at the World Social
Forum held earlier this year in Port Alegre, Brazil. The latter demanded an
international convention on water.
The Swiss coalition says Switzerland, with six per cent of Europe's
freshwater reserves, has a responsibility to fight privatisation.

swissinfo with agencies
Source: NZZ Online


River project to tackle water quality
By Michael Drake, Belfast Telegraph
A river project launched near Cookstown today will help protect wildlife
while highlighting the positive impact which farmers can have on improving
water quality in Northern Ireland.
The Ballinderry River Enhancement Project, a joint exercise between WWF
Northern Ireland and Ballinderry Fish Hatchery, is the first to address
the implications of pollution from agriculture on rivers and streams in
the Mid-Ulster area.
"Northern Ireland's poor water quality is a widespread problem that needs
to be tackled collectively," said Jim Kitchen, head of WWF Northern
Ireland. "Our aim is not to look for culprits but to identify realistic
solutions to a problem to which we have all contributed."
David Small, director of Food, Farm and Environmental Policy said: "The
Ballinderry project establishes a practical demonstration of pollution
reduction which seeks to involve farmers.
"Agriculture has a key role to play in achieving good water quality and I
welcome the collaborative approach of the private and public sectors in
this valuable initiative."
Speaking at the launch event, Richard Rogers, chief executive of the
Environment and Heritage Service, said: "I am delighted the project is
based in the Ballinderry River as this is one of Northern Ireland's
internationally important rivers designated as a Special Area of

Source: Belfast Telegraph


The international observance of 22 March as World Water Day is an
initiative that grew out of the 1992 United National Conference on
Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. This background note
details some of the policies and projects underway in the European
Commission to address issues related to water management and supply, both
within the EU and abroad. The United Nations will announce 2005 to 2015
the Decade of Water in order to support the realisation of the Millennium
Development Goals and the European Union will use this decade to achieve
good water status for all European waters.

16.03.05 : The Netherlands- Plan for the Scheldt River 
The Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Cees Veerman, the
Minister and State Secretary of Transport, Public Works & Water Management,
Karla Peijs and Melanie Schultz van Haegen, and the Flemish Minister Kris
Peters on 11 March 2005 signed a Memorandum of Agreement on the river
Scheldt. The aim is to improve flood protection, nature conservation and
accessibility. The Netherlands and Flanders will invest over 500 million
euros in projects designed to achieve these aims. They should be completed
or at least operational by 2010.


ASTEE (Association for Scientific Technical Water Environment), the French
National member of the European Water Association (EWA), is celebrating its
centenary in 2005. The European Water Day on 02 June 2005 is part of the
84th Annual Congress (30th May to 3rd June 2005) of ASTEE organised in
collaboration with EWA and will provide a general vision of the know-how
and experience of researchers and practitioners in different European
More information...

15.01.05 : Abandon de la loi sur la démolition des barrages aux Etats-Unis

Afin d’assurer la sauvegarde du saumon, l’administration Clinton avait
envisagé en 2000 l’arasement des barrages fédéraux construits sur les
rivières à saumon de Columbia dans l’état de Washington et sur Snake River
dans l’Idaho. Or, l’administration Bush vient de rejeter le projet qui
aurait notamment permis de préserver une dizaine d’espèces de saumons en
péril et la truite à tête d’acier (Steal Head).
Selon une note qui émane du département des pêches du service
océanographique national et de la gestion atmosphérique, le gouvernement
fédéral aurait déclaré que les huit grands barrages, situés sur la partie
basse des cours d’eau Columbia et Snake River faisaient partie de
l’environnement habituel du saumon.
De l’avis de certains, les poissons menacés pourraient être protégés par
quelques mesures qui seraient mises en place: transport des poissons
bloqués par les obstacles, constructions de passes à poissons et notamment
de glissières rendant plus aisé le passage des barrages pour les jeunes
poissons qui dévalent vers la mer. L’estimation du coût total de ce projet,
qui devrait s’étaler sur 10 ans, est de 6 milliards de dollars.

L’attitude de l’administration Bush a provoqué un mouvement de colère de la
part des écologistes qui s’insurgent contre cette décision jugée
inadmissible en raison des conséquences négatives sur le saumon, poisson
symbole du Nord Ouest. Ils considèrent cette décision ainsi que la
proposition d’évaluer des populations menacées en comptabilisant ensemble
les poissons d’écloserie avec les poissons sauvages comme une régression
pour la protection du salmonidé.
Ces mesures jugées dérisoires par les écologistes n’empêchent pas les
responsables de la division des pêches d’estimer qu’elles sont suffisantes
pour protéger le saumon victime également de la surpêche, de la
construction de barrages, de la pollution industrielle et de l’extension
des banlieues…
Les écologistes déplorent que l’administration se contente d’un statu quo
et qu’elle propose des mesures dérisoires pour une réelle restauration des
populations de saumons. Ce qui n’est pas l’avis d’un porte parole de la
division des pêches qui estime que les actions prises ou prévues seraient
suffisantes pour protéger le saumon.
Lors d’une conférence, les fonctionnaires responsables de la pêche et ceux
des agences concernées ont indiqué qu’ils avaient rédigé une lettre
adressée à tous les citoyens du Nord Ouest avec l’assurance que cette
démarche ne représentait pas une réduction de leur engagement pour la
réhabilitation du saumon.
Lors d’une conférence un responsable du bureau régional du Nord Ouest de la
Pêche a déclaré que les actions proposées par les agences fédérales
représentaient des démarches très importantes pour la protection des
poissons puisqu’il Il y a déjà des échelles à poissons sur les barrages qui
facilitent l’accès aux zones de reproduction dans les parties hautes des
rivières pour beaucoup de saumons adultes.

