The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Balancing all aspects

It is indispensable for human beings to stabilize water quantity. Forests help to achieve the goal and stabilize the water level of rivers, mitigate floods and water pollution through controlling sedimentation into water and control air pollution. Saving the forest environment must be the challenge of all nations of the world.

Actions: To conserve forests sustainably, it is necessary to promote information exchange and scientific researches internationally on forest function to conserve land and water, and disseminate and educate internationally the importance of forests based on results from those researches. It is also important to have mutual understanding amongst residents of upstream and downstream.

Recommendations: Promote scientific researches on forest functions regarding water, considering conditions of each country and region and disseminate international education on the importance of forests for water. It is necessary to develop and systemize forest conservation and enhancement techniques and exchange information to facilitate mutual understanding and promote international cooperation

Conserve and improve forests based on forest conditions of each region, promotion of water resources management and water conditions of each region.

Key issues: Considering the importance of the integrated water resources development and management for ensuring food sufficiency and security, the prominent issue remains on how to achieve the required enhancement of food production in view of sustainable rural development.

Sustainable agriculture and rural development in the Asian monsoon region requires relevant information on the multi-functional roles of paddy field irrigation with the objectives of sharing information, mutual understanding and expertise.

Actions: It became apparent that economy, efficiency, equity and efficacy will be the cornerstones for success in achieving food sufficiency and security. Water users and farmers, need to be organized. It was found necessary to change the attitude of policy makers and stakeholders through appropriate education and awareness campaigns.

Participants brought up their experience and actual examples of practices of multi-functional roles of paddy field irrigation in their regions. Storing rainwater to alleviate floods, groundwater recharge, water purification and prevention of soil degradation, cultural activities among others were discussed and documented.

Recommendations: Increase water availability by way of water resource development to meet the demand of all sectors, specially irrigated agriculture in developing countries.It is imperative to adopt better and effective watershed management approach for rainfed areas of the world .

Increase area under agriculture by reclaiming wastelands and under irrigation by new storages (especially in Africa and Asia), by an increase in water use efficiency and by recycling wastewater. Evolve strategies for improving water and land productivity in irrigation and also to reduce the substantial gap between irrigation potential developed and utilized.

Modify the role of government in IWRDM from being a provider, to be a facilitator. evolve guidelines to involve all stakeholders in the process of IWRDM. Increase international donors and local government investment for modernization, rehabilitation, replacement and new construction where needed. Promote information disclosure and establish quantitative evaluation of multiple-function and importance of paddy field irrigation inside and outside of Asian countries.

Key issues: The importance of transboundary aspects of flood causes and cooperation were emphasized. The development of effective regional approaches remains a major challenge to our common efforts on water resources management. The flood damage in developing countries may be much less than in developed countries, but the impact of the losses can set back the local and national economy by many years threatening sustainable development and further tightening the vicious circle of poverty. It is said that the lack of cooperation causes the difficulty for flood mitigation and emergency management to the poor. IFNet will cope with these problems together with various organizations for sustainable development especially in developing countries.

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