Thursday, March 22, 2012

Action needed against droughts and floods, to protect people from global water crisis Green Cross International is marking World Water Day by calling for intensified action to protect the hundreds of millions of people whose lives and wellbeing are endangered by the global water crisis and related food security challenges, particularly in the face of more frequent and intense drought and flooding.

“It was a relief to hear the UN recently state the Millennium Development Goal for access to safe drinking water would be met. But much remains to be done. Almost 800 million people still live without access to safe water and three times that number lack sanitation systems,” says Marie-Laure Vercambre, Director of Green Cross International’s Water for Life and Peace Programme.

“Unlike the goal for water, the target to provide more people with basic sanitation will unlikely be met. We know climate change, industrialization and poor sharing of water are the key drivers of the world water crisis. So why are we not doing more to implement the necessary actions to ensure all people have access to water and sanitation, which is a basic human right?”

Green Cross International, the nongovernmental organization founded by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 to address the nexus of environmental degradation, insecurity and poverty, is calling for nations to support two essential initiatives: implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in their own countries, and ratification of the United Nations Watercourses Convention for sharing cross-border rivers and connected watercourses.

“Governments can legislate to enshrine the Right to Water and Sanitation in their constitutions and laws, and invest resources in ensuring their people have access to these fundamental, life-giving needs,” Ms Vercambre says. “Members of the international community all have a role to play. Developed countries must respect their 0.7% of GDP commitment for Official Development Assistance to boost access to water and sanitation in developing countries.”...

“Proper global water governance still is at an early stage,” Ms Vercambre continues, “but by ratifying the UN Watercourses Convention, States will provide the world with a strong framework to best share the 276 transboundary rivers, the basins of which are home to 40% of the world’s population.”...

An oasis called Tergrit in Adrar, Mauritania, shot by Ji-Elle, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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