The second Asia-Pacific Water Summit has ended, with the issuance of the Chiang Mai Declaration, calling for the inclusion of disaster risk reduction in the United Nations' development agenda beyond 2015.
The Heads of State and Government and the high-level representatives from 40 countries attending the summit in Chiang Mai on 20 May 2013 reiterated the importance of water as an essential part of human life, human security, environment, and economy.
In the Chiang Mai Declaration, they recalled that 2005-2015 is the United Nations International Decades for Action “Water for Life,” and that 2013 is the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. They also emphasized that water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners, and policy-makers at all levels and that women have the pivotal role in the provision, management, and safeguarding of water.
According to the Chiang Mai Declaration, the participating Heads of State and Government and the high-level representatives declared to promote efficient use of water resources while taking into account basic human needs, including domestic, industrial, and agriculture water users, and balancing preservation of ecosystems.
As part of the plans to promote the efficiency of water use, they also call for the improvement of irrigation systems in the agricultural sector, which consumes a huge volume of water resources. They recognized that sustainability of food production increasingly depends on sound and efficient water management and that the need to increase sustainable agricultural production is closely linked to the development and management of water resources on an integrated basis.
This 1st Asia-Pacific Water Summit, was held in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, Japan in 2007, and the second on took place on 19 – 20 May 2013 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Asia and the Pacific region is recognized as the most disaster-prone region in the world, and that water-related disasters, including floods and droughts, in the region continue to increase in intensity and frequency.
In 2011, Thailand suffered its worst floods in more than half a century.