National Integrated Water Resource Management Diagnostic Report
Water has been high on the agenda at international sustainability forums for over a decade. During the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 the international community re-confirmed support for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. By 2015:
To half the number of people without access to basic sanitation
To half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
These goals are a big challenge to small Pacific Islands Countries with their small land masses, remote locations and small but rapidly growing populations making them vulnerable. Vanuatu shares these and other challenges to sustainable development. In Vanuatu real GDP per capita is still lower than in the 1980s, infrastructure is poorly developed, the population is rapidly growing at 2.6% per year, water resources are declining and in many places contaminated, and household water supplies are inadequate or absent. The country’s capital and human resources are stretched and a better forward is needed.
To achieve the millennium development goals, international forums recognise a need for reform and capacity building focusing on the development of a cross-cutting approach to water resource management. A sustainable water and waste water management program for Pacific Island Countries has been developed with the long term objective of assisting them to implement applicable and effective integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and Water Use Efficiency (WUE) plans.
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