Committed to Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All

In Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC

Wuxi Declaration of Water and 
Human Settlements in 21st Century

Date: ​November 8, 2009

 Water is the source of life and origin of our ecological world.


Since ancient times, man chose to live near water; cities were built beside water and civilizations flourished along with water. Flowing water brings forth winds and animates the atmosphere, clear water creates glorious places and outstanding peoples, fluent water connects the world, while beautiful water brings us delicious dishes with the fragrant aroma of “fish and rice”.


In the Eastern Philosophy, it is said that the highest virtuous is like water, and the wise take pleasure in water while in the Western Philosophy, mans’ intimation to nature and conversion to water are after all the innate spiritual aspirations..


However, due to fast industrialization and urbanization and other comprehensive influences, water pollution and water shortage have posed increasingly serious challenges to humanity and its dependent planet, as is becoming a much more arduous task because of the uncertainty of the climate change.


Today, the challenge that we commonly face bring us together here on the Taihu Lake from all around the world, at the birthplace of the 3,000-year-old Wu culture—Wuxi, China—to convene the 2009 Global Forum on Human Settlements and discuss on the theme of Water and Human Settlements in 21st Century”.


We have reached a consensus as follows:


1. In the current world, the value of people-orientation, sustainable development, and ecological civilization building has become the mainstream trend, and artistic human settlements, healthy life and harmonious coexistence with nature are none other than our worthwhile goals.


2. The cities and villages that we depend on can not be deprived of clean water. As for each one of us, without clean water or health, life will become worthless, and wealth will no long boast its meaningfulness.


3. No country, no region or any person has a safe island to just stay alone in front of the water crisis. We have to be alarmed and bravely and solemnly face the crisis, and jointly and respectively take the responsibility and work hand-in-hand to tackle the challenge.


4. We must take measures to work together on the basis of mass prevention and mass treatment, governments and legislative organs must establish a scientific and effective mechanism through law and regulation and make water conservation and water treatment the common responsibility of the governments, enterprises, NGOs and all the citizens. Only by starting from the source can we make it possible for all rivers and lakes to recuperate and regenerate.


5. However, the global financial crisis and climate change also bring new favorable opportunities to us. The rapid development of green technology will inevitably bring forward a new green industry revolution. And water environment industry will usher in unprecedented development opportunities.


Therefore we hereby propose:


1. We shall treasure and love water. We must actively conduct scientific and educational water-loving activities, advocate water-loving ecological culture building and let water bring much more enjoyment for people’s life.


2. We shall save on water. We must enhance the awareness of water conservation of the whole society, innovate water conservation technology, improve water-use efficiency and greatly build up water-efficient industry, water-efficient agriculture, water-efficient architecture, water-efficient communities and water-efficient cities.


3. It is a global campaign. Each citizen on the earth ought to start from her/him-self, and start from scratch right now and take an active lead in the campaign. We should choose environmentally friendly lifestyle and production mode, reduce the emission of pollutants and lessen the perturbation to water and pollution of water.


4. We shall strengthen cooperation. We must strengthen the international cooperation between regions, drainage basins, and by establishing the dialogue mechanism and coordination system we shall clear cooperative channels, take much more effective actions to improve water environment, safeguard water security while building sustainable human settlements.


5. We shall carry out scientific and technological innovation. Science and technology are our major driving force for water conservation and water treatment. Scientists and entrepreneurs should cooperate with each other, take hold of the opportunity of the green industry revolution; jointly establish a platform for scientific and technological innovation and entrepreneurship, increase the transformation of scientific and technological efforts into achievements and provide strong technical support for water conservation and water treatment.


All Representatives of 2009 Global Forum on Human Settlements