Solving the water crisis is key to climate action and sustainable development

1

OPED: Water flows through all major global issues; from health to hunger, gender equity to jobs,
education to industry, disasters to peace.

For that reason, it has to be made an integral part of all global meetings to do with making
the world a better, safer and fairer place. Right now, this is not the case.

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the primary framework of the
international effort to eradicate extreme poverty – the success of every one of the 17

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depends on a well-functioning global water cycle.

At COP 27, the fact that water and climate change are inextricably linked was reflected in
the format of the event, but even so, water is still not a stand-alone topic for regular review and reporting in the COP process.

As we fight climate change and strive to build a better world, water must be embedded in
landmark global frameworks, including the Paris Agreement, 2030 Agenda, Sendai
Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Committee on World Food Security and others.

Without that integration, we will fail to get a grip on the major crises that threaten life on
Earth and the hope of a better tomorrow.

In the case of climate change, water must be is at the heart of our plans to mitigate and
adapt to the impacts of more extreme and erratic weather.

For instance, the protection, restoration and expansion of water-related ecosystems is
essential for safeguarding biodiversity and capturing carbon from the atmosphere.

At the same time, water and sanitation systems – existing and new – must be designed to
withstand an increasingly hostile context.

The writing is on the wall. In only 20 years, flood-related disasters have increased by 134 percent, and the number and duration of droughts by 29 per cent.

1 Against this backdrop, around 2 billion people have no access to safe drinking water and 3.6 billion live without a safe toilet.

Clearly, progress towards achieving SDG 6 – water and sanitation for all by 2030
– is seriously off-track.

We have no choice but to act faster and smarter, across sectors, to solve the water crisis for the sake of every aspect of sustainable development.

Water-related climate mitigation and adaptation should be seen as a new “social contract”
between ourselves and future generations.

In our own lives, we can all be more aware of our water footprint and be less wasteful of
water.

At the individual level, this will be a small price to pay to protect our great-grandchildren.
However, the cost to the global system will be considerable yet essential.

Financial resources must be better targeted, and new funding mobilized, towards the
infrastructure and systems needed to build and maintain water-related services across
society and the economy.

There are encouraging signs. At the national level, more attention is already being paid to
water as countries make national plans to adapt to the impacts of climate change and
reduce emissions. I welcome this and encourage all countries to follow suit.

But this is too large an issue for nation states to tackle individually. The multilateral system
exists precisely for the purpose of orchestrating a response to complex global challenges
just like this.

The Government of Egypt, which hosted COP27, launched the “Action for Water Adaptation
and Resilience” designed to make integrated water and climate action standard practice in
SDG-related actions.

This is a welcome signal that decision-makers are starting to recognize water for what it is: a medium of resilience, a problem-solver and a primary connector between all the major challenges we face.

The momentum from COP27 will carry us to next year’s UN 2023 Water Conference, the
first of its kind since 1977.

Co-hosts Tajikistan and the Netherlands are urging the world to unite around water to follow an approach that is “action-oriented,” “inclusive” and “cross-sectoral”.

We need to take the momentum built up at COP27 and convert it into a new Water Action
Agenda.

It’s down to everyone to solve the water crisis. And that can only be done when water is on
everyone’s agenda.

Gilbert F. Houngbo is Chair of UN-Water and Director-General of the International Labour
Organization

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages. Your content is delivered instantly to thousands of users in Antigua and abroad!
Contact us at [email protected]

1 COMMENT

  1. …A Antigua Me Come From!
    This was a Yahoo Group/Chat Forum, moderated by Flax(I stand corrected), Jumbee_Picknee being aware of the energy’s floating and changing around him, saw this present #water_crisis, and would comment on the devastation it could cause to HUEmanity did not pay keen attention to what they too were absorbed and floating in. I was call a #CONSPIRACIST.(I wonder if Villa363 is still blogging in these forums such as ANR).

    Yes, the water crisis is real and true and rightly so, being addressed.
    However, this #Global_Warming or #Climate_Change seems to be going the way, of the Y2K Scare mongering and tactics.
    Just like Y2K, the perceived threat to HUEMANITY was created by those same ones who profited from, approaching the #THREAT to mitigating the #THREAT and leaving the #THREAT behind(controlling the threat).
    Global Warming and Climate_Change are following the same path, as in, those who profited tremendously from creating the global warming/climate change phenomena/threat are the same ones who’ll profit the most from mitigating and controlling these #threats to HUEmanity.

    The vicious cycle of Conttol, of earths resources!

    Ras Smood aka Jumbee_Picknee
    De ‘ole Dutty Foot Bastard

Comments are closed.