Dutch minister in plea for international water initiative
Dutch minister for Infrastructure & the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, was in New York recently at the Dutch/US H2O9 Conference. Whilst there she made a plea for a new international initiative for tackling global water problems.
“The sea level is rising, weather is becoming more extreme. Across the globe, increasingly more people are living in low-lying cities. We need to ensure that this subject receives structural, international attention. We have a moral and practical obligation to use our expertise to help other countries all over the world,” Ms Schultz asserted. Minister Schultz and US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan are Honorary Chairs.
During the International World Water Day celebrations in The Hague on March 21, the Netherlands called for international agreements on a global water goal. In this way it could become part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Dutch knowledge in the fields of water management and water safety is held in high regard internationally. Dutch water experts are working on projects in more than 80 countries around the world. “This provides knowledge that is not only useful for low-lying countries like the Netherlands but can also be of benefit to the entire world. And, conversely, we want to learn from others,” she added. “Water links us. On both sides of the ocean we are facing the same challenge of protecting our coastal areas from an uncertain future. By having smart people from the business community, the scientific world and governments cooperate, we will arrive at innovative solutions which will ultimately be of benefit to countries across the globe.”