Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry to Attend International
Conference on Water for Food and Ecosystems
The South African Minister of
Water Affairs and Forestry, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica is in The Hague, the Netherlands
attending the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) International Conference
on Water for Food and Ecosystems.
Minister Sonjica introduced the first
theme of the Conference, "Implementation, Know-how for Action". There
are three themes, the second theme, " The 'New Economy' of Water for Food
and Ecosystems" introduced by Mr Turner from the University of East Anglia,
UK while the third theme, "Enabling environment" was introduced by Ms
Catley-Carlson, Chair of the Global Water Partnership.
Other key note speakers
were Dr Cees Veerman, Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality,
Prince of Orange of the Netherlands, Dr Tkalign Mamo, Minister of State for Natural
Resources of Ethiopia and a representative of Mr Jacques Diouf, Director General
of the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
In her statement, Minister Sonjica
shared with the Conference South Africa's experiences in managing conflicting
water needs for agriculture, food production and ecosystems.
She also talked
about the need to build more dams in Africa. She said there is a need to build
them in a way that takes into account the needs of the aquatic ecology, and takes
into account the needs of affected people. "But there can be no doubt that
we need more dams.
If we are to increase the agricultural productivity
of the world, one element of the plan must be to build dams in Africa" she
said. Minister Sonjica encouraged the Conference to adopt the South African slogan,
"Batho Pele", and her Departmental slogan, "Ensuring Some for all
for ever, together".
The Conference opened on 31 January 2005 and will
close on 5 February 2005.
Speech by Minister BP Sonjica
information contact Chris Botha on 09 31 70 392 4501
Issued on behalf of South
African Embassy in the Hague by the Department of Foreign Affairs
1 February 2005