BIOGRAPHYDr María P. Neira is Director for the Department ofPublic Health and Environment at The World HealthOrganisation (WHO). Dr Neira, a Spanish national,holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery from theUniversity of Oviedo, Spain, and a Masters degree inPublic Health from the Université Pierre et MarieCurie, in Paris, France. Dr Neira joined the WHO in Geneva in 1993 as Co-ordinator of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control. In 1999 she was appointed Director of theDepartment of Control, Prevention and Eradication. Between September 2002 and August 2005 she wasPresident of the Spanish Food Safety Agency and ViceMinister of Health and Consumers Affairs in Spain.Before joining the WHO, from 1991 to 1993 Dr Neiraworked as Public Health Adviser at the Ministry ofHealth in Mozambique. Earlier, in Kigali, Rwanda, shewas a UN Public Health Advisor/Physician onassignment from the United Nations DevelopmentProgramme (UNDP). From 1987 to 1989 Dr Neira worked in Salvador andHonduras as Medical Coordinator for Médecins sansFrontières. She started her professional career in1984 at the Necker Hospital and Hôpital Saint Louisin Paris, where she worked for three years.Among other distinctions, Dr Neira has been awardedthe Médaille de l'Ordre national du Mérite by theGovernment of France.HEALTH105partners to strengthen "climate health literacy" onall levels of decision making and in all sectors,acknowledging that:. the ultimate impact of rising GHGs and all climatechange threats to environment, economy andsecurity will be on human health;. health impact can and must be used as a guide to GHG policy development and allocation ofadaptation resources especially in populationsvulnerable to diseases of poverty; and, . cutting greenhouse gas emissions can represent amutually reinforcing opportunity to reduce climatechange and to improve public health. As the dialogue and debate now moves to Cancun, anenhanced "climate health literacy", which useshuman health and wellbeing as the barometer ofdecision making, can help overcome points of publicdisagreement and skepticism. We need to build a newevidence-based sustainability action agenda to whichall should be able to commit. nFor these reasons, the WHO is keen to boost publicconfidence in climate science and resume the climatechange negotiations. The WHO is and always will becommitted to open, participatory and evidence-basedpolicy making. We routinely welcome and regularlyanalyse new data and findings, especially those whichchallenge current thinking. Having said that, it is critically important to note that throughout this media debate no significantevidence to contradict current climate science has emerged.The WHO believes that now is the timeto reframe the climate change negotiations around theultimate health and health equity implications of allplans, policies and investments. Such a positive, practical, and people-orientedapproach will allow for a clearer understanding of theneed for (and benefits of) urgent action to curb GHGand provide a solid basis for a global consensus.Therefore, as policy makers begin to reconstruct aglobal agreement, the WHO will build upon its WorldHealth Assembly resolution mandate and work with its
" "limate is about much more than carbonemissions - it is about the way we live, and the way in which we takeresponsibility for the management of ourplanet. This includes water management, as water isthe medium through which many of the impacts ofclimate change will be transmitted.Half a century ago, the human population was half whatit is now. Already then, the warning signs were clearregarding the impacts of human activities on ourenvironment. However, the impacts still appeared to belocal, and limited. With the doubling in population overthe last 50 years, countries and leaders can no longeravoid the recognition that people are responsible formuch larger changes and impacts than previouslythought. Planetary systems - the carbon cycle, thewater cycle, the nitrogen cycle - are being affected.Hence we are belatedly acknowledging the need tomanage the planet as a whole, and thereby to secureour future. Whole economies, especially those whichare still closely linked to producing food from soil andsea, depend upon a stable and predictable climate.Rain or lack of rain, melting glaciers, rising seas: weneed to be concerned about the water cycle as well asthe carbon cycle. Water is the medium through whichmany of the impacts of climate change will betransmitted, as has been outlined by the 2008Technical Paper of the IPCC on Climate Change andWater. Extreme weather events and increasing climatevariability are becoming commonplace and hittingmore people when they occur. What we see is thatwater is the common thread that links together manydifferent challenges in the areas of poverty, health,food security, vulnerability to disasters and humansecurity. Water management is not only aboutdomestic water supply and sanitation, although thosetoo play a vital and life-saving role. From agriculture tohydropower, from flood protection to drought riskmanagement, much of our global productive capacity(especially in less developed economies) is at themercy of water - enough water, of the right quality, inthe right place, at the right time. A key component ofsuccessful adaptation to climate change will be ourability as a society to manage water better, in a moreholistic and integrated way. This is why the vision of the Global Water Partnershipis for a water-secure world. GWP is anintergovernmental organisation, a worldwide networkof 2,000 partner organisations in 150 countries,focused upon improving the management of waterresources in support of sustainable development. Ourorganisation is committed to supporting integratedwater resources management (IWRM), which wasrecognised as the appropriate approach to managingthis vital resource at the United Nations Conference onEnvironment and Development 1992, a decision thatwas reiterated at the World Summit on SustainableDevelopment in 2002. IWRM is an adaptive process that recognises the inter-connectedness ofdevelopment issues in order to identify a coherent setof insights that can provide a basis for concrete action. Managing water better involves many differentaspects: the wise and sustainable use of water, theequitable sharing of the benefits of its use (which isnot the same thing), and building resilience to water-related disasters including floods and drought. Givennew developments in agricultural water technologiesas well as industrial water reuse, we can now increasethe productivity of water, producing more with less. New, more sophisticated insights into watermanagement are giving rise to intensified waterrecycling, leading to industry leaders adopting zeroWATER: THE DEVELOPMENT-ADAPTATION NEXUSWATER IS THECOMMON THREADTHAT LINKS TOGETHER MANYDIFFERENT CHALLENGES106SUSTAINABLE WATERDR ANIA GROBICKI, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THEGLOBAL WATER PARTNERSHIP (GWP)CMain Picture: Parchedsoils due to climatechange put the focus onbetter water managmenthoto: Courtesy of Global Water Partnership?