The Limpopo in southern Africa. When countries jointly use waters.

Southern Africa has 15 cross-border watercourse systems; 13 of these flow exclusively through member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). To safeguard joint use and to conserve the natural environment in these regions, 16 bilateral and multilateral water agreements have been concluded over the past 50 years. Nine of these agreements were between countries of the present SADC, demonstrating the political will of SADC to work collectively to resolve water resources distribution issues. During recent months, four countries bordering the Limpopo river have been working to transform the Limpopo Basin Permanent Technical Committee into the Limpopo Commission (LIMCOM).
Thomas Schild
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH
(GTZ's German Technical Cooperation)
Water and Sanitation Section
Eschborn, Germany
e-mail: Mail:

Archive, Edition 2002/02

AIDS at the end of 2001

Why is combating AIDS so difficult?

Alongside poverty, population and climate change, AIDS is one of the »great problems« of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and primarily affects the developing world. Since AIDS became the first health issue to be dealt with by the United Nations Security Council in January 2000, many international conferences have focussed on this issue. The creation of a Global AIDS and Health Fund, whose purpose is to make millions more dollars available to tackle the pandemic, especially in Africa, is the most visible outcome of this international attention.
Dr. Ulrich Vogel
Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Head of GTZ's International AIDS Project
from July 1995 to September 2001

African rural development in the face of HIV/AIDS

Not before time has the world been forced to grapple with a pandemic whose magnitude could have hardly been perceived twenty years ago. From humble beginnings in isolated and mainly urban populations, HIV/AIDS has become a formidable social problem in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. This article explores the link between HIV/AIDS and Rural Development and points out critical policy areas.
Gabriel Rugalema
Senior Policy Advisor
UNDP Regional Project on HIV and Development for sub-Saharan Africa
Pretoria, South Africa
Vivian Khanye
National Project Officer
UNDP Regional Project on HIV and Development for sub-Saharan Africa
Pretoria, South Africa

The impact of HIV/AIDS on food and nutrition security

The links between HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition security are complex and can be deadly. In many of the world's poorest countries HIV/AIDS is causing life expectancies to drop, child survival gains to reverse, nutritional status of children to decline and agricultural production and food security to be undermined.
Although it is recognised that HIV/AIDS is not only a »health problem«, it has, until recently, been addressed by policy makers from a public health perspective. HIV/AIDS needs to be understood and dealt with from a broader perspective. This article reviews the impacts of HIV/AIDS on food security and nutrition. It ends with an overview of key issues for HIV/AIDS policy and intervention strategies.
Robin Jackson (
Robin Landis (
World Food Programme
Rome, Italy

Rural women: At the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS crisis

Gender inequality is at the heart of the HIV epidemic:
it makes women more vulnerable to HIV infection and AIDS impact than men, but it also exacerbates existing gender biases and can contribute to women's further economic and social marginalisation. In effect, the HIV/AIDS crisis puts into sharp focus the need for a gender-based paradigm to agricultural and rural development, using an »HIV and development lens«.
Daphne Topouzis, PhD
Rome, Italy

Haina's death - how AIDS threatens the intergenerational contract in Namibia

Seen in a global context, HIV/AIDS is primarily an African problem. Of the 40 million infected persons around the world at the end of 2001, 28.1 million lived in sub-Saharan Africa. The southern African countries are worst affected. What these statistics do not reveal, however, are the fates of countless individuals and thousands of personal histories. This is Haina's story.
Matthias Rompel
Institute of Sociology
Justus Liebig University Giessen
Giessen, Germany

Education campaigns and condoms: Social marketing in AIDS prevention

Despite major successes in the drug treatment of HIV infected people, prevention is still the key to combating the disease. In developing countries, social marketing has proved a very successful approach to HIV/AIDS prevention. Since the early 1990s, German Financial Cooperation (FC) has supported programmes which aim to provide low-income population groups with access to condoms and other contraceptives. Through education campaigns and by providing condoms at affordable prices, they help to break the chain of infection. The involvement of non-governmental organizations and private distribution structures enhances the breadth of impact and efficiency of national HIV/AIDS prevention strategies
Dr. Wolfgang Bichmann
Director of the Division for
Social Infrastructure,
Social Policy Transsectoral Issues and
Environmental Protection,
Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Experiences from Sector Networks. HIV/AIDS and rural development

Experiences from Sector Networks. HIV/AIDS and rural development
Today, many societies in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa can be divided - with dreadful simplicity - into just two groups: persons actually infected with HIV/AIDS, and those who are directly affected by the epidemic within their personal environments. Average life expectancy in these countries is reaching an almost unbelievable low. It may be asked, with more than a touch of cynicism, whether the noble national and international goals of food security, poverty reduction and resource conservation are not actually being achieved through negligence, namely the completely inadequate measures to combat HIV/AIDS.
Klaus Pilgram
Dr. Marlis Kees
Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
Harare, Zimbabwe

Sharing water

Global water and food scarcity - Are the gloomy predictions right?
The overall picture of an increasing water scarcity is less gloomy than it is often predicted. There are little indications that the world is headed towards Malthusian scarcity in terms of food or water. Both food and bulk water are expected to remain low-value commodities for the foreseeable future. This has implications on cooperation and conflict over water: On the one hand, the relatively low economic value of bulk water indicates that so-called »water conflicts« may often be driven by other motives than competition over scarce water. On the other hand, the low value of water means that there are less incentives for cooperation, since the costs of non-cooperation are limited.
Dr Manuel Schiffler
Senior economist
The World Bank
Middle East and North Africa Region
Washington D.C., U.S.A

Water for food and environment: The need for dialogue

Growing water scarcity threatens the food supply of nearly three billion people, as well as the health and productivity of major wetlands and other ecosystems around the world. Increasing scarcity, competition and arguments over water in the first quarter of the 21st century will dramatically change the way we value and use water and the way we mobilise and manage water resources. Innovative ways of using this precious commodity have to be found to protect ecosystems and ensure food for the billions on this planet.
Prof Dr Frank R. Rijsberman
Director General
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Chair of the consortium to implement the Dialogue on Water, Food and Environment.

