Doc. 8321
10 February 1999

Lack of water resources and agriculture

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr Hadjidemetriou and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only

the members who have signed it

1. The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development organised the Third Mediterranean Agriculture Forum (Nicosia, 26-27 October 1998) which focusd on the problems of, and prospects for, water use in Mediterranean agriculture.

2. To date, agriculture is the main consumer of water and irrigation (16 million hectares) uses 60% of water resources (85% in the southern Mediterranean). The situation is particularly serious for countries where agriculture is still a major economic sector and where it will have to develop further in order to meet the dietary needs of a growing population.

3. Emphasis has been placed on the urgent need for rational, sustainable management of water resources in order to guarantee their renewal and supply without endangering the economic sectors that depend on them, against a background of growing demand and overexploited resources.

4. The development of agriculture in the Mediterranean region requires urgent measures to reduce water wastage, encourage more rational consumption and introduce new agricultural technologies less dependent on water.

5. To this end, it is important not just to make technological advances but also to train farmers better and provide them with the necessary technical and financial resources, as well as developing international co-operation.

6. In addition to the role that can be played by research and advisory bodies such as the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies or agricultural trade organisations, represented by the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, the Council of Europe has a political role to play in helping to resolve the water problem and prevent it from becoming a further source of conflict in the region.

7. The Assembly therefore intends to examine the problems facing agriculture due to the water shortage in the Mediterranean region. In particular, it recommends the member states concerned to take measures to ensure more efficient water management, to facilitate the introduction of new agricultural irrigation techniques, to encourage farmers to become involved and improve their training and to develop agronomic research.

Signed : 1

Hadjidemetriou, Cyprus, SOC

Aylward, Ireland, LDR

Behrendt, Germany, SOC

Ciupaila, Lithuania, LDR

Etherington, United Kingdom, SOC

Gonzalez Laxe, Spain, SOC

Janowski, Poland, EPP/CD

Kitov, Bulgaria,EPP/CD

Korkeaoja, Finland, LDR

Loule, Greece, UEL

Seiler, Switzerland, LDR

Skopal, Czech Republic, SOC

Telgmaa, Estonia, EDG

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group