3.4 L’accesso all’acqua e il nesso con cibo, terra ed energia: temi e indicatori globali per l’agenda dello sviluppo post2015


Massimo Zortea – UNITN, Cattedra Unesco in Ingegneria Per lo Sviluppo Umano e Sostenibile

L’integrazione ambientale – ossia l’inserimento trasversale ed intersettoriale della tutela ambientale e delle opportunità offerte dall’ambiente in tutte le politiche  di sviluppo e nella progettualità per lo sviluppo – è divenuto un tema di notevole attualità: sono ormai improcrastinabili le sfide poste dalla sempre più evidente crisi di sostenibilità dello sviluppo, in particolare ambientale. Di questa crisi il dramma dell’accesso negato ad acqua e cibo è forse l’espressione più emblematica. Sistema ONU (Convenzioni di Rio), OCSE-DAC, Commissione Europea, Cooperazioni nazionali: tutti ormai promuovono un’ampia integrazione dell’ambiente in tutte le politiche ed iniziative settoriali, quale via principale all’obiettivo dello sviluppo sostenibile.  La risposta strategica alla domanda di sviluppo sostenibile – specie nella visione più matura che si  delinea negli scenari della cooperazione internazionale dopo Rio+20 e dell’Agenda per lo Sviluppo post 2015 – passa per una sistematica integrazione della sostenibilità ambientale dentro i processi di sviluppo promossi a livello internazionale. Le Università sono chiamate ad un ruolo propulsivo determinante. Il paper si fonda sugli studi dell’autore in materia e rielabora contenuti e materiali delle sue lezioni nella cornice della Cattedra UNESCO in Ingegneria per lo Sviluppo Umano e Sostenibile presso l’Università di Trento, Laurea Magistrale in Ingegneria per l’Ambiente e il Territorio, orient. “Gestione Integrata dell’Ambiente nei contesti di Cooperazione Internazionale” (dapprima dentro il suo corso generale di Cooperazione Internazionale, divenuto poi l’attuale corso di Metodologie di Cooperazione Internazionale, e poi dentro l’altro suo corso di Progettazione dello sviluppo con Integrazione Ambientale). Studi confluiti nel volume “L’integrazione ambientale nei progetti di sviluppo. Teoria e pratica dell’Environmental Mainstreaming nei progetti di cooperazione internazionale” (FrancoAngeli, in uscita a settembre).




Francesca Greco - UN WWAP UNESCO (Michela Miletto - UN WWAP UNESCO)

The Fouth Edition  of the  World Water Development Report , published by the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme ( UN WWAP UNESCO) , had a main title “Managing water under uncertainties and risks”.  A particular focus was given to climate change and water-related disasters. A specific issue was raised for the case of women. Being the first World Water Development Report completely mainstreamed for gender, an entire chapter was dedicated to the issues concerning women and water. A crucial finding was the observation that the majority of victims from both floods and droughts were the poorest part of the populations, especially women and children. This si because these sectors of the populations are the less connected with “early warning systems” and also the ones living in the worst housing conditions. This is increasing their exposure to water-related disasters and effects of climate change. The World Water Assessment Programme is promoting the use of innovative technique to monitor water in a gender-sensitive modality. A part from climate change, there are many other mechanisms through which  socio-economical  discriminations  are affecting women. Access to safe and drinking water for sanitation purposes is certainly one of the most discussed issues among these cases, however, UNESCO is promoting also the involvement of women in decision-making positions related to water management, transboundary water sharing techniques  and many other empowering programmes. One of the main aims of  UN WWAP UNESCO is promoting the use of sex-disaggregated indicators for future water monitoring , especially in view of the post-2015 sustainable development goals. Our paper will therefore present the latest work of UN WWAP UNESCO in  this regard.




