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Itaipu highlights commitment with Agenda 2030 and the partnership with UNDESA
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Itaipu Paraguayan chief executive officer, James Spalding, reinforced the company’s commitment to promoting the Sustainable Development Objectives (SDGs) and goals of Agenda 2030 last Tuesday (20), within the scheduling of the 8th World Water Forum, in Brasília. As an example, he mentioned the partnership entered into at the beginning of the month, in New York, with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
“If we want, as countries, to meet the ambitious goals of Agenda 2030 and eradicate extreme poverty, we must create jobs. To create jobs, we need energy. To create energy, clean and renewable water is necessary. In this sense, water is a force of nature that allows us to achieve our goals”, stated the chief executive officer.
Spalding spoke during the panel “Water Security and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development” at Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center. Ivan Vera, representative of UNDESA; Richard Taylor, CEO of the International Hydropower Association (IHA); and Manuel Menendez, representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery, Food and Environment of Spain also took part. The panel was coordinated by the representative of the Pacific Institute, Peter Schulte.
“We are convinced that Itaipu can contribute to Agenda 2030 and therefore we work on each of the SDGs, and not only on the commitments of number 6 (water) and 7 (energy). Because all objectives are connected”, added the Paraguayan chief executive officer, who praised the decision of the Brazilian management to increase the number of municipalities in the western region of Paraná benefiting from Itaipu projects.
The interconnection of SDGs was also highlighted by other members of the panel. Ivan Vera noted that it is impossible to achieve the commitment of number 3 (health and well-being), for example, if the citizen does not have access to water and energy - as it happens in many isolated communities.
“Poverty (SDG number 1) could be eradicated if these factors were taken into consideration. Many people are dying for lack of clean water and energy. Many do not have basic sanitation”, stated Vera.
“Water produces energy [in hydroelectric power plants] and energy also produces water”, added Manuel Menendez, mentioning the example of Spain and other countries producing water for consumption through desalination. “Water is of paramount importance for all processes.”
The partnership “Sustainable Solutions in Water and Energy” was entered into on the last 7th, between Itaipu and UNDESA, and it aims at promoting the SDGs in a coordinated manner in Brazil and Paraguay. The idea, in the future, is to make the initiative a global network to address issues related to the water-energy connection.
Itaipu Coordinating director, Newton Kaminski, stated that work meetings in both countries are already being scheduled to address the issue, as well as the preparation of reports on how Itaipu contributes to the SDGs. “Then we will seek partners to engage them in this line of action. This will be built from now on, as a result of the execution of the agreement”, he noted. The agreement’s expected duration is four years.