Pilar Unzalu calls for financial and technical cooperation between regions to drive water policies
Rio de Janeiro, 19 June.- The Basque Government's Minister for the Environment, Land Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries, Pilar Unzalu, today called for "technical and economic cooperation between regions to be able to develop policies to guarantee water supply and sanitation".
Pilar Unzalu, who attended a meeting in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) of the nrg4SD - the international network of regions for sustainable development, explained that "regional administration are close enough to deal with the needs of the population and they sometimes have the economic resources that are lacked at local level".
She added that "water policies require economic resources that are not always available", which makes setting up "economic and technical cooperation" frameworks essential to solve the serious water shortcomings in the world.
The minister stressed that "solidarity between regions must be an obligation in matters as serious as water policy" and went on to point out that the Basque Cooperation Agency and her department had earmarked seventy million dollars for different lines of aid.
As regards water management, she highlighted two ambitious cooperation projects with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Liberia and in El Salvador, along with other initiatives that are being channelled through the nrg4SD.
On the other hand, Pilar Unzalu backed the signing of an agreement between nrg4SD and the Environmental Conference of the Regions of Europe, Encore, to "avoid duplicities", "share endeavours" and "reinforce the role of the regions" also in the environmental arenas.