2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 3:00 PM


SCHIFFRIES, Craig M., National Council for Sci and the Environ, 1707 H Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006, schiffries@NCSEonline.org

The urgent need to close the gap between sustainability science and policy has emerged as a recurring theme at a series of national and international conferences on sustainable development. This paper addresses the role of sustainability science in achieving domestic and international policy goals pertaining to water sustainability. It explores strategies for closing the gap between science and policy by improving the scientific literacy of policymakers and improving the policy literacy of scientists.

The Ministerial Declaration issued at the conclusion of the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto states: "Water is a driving force for sustainable development including environmental integrity, and the eradication of poverty and hunger, indispensable for human health and welfare." The Ministerial Declaration embraces the target established in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015 and the target established in the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to halve the proportion of people without access to basic and adequate sanitation by 2015. This paper reviews scientific and technical provisions in these documents and provides recommendations for moving toward the policy goals.