Addressing disputes and inequities that accompany economic change - Water institutions to enhance economic development

In recent years it has become recognised that our uses of water are increasing rapidly, while the accessible resources are not likely to increase by much in future. To manage the sharing of our finite water resources creates a need for new institutions, or strengthening and modifying old ones. As the point at which demand exceeds supply has already been reached in some basins, and is near in many others, the need to establish these more effective institutions is urgent.
Charles L. Abernethy
Consultant on irrigation and water resources management
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Shared water use in irrigation systems

We often see figures indicating that agriculture accounts for up to 80 percent of water consumption worldwide used to bolster arguments that irrigation is inefficient, or that transferring water from agriculture to other sectors could solve water scarcity problems. But a closer look at how water is actually used in irrigation systems, especially in developing countries, indicates that there are many other uses and users of that water. Paying attention to these multiple uses is critical to rural livelihoods as well as overall water use efficiency.
Ruth Meinzen-Dick
Senior Research Fellow
International Food Policy Research Institute - IFPRI -
Washington D.C., U.S.A

185 years of cooperation on the Rhine

Germany's experience of cooperation over transboundary waters
Germany shares lakes and rivers with all of its nine neighbouring countries. As a result of its particular geographic location, Germany has gained a great wealth of experience founded on cooperation with the other countries bordering the cross-boundary water ways and on cooperation within the framework of the EU and the UN Economic Commission for Europe. Conflicts regarding water volumes have largely been avoided thanks not only to the comparatively favourable climatic conditions, but also to national and joint international efforts to resolve water pollution problems.
Prof. Dr Robert Holländer
University of Leipzig
Faculty of Economics
Environmental Technology in the Water Sector / Environmental Management
Leipzig, Germany

The Mazowe Catchment Council in Zimbabwe - When people agree on fair access to water

Prior to the reform of the water sector, Zimbabwe lacked equitable structures regulating access to the country's water resources. The Water Act, which came into force in the year 2000, made the country's water resources accessible to all its citizens on an equitable and fair basis.
Helmut Lang
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH
(GTZ ' German Technical Cooperation)
Water and Waste Management Section
Eschborn, Germany


Institutional development in mountain regions

Poverty alleviation in the mountain regions of the world and ensuring sustainable conservation of their natural resources - their protection and sound management for the benefit of future generations - constitute an ever-increasing challenge. All over the world, the precious environmental resources of mountain regions are being lost. Many countries are experiencing social and economic disparities between plain-dwellers and their mountain neighbours. Be it in the Caucasus, the Andean highlands or in the Himalayas, crises and conflicts are growing more acute in the spiralling struggle for diminishing resources.
Dr. Uwe Kievelitz
Head of Sectoral Advisory Project »Crisis Prevention and Conflict Mediation in Development Cooperation« and of the »Fund for Peace Initiatives«
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH
(GTZ - German Technical Cooperation)
Eschborn, Germany

The Alpine Convention - a model for sustainable development in mountain regions?

The Alpine Convention is an agreement under international law between the eight European states into which the Alpine region extends, and the European Union (EU). The Convention is binding for all partner countries and its fundamental ideal is the protection and sustainable development of the Alps.
Immediately after its inception, the Alpine Convention was very soon being exalted as a future Magna Carta for the »roof garden of Europe«. But the political road to a functioning and practicable regime which gains the acceptance of the population involved is long and arduous.
Peter Haßlacher
Head of Department of Spatial Planning/Nature Conservation
Austrian Alpine Club (Österreichischer Alpenverein, OeAV)
Innsbruck, Austria
e-mail: Mail:

Policy for mountain regions - status and challenges

The International Year of Mountains (IYM) declared by the United Nations for 2002 is to make mountain areas a more prominent focus of international attention. Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 devotes a whole section to the sustainable development of mountain regions, known as the Mountain Agenda. However, what means policy for the sustainable development of mountain regions? Which efforts presently are undertaken at the national and international level?
Sabine Preuß
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH
(GTZ - German Technical Cooperation)
Rural Development Division
Eschborn, Germany

The challenge for sustainable development - Highland and lowland interplay in mountain regions

Population growth, greater extraction of resources and intensified economic dependency are making highland and lowland regions increasingly interdependent. Moreover, inadequate infrastructure provision means that mountain populations remain comparatively poorer than lowland dwellers. Alongside measures for nature and environmental conservation, political solutions for sustainable development must also therefore include economic and social improvements.
Susanne Wymann von Dach
Dr. Thomas Kohler
Prof. Dr Hans Hurni
Dr. Urs Wiesmann
Peter Messerli
Centre for Development and Environment
Bern, Switzerland

In the mountain regions of Peru - Sustainable management of marginal ecosystems

The Andean region of Peru is characterized by extreme poverty, severe degradation of natural resources and high vulnerability to disasters. For rural development measures to achieve tangible impacts in this complex environment, well-coordinated approaches and coherent action are essential.
Dr. Helmut Eger (
Hans-Joachim Picht (
Thomas Schaef (
Peru Rural Development Programme
c/o Agencia de la GTZ en Lima
Lima, Peru
Ingrid Prem (
Philipp Buß (
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH
(GTZ - German Technical Cooperation)
Eschborn, Germany