Asian Meet Looks To Confront Water Crises

Asian Meet Looks To Confront Water Crises

Asian meet looks to confront water crises
by Staff Writers
Beppu, Japan (AFP) Dec 3, 2007

Asian nations came together Monday for a first "water summit" to plan action amid warnings of a dire situation with water resources shrinking and natural disasters on the rise.

The 49-nation conference in Beppu, a southern Japanese town famed for natural hot springs, comes amid growing concern that climate change is aggravating water-related incidents in Asia and elsewhere.

Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, known for his studies of water, said Asia was home to 60 percent of the world's people but had only 40 percent of its water resources.

"The situation in the Asia-Pacific region does not allow us to be optimistic," said Naruhito, who is honorary president of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's advisory board on water and sanitation.

"As of 2004, there were 700 million people who had no access to safe drinking water and 1.9 billion who were without basic sanitation" in Asia, he said. "In this respect, our region is in the most serious situation in the world, especially in providing sanitation," he said.

Officials, including several heads of state, will hold two days of talks here on ways to step up cooperation on water-related issues that cross borders. The meeting was set up by last year's World Water Summit in Mexico City.
Hopefully, the one important factor we will hear addressed at this meeting and the UN Conference in Bali will be: Population. It is at the crux of what is now happening regarding our environment. We simply do not have an adequate amount of resources to continue to support this growing global population at the same rapacious pace it is wasting them while conducting business the old way. This then will mean a change of mindset for those living on this planet now who are so used to having all they want whenever they want it. It will require people looking towards the future as they look inside themselves and adjusting their behavior to reflect that moral consciousness. Do we however as a global community have the moral willpower to actually think beyond ourselves and the here and now? We are now at a point where we do not have any choice, especially in regards to water. So when do we move beyond meetings to results?