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Ban Ki-Moon says CAB "can transform the lives of millions of people"
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The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-Moon said that the Itaipu Binacional's Cultivating Good Water Program "is an initiative that has the potential to transform the lives of millions of people, because it has extraordinary possibilities". Ban Ki-Moon's statement was broadcast on Monday (30), at the UN headquarters in New York, during the 2015 Water for Life Award ceremony.

Cultivating Good Water (CAB), developed in the Paraná Basin 3, west of the state of Paraná, won first place in the category "Best water management practices", competing with 40 initiatives from all continents. The Brazilian general director of Itaipu, Jorge Samek, Paraguayan general director James Spalding, and Coordinating Director Nelton Friedrich attended the awards ceremony.

In Ban Ki-Moon's statement, transmitted by Cristina Gallach, Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, who was the event's master of ceremony, the Secretary-General of the UN said, "it is an honor to give this award to Itaipu because you have earned it." Ban ki-Moon visited the binational last month, when he had the opportunity of getting to know many green initiatives.

The seal of the UN, the most important for Itaipu in the environmental area, is in addition to many other awards already won by the program. Ban ki-Moon could not attend the event due to a mission in Iraq. A plaque alluding to the award was presented by Blanca Elena Jiménez-Cisneros, director of the Water Sciences Division, Secretary of the International Hydrology Programme of UNESCO.
In his acceptance speech at the UN headquarters, Samek greeted all those who share the concern and commitment to sustainability, especially in relation to water management. "This award, which we humbly accept, is the recognition of the commitment and effort of an extensive network of partners, with whom we share this distinction," he thanked.

Similarly, Spalding said that for Itaipu, this is a recognition of a work developed over more than a decade. "Without a doubt, to be chosen among 40 applicants is a very important distinction, which will give us even more strength to continue on that path"

Nelton Friedrich also highlighted the importance of the award, "which is a landmark on our life and our partners'," adding that the program management is collective. The project is based on integrated watershed management and acts on a per basin, sub-basin and watershed basis, to ensure the quantity and quality of water and the sustainability of the territory.

Moacir Luiz Froehlich, mayor of Marechal Cândido Rondon, one of the municipalities that benefited from the program, which was part of Brazil's entourage at the awards, believes that the accolade will be important for the project to extend to other regions.
Created in 2003, the CAB is developed in the 29 municipalities of the Paraná Basin 3, in the west of Paraná, where more than a million people live. The social and environmental initiatives are done in partnership with local governments, government agencies, companies and the community. The program brings together more than two thousand partners.

CAB, recently adopted in Minas Gerais as a public sustainability policy, has been replicated as a pilot project in countries like Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

While presenting the winning practices of 2015 on its website (, the UN lists the results of the Cultivating Good Water Program and evaluates the actions that contribute to solving social and environmental problems of the Paraná Basin 3, "promoting a new vision of water resources through the participation of all stakeholders."

In addition to the category "Best water management practices", the 5th edition of the 2015 Water for Life Awards also awarded the "Best public participation, educational, communication and/or awareness practices." In this category, there were 25 initiatives nominated. The first place was divided between India and South Africa. The winners in both categories were awarded as part of an initiative within the international decade of water (2005/2015), sponsored by the UN.

In total, ten practices were nominated from Europe, 11 in Africa, 20 in Asia, 23 in Latin America and the Caribbean and one from Oceania. The Brazil had seven projects. The choice of best practices was made by a UN special committee made up of experts in the environment, water and sustainable development.

Created in 2010, the UN Award for "Best water management practices" aims at promoting efforts to achieve the international commitments to water and related issues, set for 2015, awarding programs that ensure long-term water management and sustainable development.
Practices should also contribute to achieving the Goals of the Millennium, of Agenda 21, the Earth Charter, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, all related to sustainable development, with emphasis in the areas of natural resources, eradication of poverty, health, trade, education, science and technology.