UN-Water "Water for Life" Best Practices Award
The UN-Water's ‘Water for Life’ Best Practices Award recognizes outstanding practices that can ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources and contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed goals and targets. The prize is awarded yearly in two categories, one in best water management practices and another one in best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices.
The award is bestowed by the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015 and the UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP). The purpose of the Award is to promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015 through recognition of outstanding best practices that can ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources and contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed goals and targets contained in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Every year, special emphasis is being put on the theme selected for next World Water Day. World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of water and advocating for the sustainable management of water resources.
- 1st edition, 2011 - Urban water management. The Secretariat received a total of 74 applications from all over the world and awarded the following winners in each category: ‘Las Pinas-Zapote River System Rehabilitaion Programme’, from Philippines, in Category 1, for its outstanding contribution towards improving the living environment and its demonstrable and tangible impact on improving people’s quality of life within a metropolitan river basin; the project ‘A Participatory and Learning Based Approach to Raising Awareness on Water and Sanitation’, Durban, eThekwini Municipality, South Africa, in Category 2, for its innovative approach to communication and awareness raising in poor areas and its outstanding contribution to addressing key challenges related to water and sanitation in an urban area.
- 2nd edition, 2012 - Water for Food Security. The Secretariat received a total of 28 applications: 22 for category 1 ‘Best water management practices’ and 6 for category 2 ‘Best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices’. Geographical distribution of applications was as follows: Africa 29%, Asia 32%, Europe 7%, Latin America and the Caribbean 32%. The 2012 UN-Water ‘Water for Life’ Best Practices Award was awarded to the following initiatives during a special ceremony which took place in Rome, Italy, during World Water Day:
- Category 1, Protection of Bangalore Lakes for Posterity – Setting a Legal Precedent for Conservation of Lakes as Commons, for its outstanding contribution towards the conservation of waterbodys in Bangalore, India, and its demonstrable and tangible impact on the food security of peri-urban and rural communities in the region
- Category 2, A communication strategy for social and behavior change through the promotion of three key practices and the adequate use of services in four municipalities of the Department of Cochabamba, Bolivia, for its participatory approach to community-based empowerment and awareness raising, especially among vulnerable groups, and its outstanding contribution to addressing key challenges related to hygiene, water and sanitation in the region.
- The 3rd edition of the Award was launched at the Thematic Session on Water Cooperation organized by the Government of Tajikistan at the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil. This edition's focus is on Water Cooperation as 2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation and World Water Day 2013 is also dedicated to this important theme.
The 2013 edition has been awarded at a special during World Water Day, on 22 March, in The Hague, the Netherlands, to the following initiatives:
- Category 1: Basin-wide groundwater management using the system of nature, implemented in the city of Kumamoto, Japan, as an example of cooperation between various institutions to maintain and protect the water supply of the city by managing groundwater recharge using abandoned paddies and protecting watershed forests.
- Category 2: Safe Water and Sanitation for all in the Republic of Moldova, for its pedagogical approach and its contribution to the implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation through partnerships between local people and authorities.
More information is available at the official website.