Monday, October 29, 2007

Japanese sustainable civilization shows wisdom at Expo Zaragoza

“In the land of Asian Monsoon climate and ragged terrain, with geographical limitations surrounded by sea on all four sides, Japanese people have developed skills, culture and lifestyles that live in harmony and symbiosis with nature, rather than confronting it….”.
The above explains why “Harmony with Water, Wisdom and Skills” is the theme for the Japanese pavilion at Expo Zaragoza 2008.

I think is a cool theme. Honestly, I think we all have a lot to learn from Japan, especially taking into account they previous Experience in Expo 2005 in Aichi under the them of ”Nature’s wisdom”.

In addition to help us to understand the Japanese philosophy from the EDO period , to enter the Japanese pavilion will also be an opportunity to see first hand cutting-edge technologies that help to solve global-scale tasks. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Water for Life: Zaragoza put on the map (of United Nations)

Under the United Nations Charter all humans are guaranteed the right to life (and as water is necessary for life…) however in practice this is an empty right for….1.200 million people. This is nothing new. But something is moving in Zaragoza. A brand new United Nations office to support the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015 just opened there on the 5th of October 2007.

But why in Zaragoza? The main reasons put forward by Spain in support of Zaragoza’s candidacy were:- The commitment of the Spanish government to environmentally-friendly water policies, both within Spain and internationally. - The strong links between Aragón and Zaragoza and the issue of water, for historical, institutional, economic and social reasons. - The constant promotion by Aragón’s regional government of the proper use of water, with innovative policies achieving impressive results. - The reliable record of Aragonese social groups in this area. - The enormous possibilities offered by Expo 2008 to ensure that the Decade of Water’s objectives are properly promoted at international level

The office will be managed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs ( ) and if I understood well has 2 main goals:
-to facilitate the coordinated implementation of UN-Water’s work on water and sanitation, especially in the areas of communication and advocacy to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities to solve global water and sanitation issues.
-to promote greater interaction between governments, UN agencies and non-UN partners to deliver a coordinated response; mobilizing resources, partners and other stakeholders; promoting and encouraging partnerships at all levels; and ensuring coherence between the implementation of the water and sanitation agenda and other development goals.
Carlos Fernandez-Jauregui born in Bolivia (see on the above photo at beautiful Casa Solans: the interim premises of the UN office till it is moved to the Expo Zaragoza 2008 premises) will be coordinating the UN office in Zaragoza. All my best whishes to him!