Une feuille de route permet de guider les opérations des agences fédérales
et de donner le pouvoir aux autorités responsables des barrages sur les
fleuves Columbia et Snake. Elle inclut une annexe avec des prescriptions
détaillées pour réduire les facteurs de risque pour huit des onze espèces
concernées. Mais ces prescriptions prévoient dans certains cas de calculer
ensemble des poissons d’écloserie avec les espèces sauvages. Mais un
représentant de la National Wildlife Federation a affirmé que la lettre
adressée aux citoyens ne constituait pas un avis biologique officiel et que
par conséquent, elle ne pouvait constituer un engagement légal. John Kober
directeur du programme wildlife à Seattle a déclaré : «Si ce plan est mis
en œuvre, il est probable que dans 10 ans nous serons au même point

Source : New-York Times

14.03.05 : Russia-protection of baltic sea requires vast resources

Russia is not fully complying with the convention on the protection of the
Baltic Sea, or the Helsinki Convention. This is the conclusion of the
Russian Audit Chamber board, which summed up the probe into the efficiency
of using federal funds earmarked in 2002-2003 for environment protection
measures in accordance to the Helsinki Convention.
Source: Ria Novosti VIA EWMN

14.03.05 : States given low marks over EU Water law

Environmental group EEB has attacked EU governments for taking a
"minimalist" approach to implementing the bloc's water framework directive.
A report issued on Thursday draws together views of environmentalists
around the EU. It calls on the European Commission and on national NGOs to
take a tough line on bad legal practice.
Source: Helcom


The World Water Council and the Global Water Partnership jointly developed
a website aiming to provide information on the follow-up activities which
have been initiated since the publication of "Financing Water for All", the
report of the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure.
the Financing Water for All website...

Source: GWP


10.03.05 : Oceans more vulnerable to agricultural runoff than previously thought

Researchers have long suspected that fertilizer runoff from big farms can
trigger sudden explosions of marine algae capable of disrupting ocean
ecosystems and even producing "dead zones" in the sea. Now a new study by
Stanford University scientists presents the first direct evidence linking
large-scale coastal farming to massive algal blooms in the sea.
Source: Innovations report VIA EWMN

04.03.05: France must tighten up environmental legislation (Edie News)

A bigger effort to manage pollution, natural resources and biodiversity
must be made by the French government, according to its environmental
performance review.

Agricultural pollution was one area singled out for attention in the OECD
environmental performance review of France
Conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD), the Environmental Performance Review of France focuses on the need
for better integration of environmental concerns into sectors such as
energy, transport and agriculture.

The review puts forward 49 recommendations that would help strengthen
initiatives currently underway to promote more sustainable development in

Advised steps to boost environmental protection included: reviewing
taxation policies; reducing the damage caused by excessive use of nitrates
and pesticides in the agricultural industry; reducing energy intensity in
the economy; combating climate change; and improved enforcement of
environmentally protecting legislation and regulations.

However, the review did also recognise areas in which significant results
had already been achieved, such as:

Improved legislation and management in the field of natural and
technological risks
Growing awareness of links between the environment health, and stronger
action being taken in this regard
More efficient water management through a basin-level approach
Adoption of the Environmental Charter
Increasingly dynamic international cooperation on key environmental issues

"The need to manage pollution, natural resources and biodiversity in France
continues to be a major challenge," the organisation stated. "But we feel
this is a positive, if demanding assessment."

The full OECD report, which is based on numerous environmental indicators,
is due to be published in June 2005, and is the organisation's second
performance review on France's progress.

By Jane Kettle

Source: edie newsroom

28.02.05 : de l'eau pour l' alimentation et les écosystèmes :
de nouvelles stratégies de protection sont nécessaires

26 ministres et plus de 600 délégués venus de 140 pays ont participé
pendant 5 jours à la conférence "De l'eau pour l'alimentation et les
écosystèmes", organisée conjointement par le gouvernement néerlandais et la
La conférence sur l'eau propose des actions pour réconcilier les besoins en
eau respectifs de l'agriculture et des écosystèmes.
Les pays doivent mettre en oeuvre rapidement des actions concrètes afin de
développer des politiques intégrées de développement susceptibles de
réconcilier les besoins en eau respectifs de l'agriculture et des
écosystèmes, selon la conférence internationale qui vient de s'achever à La
La conférence a adopté une liste d'actions visant à améliorer l'efficacité
de l'utilisation de l'eau pour la production alimentaire et la sauvegarde
des écosystèmes naturels.
Le Prince d'Orange a rendu compte d'une réunion ministérielle qui s'était
tenue au cours de la conférence et au cours de laquelle les ministres
s'étaient engagés à considérer la maîtrise de l'eau en zone rurale comme la
pierre angulaire du développement rural et à soutenir et mettre en œuvre
des programmes et des activités favorisant le développement rural et la
gestion intégrée de l'eau.

