World Environment Day - 5 June 2003



Second Georgian World Environment Day Annual Lecture

In 2002 WomenAid International, sponsors of the Georgian Environment and Health Network, established the Georgian World Environment Day Annual Lecture.  This annual event is to mark the UN World Environment Day held every year on 5th June.  The Guest Presenter of the 2003 Georgian World Environment Day Annual Lecture will be announced shortly.

According to the Founder of WomenAid International, Pida Ripley, United Nations World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5 every year, has become one of the most important events on the global environment calendar with activities taking place in over 100 countries. The purpose of this ‘Special UN Day’ is to promote awareness of environmental issues and the urgent need to protect the planet. 

Pida Ripley stated that this new WomenAid International initiative supports the Georgian Environment & Health Network aim to increase public participation in environmental decision-making, promote public awareness of environmental issues and health linkages, thereby fostering more enlightened attitudes and encourage the public to contribute actively towards a better environment



On 24 March 2003 the President of Georgia signed Decree N326 approving the NEHAP for Georgia.

Currently the NEHAP for Georgia is in the process of being published in both Georgian and English languages. The NEHAP for Georgia will be distributed among local authorities of Georgia and will become one of the basic documents for preliminary planning, actions and daily work of all related governmental structures determining environmental health policy.  Misha Kurkhuli – head of the Georgian NEHAP working group states: ‘‘The NEHAP should be a manual for Georgian policy makers, environmental health professionals and other specialists”.

Dr Kurkhuli thanked WomenAid International for its support and for organizing the NEHAP Forum and its presentation and consultations that ensured wide public awareness about the issue.  

WomenAid International is sponsoring the online publication of the NEHAP for Georgia.


World Water Report released - 22 March 2003

UN releases a WORLD WATER REPORT – the first UN system-wide evaluation of global water resources.

For the first time, 23 United Nations agencies and convention secretariats have combined their efforts and expertise to produce the most comprehensive and up-to-date report on the state of the world's freshwater resources. The World Water development Report was presented to the media today, in Tokyo, and will be officially launched at the occasion of World Water Day, March the 22nd, during the 3d World Water Forum.  

The World Water Development Report ‘Water for People, Water for Life’ - is the most comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the state of the resource. Presented on the eve of the Third World Water Forum (Kyoto, Japan, March 16 – 23), it represents the single most important intellectual contribution to the Forum and the International Year of Freshwater, which is being led by UNESCO and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

To compile the report, every UN agency and commission dealing with water has for the first time worked jointly to monitor progress against water-related targets in such fields as health, food, ecosystems, cities, industry, energy, risk management, economic evaluation, resource sharing and governance. The 23 UN partners constitute the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), whose secretariat is hosted by UNESCO.

Faced with “inertia at the leadership level”, the global water crisis will reach unprecedented levels in the years ahead with “growing per capita scarcity of water in many parts of the developing world”, according to this United Nations report. Water resources will steadily decline because of population growth, pollution and expected climate change.

“Of all the social and natural crises we humans face, the water crisis is the one that lies at the heart of our survival and that of our planet Earth,” says UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.   “No region will be spared from the impact of this crisis which touches every facet of life, from the health of children to the ability of nations to secure food for their citizens,” says Mr Matsuura. “Water supplies are falling while the demand is dramatically growing at an unsustainable rate. Over the next 20 years, the average supply of water world-wide per person is expected to drop by a third.”




World Water Day - celebrated each year on 22 March – provides us with an opportunity to recognize the centrality and importance of water to our daily lives, to our environment and to the sustainable development of nations. 

Suggested reading: World Water Day Message By Sir Richard Jolly, Chair of The WSSCC


The Founder of Kenya's Greenbelt Movement, Wangari Maathai, has been been appointed assistant to Newton Kulundu, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife in the cabinet of newly elected Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. Kibaki's NARC won 62.2% of the valid votes cast in the December 27 landmark election giving him 125 of the 210 elected seats in parliament against the 64 obtained by the Kenya African National Union (KANU).  NARC's share of the seats will be sufficient to push through legislation, but not to change the constitution without the support of other parties.

For many years Wangari has campaigned actively – and often at great personal risk - on gender & sustainable development issues. In 1989, in recognition of her initiative in establishing the Green Belt Movement, Professor Maathai received a WomenAid International ‘Woman of the World’ Award presented by Her Royal Highness Princess Diana.

January 2003

Caucasus 16 Days ~ WomenAid Anti-Trafficking Campaign

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