background preloader

Water & the MDGs

Facebook Twitter

Beyond 2015. Can 'Blue Forests' Mitigate Climate Change? YEOSU, South Korea, May 21, 2012 (IPS) - Fifty-five percent of global atmospheric carbon captured by living organisms happens in the ocean. Between 50-71 percent of this is captured by the ocean’s vegetated "blue carbon" habitats, which cover less than 0.5 percent of the seabed, according to a 2009 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report entitled ‘Blue Carbon – The role of healthy oceans in binding carbon,’ one of the first documents to demystify the term. These recent discoveries - of the efficiency of ocean vegetation in mitigating greenhouse gases and ocean ecosystems’ ability to store atmospheric carbon dioxide for millennia – has sent scientists running to probe the potential role of 'blue forest's in global efforts to lessen climate change.

"Carbon stored and taken out of the atmosphere by coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass and salt marsh is called blue carbon," explained Nairobi-based Gabriel Grimsditch of the UNEP. But there are risks. Climate, Water & Food Security: FAO 2011. End Water Poverty. OECD on meeting the Water Challenge. Table of contents | Access the full report | Multilingual Summaries | Related events Executive summary Chapter 1.

OECD on meeting the Water Challenge

Framing the water reform challenge-Key water trends and projections -Emerging issues in water policy -Designing reforms that are realistic and politically acceptableChapter 2. RIO+20: Water as Human Right. UNITED NATIONS, May 31, 2012 (IPS) - Canada, in a dramatic political turnaround, has signaled its willingness to recognise water and sanitation as a basic human right. As negotiations continue over the Rio+20 plan of action on sustainable development to be adopted in Brazil next month, Canada became one of the last Western nations to drop its opposition to a reference to water as a human right in the document titled "The Future We Want. " Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, one of Canada's largest social justice advocacy organisations, said it took "unprecedented pressure" to get the government in Ottawa to change its position. "The shift is a good thing, but words are not enough. We need actions, and the government's actions directly contradict respect for the human right to water," said Barlowe, a former U.N. senior advisor on water to the president of the General Assembly.

Asked what next, she told IPS: "That's a very good question. " When the U.N. UN-Water Rio+20. Water and the Future We Want. Water footprints: lessons from Kenya's floriculture sector. A fresh bunch of roses taken from a cold storage room sit in a cart ready to be discarded at a flower exporter's farm in Naivasha, Kenya. Photograph: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images There are flowers to fit every occasion. But if you are celebrating World Water Week (26-31 August), you might want to think twice. A single rose – grown in Kenya, as many of the world's cut flowers are – takes around 10 litres of water to produce, with the so-called water footprint, or virtual water export, of Kenya's floriculture industry having more than doubled over the past 15 years, mostly to supply the Netherlands (69%), the UK (18%) and Germany (7%).

Water for the World - Rio+20 The Future We Want. Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in.

Water for the World - Rio+20 The Future We Want

There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world.

Drought afflicts some of the world's poorest countries, worsening hunger and malnutrition. By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water. Facts and figures Stories Videos Related Want to get involved? Do you have a vision of a world where we can all access clean water? Water, Climate and Disasters. Most of the impacts from climate change are water based: More drought and more flooding; less ice and snow; rising sea levels; more cases of violent and sporadic rainfall.

Water, Climate and Disasters

Recent climate research shows that the effects on the hydrological cycle are likely to be more serious than thought before. Over the next half century, current IPCC projections of rising temperatures and sea levels and increased intensity of droughts and storms will mean huge numbers of people, particularly in coastal zones, will be displaced. Impacts are already being felt and the poor are hit hardest. A recent report projects that by 2030, worldwide deaths will reach almost 500,000 per year, people affected by climate change annually could rise to over 600 million and the total annual economic losses from climate change impacts could be USD 300 billion (Global Humanitarian Forum 2009 ).

Floods and droughts Melting snow and ice As the climate warms, snow and ice melt faster with profound impacts on rivers downstream.