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Itaipu wins UN prize with environmental program
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28/03/2015

A social and environmental program conducted in the state of Paraná has brought Itaipu an unprecedented award: UN recognition for best water management in the world. The award will be given out next Monday (March 30) at a ceremony in the UN's headquarters, in New York.

Competing with 40 initiatives from every continent, the social and environmental program Cultivating Good Water, conducted in the western part of the state of Paraná, won first place in the category “Best water management practices” in the 5th edition of the Water for Life Award 2015.

In the other category of the award, "Best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices", 25 practices participated. First place was shared between initiatives from India and South Africa. The award is an initiative within the scope of the international decade for water (2005/2015), sponsored by the UN.

 

From around the world

A total of 10 practices registered by Europe, 11 by Africa, 20 by Asia, 23 by Latin America and one by Oceania were contenders for the award. Brazil registered seven projects. The selection of the best practices was performed by a special UN committee, comprised of experts in environment, water and sustainable development.

Created in 2010, the objective of the UN Award for “Best water management practices” is to promote efforts to achieve international commitments involving water and related issues, established for 2015, recognizing programs that ensure long-term water management and sustainable development.

The practices must also contribute toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, of Agenda 21, the Earth Charter, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, all related to sustainable development, with emphasis on the areas of natural resources, eradication of poverty, health, trade, education, science and technology.

 

Ceremony

The awards for the winning practices will be distributed at 12:45 (local time), Monday (30), at the UN headquarters, in New York. The Brazilian delegation that will attend the ceremony is composed of the Brazilian and Paraguayan CEOs of Itaipu, Jorge Samek and James Spalding; Coordination and Environment Director, Nelton Miguel Friedrich; one of the managers of Cultivating Good Water, Silvana Vitorassi; and the mayor of one of the cities that benefits from the program, Moacir Luiz Froehlich, from Marechal Cândido Rondon.

Itaipu created the program in 2003 and it is currently conducted in the 29 cities of the Paraná Basin 3, in western Paraná, where more than a million people live. The social and environmental initiatives are carried out in partnership with local city halls, government agencies, companies and the community. There are currently over two thousand partners.

 

Partnership-based Management

The program is based on integrated watershed management and operates by basin, sub-basin and micro-basin to ensure the quantity and quality of water, as well as the sustainability of the area. The Brazilian CEO of Itaipu, Jorge Samek, highlights this participation, "assumed and shared by all the shareholders of the watershed" and says that "this is a major strength of the program, which has been helping to continually improve the social and environmental conditions of the region".

"This aspect of the program's governance, by direct democracy, is the key factor behind the success and recognition of Cultivating Good Water," adds Itaipu Coordination and Environment Director, Nelton Friedrich, responsible from the start for the overall coordination of the program.

Cultivating Good Water, recently adopted in Minas Gerais as a public sustainability policy, is expected to be implemented in various other regions of Brazil. It has already been replicated as a pilot project in countries such as Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

In presenting the 2015 winning practices on its website, (http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/winners2015.shtml), the UN lists the results of the Cultivating Good Water Program and deems that the actions contribute toward solving social and environmental problems in Paraná Basin 3, "promoting a new vision of water resources use through the participation of all stakeholders involved."

(http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/winners2015.shtml)

 

President's Facebook page highlights the award

This Thursday, President Dilma Rousseff noted the recognition given to Cultivating Good Water in her official Facebook page, with the following text:

 

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

In the midst of shortages in various regions of Brazil, the program Cultivating Good Water, of Itaipu Binacional, has been recognized by the UN as the best water management practice among 40 others conducted throughout the world. Find out more and learn about the initiative at the following link:

(http://www.cbnfoz.com.br/editorial/foz-do-iguacu/noticias/21032015-243115-programa-cultivando-agua-boa-recebera-premio-na-organizacao-das-nacoes-unidas)