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The Basque Country, before European and international institutions, defends more active participation of the regions in the fight against climatic change

2010 October 28

In Brussels, the Director of Institutional Relations and Innovation of the Basque Water Agency (URA), Enrique Urrutia, and the Delegate of the Basque Country in Brussels, Marta Marín, have intervened in the conference "Cancun -30: Regions delivering climate action," defending the role played by European regions in the fight against climatic change and presenting the Memorandum, promoted by the Basque Government, for understanding between governments and associations of regional governments within the nrg4SD network and agencies of the United Nations, which provides a framework for multilateral cooperation with regards to management of water resources in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The conference will issue a paper that gathers regional experiences with regards to the fight against climatic change, which will serve to increase awareness and provide an opportunity for action at regional level to combat and adapt to climatic change. The document will be presented in the next United Nations Convention on Climate Change, COP 16, set to take place in Cancun, thereby expounding the experience and stance of the Basque Government in this regard at international level.

The event organised by the nrg4SD network within the framework of activities in preparation for the next United National Conference on Climate Change, COP 16 (Cancun, 28/11/10-10/12/10) included the participation of key regional interlocutors and panel of specialists from European institutions and international organisations. The session was moderated by Joxerramón Bengoetxea, a Professor in the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).

The nrg4SD regions presented examples of specific action undertaken in their respective territories. With regards to the Basque Country, the URA representative presented the Memorandum for Understanding, approved by governments and associations of regional governments within the nrg4SD network, which establishes a framework program for multilateral regional cooperation in relation to water in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Created by the Government of the Basque Country and the Basque Water Agency (URA), the 2010-2014 Memorandum for Understanding establishes long-term collaboration to execute actions relating to water with a view to obtaining sustainable development and, to this end, boasts an extensive network of signatory institutions in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.

Enrique Urrutia stressed the importance of having the ngr4SD regional governments work in collaboration with the Southern regions in specific projects, in matters such as the management of water resources, water treatment, the fight against climate change and other interdisciplinary questions such as governability or sustainable development awareness campaigns, wherein the Basque Country has shown that it has specialised knowledge.

For her part, the Delegate of the Basque Country in Brussels, Marta Marín, drew attention to the commitment of the regional governments, particularly the Government of the Basque Country, in terms of the implementation of ambitious climate change and sustainable development policies, generating a springboard effect that will enable sustainable economic development. These policies and measures can be replicated in other regions throughout the world via training and the integration of environmental matters into other policies, such as good governance.

Furthermore, in the conference an agreement was made to issue a network position paper with the fundamental aim of explaining the key role of the regions in terms of combating climate change, thereby disseminating the important efforts carried out by the ngr4SD regions in terms of sustainable development.

The next round of negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Cancun, will provide an ideal opportunity to enable the Basque Country, as a member of the nrg4SD network, to increase awareness of its political commitment to combat climate change.

The nrg4SD network, an example of good practice in the fight against climate change
Boasting the participation of the Basque Government from the outset, the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development, nrg4SD, was set in motion in the World Summit on Sustainable Development celebrated in Johannesburg on the 31st of August 2002. The objective of the network involves promoting sustainable development via collaboration and cooperation at regional level.

Since its creation in 2002, the nrg4SD has acted as a direct interlocutor with European and international organisations, achieving much for regions in Europe and the rest of the world in terms of sustainable development. Grounded on the achievements of this network, the Basque Country has an opportunity to reinforce its training activities and actions relating to the exchange of technical knowledge and know-how and overseas positioning and exchange.

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