Participants in the second Asia-Pacific Water Summit adopted the Chiang Mai Declaration in northern Thailand province, emphasising collective obligations regarding water management for the survival of all countries.
The declaration called for all participating nations to be on full alert for possible devastating impacts from natural disaster as the Asia and Pacific region is most volatile to the phenomenon. floodairview All participants agreed to speed up sustainable water management, upgrade regional cooperation to contribute to the exchange of information technology, effectively integrate knowledge on water management and set up a network for cooperation.
They called on the Asia-Pacific Water Forum to evaluate the economic risk of water disasters and climate change, promote environmentally-friendly economic growth and set up an Asian water data centre. Meanwhile, a network of 47 organisations in the northern and northeastern river basins which held a parallel meeting to the second Asia-Pacific Water Summit issued a grassroot’s Chiang Mai Declaration, insisting that water management must be based on cooperation for all parties especially rural people.
They called for good governance among the public sector and the country’s leaders and people’s accessibility to information. About 1,300 participants from over 40 countries and international organisations took part in the summit, which included a variety of seminars and forums. (MCOT online news)
Critics at the Second Asia Pacific Water Summit in Chiang Mai have taken aim at the Thai government’s US$12 billion water management plan.
Academics and policy makers said the flood programme was expensive and unsound. They said the plan does not factor in environmental or health impact assessments on flood prone areas, violating Thailand’s constitution.
Thailand’s Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi has hit back at the critics, referring to them as “garbage”. The minister has even swapped his suit and tie for the traditional dress of an ancient Thai king, famous for his water management programme.
His stunt, however, was described as inappropriate by his opponents. In 2011, after Thailand’s worst floods in half a century, the government drafted a massive US$11.8 billion plan to manage water resources.