Every year on April 22nd the world celebrates the Earth Day as a reminder of the importance of addressing environmental challenges as a priority to preserve and improve living conditions on the planet. In this year, the Earth Day is a particularly important date as the MDG 2015 deadline is approaching and because of the increasingly worrisome impacts of global climate and environmental change which are adding a significant stress to developing countries and areas whose resources are already scarce. The theme of Earth Day 2014 isGreen Cities and focuses on the environmental challenges posed by the growing global population and the development trends pushing towards increased urbanization worldwide. Great urban agglomerations call for sustainable management systems to compensate the needs of the rising population with sound environmental planning and resources management. Among these, water is a fundamental asset for sustaining life and for supporting progress, especially because it is intertwined with all the other variables at stake including food security and energy.
At Hydroaid we believe in a holistic approach to development revolving around water as a key resource and on training as tool for promoting sustainable resources management. The experience development by the Italian approach to cooperation for development and by our activities already brought us to raise the issue of integrated management solutions of water, food and energy security in the occasion of the 2012 VI World Water Forum in Marseille and later on at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20, where Hydroaid hosted a side-event dedicated to this topic. Today more than ever it is important to support integrated approaches that will shape the sustainability of our cities and of our future as well. Green initiatives in the field of cooperation also represent an opportunity for many countries to reach out for already developed and advanced resource management techniques and to skip intermediate steps. Especially in the case of water, this process will allow developing context to rapidly overcome severe environmental difficulties while reducing their poverty gaps and improving life quality standards. Hydroaid fully embraced this goal and strives to constantly improve its expertise and to adapt it to the needs of the target areas. The ICT (Information Communication Technologies) evolution, in particular, offered us the chance for expanding and improving our training potential in terms of number of beneficiary subjects, level of interaction and enrichment of knowledge sharing which, in the case of water, truly represent a step forward in setting a more sustainable resource management and overcome inequalities. In 2014 Hydroaid will be engaged on a number projects centered on Water and Food Security contributing to sustainable development with training and capacity building, including the European projects WATSAM (2012-2015) and Erasmus+.
Thanks to their consolidated cooperation on the topics of water, waste and sanitation, Hydroaid and the Province of Turin have been selected for coordinating the visit of a delegation representing the winning initiatives of the Prêmio Cidade Pró-Catador, an award of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of Brazil aimed at recognizing good local practices for the reuse and recycle of waste products contributing to the efforts of the Federal Government in overcoming poverty and sanitation issues promoting social and economic inclusion policies, and fostering development.4 Brazilian municipalities have been selected as winners: Arroio Grande (RS), Bonito de Santa Fé (PB), Crateús(CE) and Ourinhos (SP). Their visit in Italy started on April 7th in Rome with a visit to the AMAwaste collection and composting centers, and proceeded in Turin until April 11th with technical visits of local waste management plants, including Transistor selection center for electronic devices, AMIAT waste collection center, Italmaceri paper selection plant, DEMAP plastic selection plant, ACEA composting site and a collective composting facility in the Municipality of Sant'Antonino di Susa.