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75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
20-11-2006 4:00 pm “Water for Life” is the theme UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Jean-Michel Jarre has chosen for an exceptional concert among the sand dunes of the Moroccan Sahara on 16 December. The concert will also be one of the highlights marking the end of the United Nations International Year of Deserts and Desertification and part of the UN Water for Life Decade (2005-2015).
Using his hallmark state-of-the-art visual and sound technology, the French composer/musician will stress the importance of protecting and properly managing the planet’s limited freshwater resources and halting the advance of desertification.

“We want this concert to be a wake up call. We want to make people more aware of just how precious water is and the critical need to look after what we have,” said Jarre. “If everybody understood just how little water the earth has, or how many people are going without it – and dying as a result – or how much of it is being wasted, we might be able to find better ways of managing and sharing it. The problem of desertification is intimately linked to this situation and also requires urgent action.”

According to the UN World Water Development Report published by UNESCO earlier this year:

  • 1.1 billion people do not have access to sufficient quantities of drinking water;
  • 2.6 billion people have no access to basic sanitation;
  • 6,000 children die every day because they lack of drinking water or insufficient hygiene;
  • In Africa and Asia, women travel an average eight kilometers daily to access fresh water;
  • The average African lives on less than 20 litres of water a day, while the average European consumes more than 150 litres daily and North Americans, 300 litres.
  • Four million hectares, or about one third of the planet’s land surface, are threatened by desertification.

    Desertification affects the lives of more than 250 million people and threatens another 1.2 billion in 110 countries. An estimated 60 million of those affected in sub-Saharan Africa are expected to move towards northern Africa and Europe by 2020.

    The Modern Arab Orchestra of Casablanca, the Morocco Philharmonic Orchestra and a number of eminent soloists will join Jean-Michel Jarre on-stage for this unique concert which will take place at Merzouga in Morocco. It will be filmed in high-definition and broadcast live across the region by Moroccan public television and to the rest of the world via the internet and on HD channels. A post-production version will be available for broadcast by international television channels after the event.

    The concert is organized with the support of the Kingdom of Morocco and is being held under the auspices of UNESCO.

    Jean-Michel Jarre’s spectacular concert-events have attracted audiences of over one million people around the world. Since his nomination as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1993, he has used these international events as a platform to raise awareness of UNESCO’s mission. Highlights of his work include his Millennium Concert at the Pyramids of Gizeh in Egypt and his Concert for Tolerance at the Paris Eiffel Tower, commemorating UNESCO’s 50th Anniversary.

    Details of the “Water for Life” concert will be presented at a press conference at UNESCO Headquarters on Thursday, November 23 at 11 am (Room V).

    Source Media Advisory N°2006-69
    Author(s) UNESCOPRESS


  •  ID: 35763 | guest (Read) Updated: 11-12-2006 10:28 am | © 2003 - UNESCO - Contact