The United Nations Water Conference has not been held since the 1970s. It ended this Friday in New York with commitments from the 149 participants
The Water Conference at the UN is the most important event on the topic so far. In this article you will learn the most important points of this event that will mark the future of the planet.
From March 22 to 24, a Conference exclusively dedicated to Water and its sustainable management is coming to New York. The event organized by the United Nations returns after almost 50 years with the ambition to create more measures for the protection and management of this fundamental resource.
1. Why Water
Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is the sixth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals listed by the United Nations, as this is a key point for the sustainable development of a society. Lack of access to water compromises individual health, public health, and even access to
education of various populations around the globe. In addition, several marine and aquatic ecosystems are endangered due to pollution and global warming, putting several species and populations in danger. Finally, the ocean plays a key role in the fight against global warming by having the ability to capture carbon from the atmosphere.
2. Conference Objectives
The conference aims to unite water activists around the table at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to share knowledge and solutions. This will be the opportunity to discuss key issues for good water management, such as innovation in this sector, education, and the creation of resilient cities and societies. On the table at this time of global debate is the revised water action plan, which will be discussed during the three days of formal debates. A’Midterm comprehensive review of the implementation of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028′, the official name of the conference, will focus on the relationship between water and human rights and climate action, and the best ways to implement solutions in the coming decade.
António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, emphasizes that the goal of this Conference is to create more ambitious agendas regarding water, since the opposite means the failure of the Sustainable Development Goals, the violation of human rights, and ultimately a threat to peace and development.
3. Side events
In addition to the core debates, the Conference is composed of a series of complementary events to raise awareness about the importance of this resource. Non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, and philanthropic organizations are invited to boost a set of actions aimed at sustainable water management. These events concern more specific issues such as the wisdom of indigenous communities regarding water management, education programs in certain regions of the globe, or the importance of glaciers.
4. What I can do
According to the BBC, the United Nations estimates that drought generated by climate change killed about 43,000 people last year in Somalia, responsible for less than 0.01% of global carbon emissions. It is urgent to rethink how our individual habits contribute to such a reality and take advantage of these moments of awareness to create change. There are marches, petitions, and organizations you can support that are dedicated to this resource that is so important for the sustainable development of society. Zero has a petition against deep sea mining in the Azores that you can sign here. There are also several organizations that you can support that are dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to all communities that still lack this essential commodity, such as Thirst Project.
Finally, there are certain habits you can implement on a daily basis that mean
a more responsible management of this resource. A study conducted by the European
Commission research has shown that having a plant-based diet can reduce daily water consumption by more than half at the individual level.
Leonor (better known as Nônô) inherited the taste for nature from her paternal grandfather, who used to carry seeds in his pockets to plant them when the time was right. She founded the Environmentalist Nucleus at the University where she graduated, was involved in civil disobedience movements for climate justice, and studied in London where she tasted the best veggie burger she knows to date. She pursued a master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations because it is an area she considers key to create a paradigm for climate justice. She went to Paris to deepen her knowledge in sustainability and later to write a thesis in the same area. Proud of her pots of mint and basil, an avid reader, a fan of afternoons spent around the table, an apologist for simplicity. She suspects she would be happy with a vegetable garden and a profession associated with sustainability and human rights.
The innovative furniture installed in Arroios, Lisbon, allows the collection of about 4 thousand liters of water, which will be used in periods of drought.
By January 22, renewable energies contributed to almost 90% of the national electricity consumption. It was on January 16th that the national electrical system registered
Sustainable Development Goals
This article addresses an action that promotes the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers, and lakes.