Velio Coviello - Politecnico di Torino (Irene Angeluccetti – Politecnico di Torino; Stefania Grimaldi - Monash University; Paolo Vezza - Pirmo Principio Coop; Salimata Koudougou – ong CISV)

In the Sahelian countries soil erosion and reservoir siltation result in a massive decrease in land and water availability for agriculture. To cope with these issues, Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) works, such as permeable rock dams and gabion check dams, have been widely encouraged by international cooperation projects during the last decades.  The suitability of these techniques in increasing soil moisture, reducing soil erosion and reservoir siltation is a challenging topic. The cost-effectiveness of SWC works at catchment scale have been already investigated  but the long-term environmental and social impact of those measures has been poorly addressed by the scientific community. The acknowledged importance of appropriate land and water management plan is the cornerstone for the implementation of a deeply participatory approach.  The project 9-ACP ROC 28-3, financed by the European Union and implemented in the Northen Region of Burkina Faso between June 2008 and May 2011, supported the Federation National des Groupements Naam (FNGN) in the implementation of a wide network of SWC works. In the framework of two other EU-funded projects carried out in the South-Western part of the country, permeable rock dams and gabion check dams were realized in this Region for the first time. In the Central Region of Burkina Faso an ongoing project funded by the Swiss Cooperation currently aims at strengthening the rice production chain in the Boulbi and Mogtedo basins and SWC works were planned to reduce soil erosion and reservoir siltation. In this paper the empowerment methods, the trade-off between technical and social aspects, the sustainability of the technology transfer and the role of scientific research in supporting appropriate watershed management planning are discussed. The present work is based on the authors’ experience as technical partner of the above-mentioned international cooperation projects led by the Italian NGO CISV in Burkina Faso.



Marta Antonelli - Department of Geography - King's College London (PhD Researcher in Water Economics); Università di Venezia, IUAV (Rulli C. – Politecnico di Milano; Siciliano G. – Fondazione ENEL; Turvani M. – Università di Venezia)

Water and land as global resources are likely to become, over the 21st century, the focus of an intensified competition among different uses. The key drivers of the rapidly increasing demand for water and land are not only population growth and urbanisation, but also the growing needs of an expanding middle class with changing lifestyles and diets (with higher animal-protein intakes). Rising population and incomes are expected to call for 50% more food in 2030 and 70% in 2050. In developing countries, the increase will reach up to 100% by 2050, relative to 2009 levels. Over the same period, energy demand from hydropower and other sources will increase by 60%. The growth of food and energy demands will thus not only generate additional pressure and have far-reaching consequences on land and water resources, but is also likely to become a source of controversy between national, regional and global interests.

In this global context, the purpose of this study is to investigate the role of the European Union (EU) in the global rush for land and water resources, both as a target for foreign direct investments (FDIs) and as an investor. This phenomenon, commonly referred to as land grabbing, is one of the most controversial and hotly debated issues at the global level. The study fundamentally includes the water dimension of ‘land grabbing’, which is often ignored by conventional studies, in recognition that water resources are the invisible underlying securitising resources of any investment in land. The project shows the spatial and temporal dynamics of land deals and develops an integrated approach that recognizes the critical nexus between land and water resources, energy and food production.



Guido Minucci - Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani, Politecnico di Milano

More than half of the global population lives in urban areas and it continues to growth as well as its need of resources. At global level interdependencies between urban and rural areas are increasing in number and velocity with which they are built. In the mean time, water institutions and organizations have to relate and adapt to several pressure and drivers, such as natural disasters, changing customers’ behaviours, and improvements in technologies. The work presenting the case of quinoa cropping in the Southern Bolivian Altiplano illustrates on one side the growing interdependencies between urban and rural areas and the cross scale trade-offs related to the rapid globalization process. On the other side, it proposes a manner to reframe the attributes of water institutions and organizations to foster adaptive capacity and face unexpected, current, and future water problems while showing the actual barriers to a water management regime shift in this region of the world. The results emphasize the need to examine the ways that local water institutions facilitate or constrain adaptive capacity to face future issues. Moreover, it highlights the importance for rural and urban systems to critically evaluate the vulnerabilities and opportunities that occur through such cross-scale interactions because of global consumption chains and urban demands.

Intervengono come discussant: Rossella Monti - HYDROAID e Italo Rizzi - ong LVIA

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