WWF welcomes French support of UN Watercourses Convention



Posted on 12 March 2012  | 
The Danube at Belene, Bulgaria.
The Danube at Belene, Bulgaria.
© Alexander IvanovEnlarge
(Marseille, France) – WWF, the global conservation organization, welcomes the announcement by French Prime Minister François Fillon during today’s opening ceremony of the 6th World Water Forum, in Marseille, that France will strongly support the ratification of the UN Watercourses Convention. In his opening speech, the prime minister urged all countries that have not yet joined the convention to do so swiftly. Fillon announced further that France will host the first conference of the parties, once the convention is in force.

According to Dr. Lifeng Li, Director of WWF International’s Freshwater Programme, “The French government sends out a very positive and strong signal. This is the kind of leadership that is needed to avoid a future marred by so-called ‘water wars’. Now we are looking forward to an ambitious final declaration. We need a positive signal, sent out from Marseille to Rio de Janeiro.” In June, UN member states will meet in the Brazilian city for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

WWF recommends that delegates to the World Water Forum take this call for action seriously and push their ministers present at the Forum, and their governments and parliaments, to ratify the UN Watercourses Convention. The convention will contribute to fair, intergovernmental management of water systems that cross international boundaries. It will provide crucial support for the peaceful settlement of water disputes, and the protection of aquatic ecosystems and the vital services they provide for people and nature.

WWF expects that the World Water Forum will see more such announcements and calls for ratification. WWF invites participants to attend the side event “UN Watercourses Convention in force: What then?” (Tuesday, 13 March, 7:15 p.m.-8:15 p.m., PEu – Europa 7 – Palais de l’Europe). At the event, the audience will be encouraged to join discussions proactively and provide updates on the ratification process in their respective countries.

Contact in Marseille: Lifeng Li, Director Freshwater, WWF International, lli@wwfint.org
Press Contact in Marseille: Roland Gramling, Press Officer WWF-Germany, +49 151 18 85 49 80, roland.gramling@wwf.de

About WWF

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.



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