Five things to know about the 2023 UN Water Conference
Water is very important for sustainable development. All life on Earth relies on water, and access to safe and clean water is a basic human right. However, decades of mismanagement and abuse have further increased water stress, posing a risk to many aspects of life that depend on this vital resource.
1. Global water crisis
Water is essential for human survival, energy and food production, healthy ecosystems, gender equality, poverty reduction and much more.
But right now we are facing a global water crisis. Currently, billions of people in the world do not have access to drinking water. An estimated 800,000 people die each year from diseases spread by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices.
The demand for a precious resource like water is constantly increasing. Nearly four billion people face severe water scarcity for at least one month a year. Given the importance of water for many aspects of life, it is important to ensure the conservation and proper management of water so that everyone can have equal access to this essential resource by 2030 .
2. Water and climate are linked
From increasing floods to unpredictable rainfall and drought conditions, the effects of climate change on water in all of these forms are increasing and can be felt at an increasing rate. These impacts threaten sustainable development, biodiversity and people’s access to water and sanitation.
State of Water-Based Climate Services, World Meteorological Organization (WMO)WMOAccording to the latest report, water-related risks have increased at an alarming rate. Since 2000, there has been a 134% increase in floods, while a 29% increase in dry spells has also been reported.
But water can also be an important solution to climate change. Conserving environments such as wetlands can improve carbon storage, adopting sustainable agricultural practices can help reduce pressure on freshwater supplies, and improving water and sanitation infrastructure. sanitation can ensure access to this vital resource in the future.
Water must be placed at the center of climate policies and actions. Sustainable water management can help build resilience, mitigate the effects of climate change and protect societies and ecosystems. Sustainable, accessible and scalable water solutions must be a priority.
3. Four decades later, bold new commitments
Li Junhua, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the 2023 Climate Summit, said the 2023 Climate Summit is a critical time to address urgent water challenges. and decide on concrete actions.
This conference will bring together Heads of Government and Heads of State, Ministers and stakeholders from various sectors around the world on a single platform to achieve internationally agreed goals. These include Sustainable Development Goal 6 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Development, which aims to ensure an equitable future and access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all.
One of the main conclusions or outcomes of the conference will be the Water Action Agenda, in which all water-related voluntary resolutions will be recorded and their progress will be tracked. The agenda also aims to encourage the commitment of Member States, stakeholders and the private sector to take urgent action to address current water challenges.
4. Focus on five key areas
At the conference, five “participant dialogues” will take place to strengthen and accelerate urgent actions for key watersheds.
Dialogue participants also endorse the five principles of the Global Mobility Framework for Sustainable Development Goal 6. This framework is an initiative to achieve universal access to water and sanitation by 2030 and to produce rapid results towards sustainable management.
There are five Participant Dialogs:
- Water for health: access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.
- