Saturday, 25 October 2014

Int’l Day for Biological Diversity 1.8b people ’ll lack water by 2025 – UN

By: Chioma Umeha

Unless there are increased efforts to reverse current trends, the world will run out of fresh water come 2025, according to the United Nations (UN). The world body stated this on Wednesday, while marking the International Day for Biological Diversity. This year’s theme for the Day is “Water and Bio-diversity,” which corresponds with the UN Designation of 2013 as International Year of Water Cooperation. The Year is being coordinated by UNESCO on behalf of UN-Water. It also called for stronger scientific alliances to understand and protect natural resources.

“We live in an increasingly water insecure world where demand often outstrips supply and where water quality often fails to meet minimum standards.

Spring-water

“Under current trends, future demands for water will not be met. Although seemingly abundant, only a tiny amount of the water on our planet is easily available as freshwater.  “Bio-diversity and the ecosystem services they provide are central to achieving the vision of a water secure world,’’ the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day.

He said that the mutually supporting roles of forests, wetlands and soil bio-diversity. “Integrating nature-based solutions into urban planning can also help us build better water futures for cities where water may be acute given the rapid pace of urbanisation,’’ he added. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) of the total volume of water on Earth, freshwater makes up around 35 million km3, or about 2.5 per cent of the total volume. “Water scarcity affects almost every continent and more than 40 per cent of the people on our planet. “With current trends, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity by 2025, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions,’’ the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said.

“This is an opportunity for us to join efforts to enhance fair and innovative water management arrangements and to share best practises for the preservation of wetlands streams. “Wetlands streams, lakes, coasts and marine zones play a substantial role in ensuring bio-diversity,” the Head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova also said in her message.

This story was published in Daily Newswatch on  25 May, 2013.

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