Inverser la tendance
Afin d'inverser la tendance au déclin des financements consacrés à une
agriculture durable, des investissements doivent être faits dans ce
domaine, a déclaré en substance le Prince Willem Alexander.
"Des investissements dans l'eau pour l'alimentation et les écosystèmes
permettront d'économiser l'utilisation de l'eau, une ressource rare, afin
de rendre les gens conscients des limites concernant l'utilisation de l'eau
et du besoin de coopérer pour partager cette ressource", a-t-il ajouté.
"Nous avons nous-mêmes pris l'engagement de faire des Objectifs du
Millénaire pour le Développement une réalité d'ici 2015», a rappelé M. Cees
Veerman, ministre néerlandais de l'agriculture, de la nature et de la
qualité alimentaire.
"La gestion de l'eau est une part essentielle des efforts à entreprendre
pour atteindre ces objectifs. L'agriculture, la conservation des
écosystèmes et la gestion de l'eau ne sont pas des secteurs séparés, ils
sont étroitement interdépendants. Nous devons retrousser nos manches dans
un effort concerté pour mettre en oeuvre une gestion rurale de l'eau dans
le monde."
Harmoniser les législations
La conférence a appelé les pays à harmoniser leurs législations et leurs
politiques dans le domaine de l'eau pour l'alimentation et les écosystèmes.
Une utilisation équitable de l'eau devrait être réalisée entre
l'agriculture et les écosystèmes afin d'assurer un accès adéquat de l'eau,
en particulier pour les pauvres.
Chaque pays devrait décider quelles sont les incitations à introduire pour
utiliser l'eau de manière plus efficace. Sur ce sujet, les pays devraient
constituer des groupes d'intérêt de différents secteurs, comme
l'agriculture, l'industrie et l'environnement, et développer un plan
stratégique sur l'eau qui mette en avant la valeur des ressources
nationales en eau et définir les allocations en eau.
"Le paradoxe tragique de l'eau, est qu'elle est vraiment une ressource
précieuse mais dont la véritable valeur est souvent invisible", a déclaré
Mme Louise Fresco, Sous-Directrice générale de la FAO responsable du
Département de l'agriculture.
"Nous avons besoin de résoudre ce paradoxe et de nous diriger vers une
véritable prise en compte de la véritable valeur de l'eau, à travers un
mécanisme qui va au-delà de sa valeur économique afin d'inclure l'équité
sociale et les valeurs de l'environnement."
Evaluation de la valeur de l'eau
Les participants sont tombés d'accord sur le besoin de progresser vers une
gestion de l'eau dans un sens qui reflète mieux ses valeurs intrinsèques.
L'évaluation de la valeur de l'eau doit prendre en compte les aspects
socio-économiques et environnementaux, les droits fondamentaux de l'homme
et les facteurs culturels.
Les mécanismes économiques peuvent être utilisés pour mettre une "étiquette
prix" à l'eau pour l'alimentation et les écosystèmes (forêts, zones
humides, etc.) à travers une taxe sur l'eau et des redevances pour les
services environnementaux.
Cependant, l'attention devra être portée pour assurer un accès équitable et
juste aux ressources en eau et la capacité des pauvres à payer leur
consommation d'eau. Les paysans, particulièrement les femmes, doivent avoir
accès aux crédits pour les investissements technologiques d'irrigation pour
Les pays doivent de manière urgente lancer des campagnes nationales de
sensibilisation afin de renforcer l'idée que l'eau a une valeur et qu'elle
est une ressource rare. Les participants sont tombés d'accord sur le fait
que sans une prise de conscience accrue, il sera difficile de recevoir le
soutien du public pour une nouvelle approche économique à travers la valeur
de l'eau et une utilisation plus efficace de cette ressource.

Des institutions nationales, régionales et locales devront être établies
afin de transmettre les connaissances des technologies de collecte de l'eau
traditionnelles et modernes à travers des directives, des formations et la
Des partenariats public-privé peuvent stimuler la recherche et le
développement de technologies pour la réutilisation de l'eau usée,
l'irrigation peu onéreuse au goutte à goutte et les pompes à pédales. Il
existe un marché aussi bien pour la haute technologie que pour les
technologies à moindre coût afin d'améliorer la productivité agricole. Il
faudrait également qu'il y ait des incitations afin que le secteur privé en
profite. Dans le même temps, il est de l'intérêt général d'assurer une
production de qualité grâce à ces technologies.
La conférence de La Haye a invité la FAO à jouer le rôle de chef de file en
informant les pays sur les bonnes pratiques visant à réconcilier les
besoins en eau respectifs de l'agriculture et des écosystèmes.

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