Asian leaders adopt ‘Chiang Mai Declaration’ on water management

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CHIANG MAI, May 21 – Participants in the second Asia-Pacific Water Summit adopted the Chiang Mai Declaration in this northern Thai province on Monday, emphasising collective obligations regarding water management for the survival of all countries.

The declaration called for all participating nations to be on full alert for possible devastating impacts from natural disaster as the Asia and Pacific region is most volatile to the phenomenon.

All participants agreed to speed up sustainable water management, upgrade regional cooperation to contribute to the exchange of information technology, effectively integrate knowledge on water management and set up a network for cooperation.

They called on the Asia-Pacific Water Forum to evaluate the economic risk of water disasters and climate change, promote environmentally-friendly economic growth and set up an Asian water data centre.

Meanwhile, a network of 47 organisations in the northern and northeastern river basins which held a parallel meeting to the second Asia-Pacific Water Summit issued a grassroot’s Chiang Mai Declaration, insisting that water management must be based on cooperation for all parties especially rural people.

They called for good governance among the public sector and the country’s leaders and people’s accessibility to information.

About 1,300 participants from over 40 countries and international organisations took part in the summit, which included a variety of seminars and forums.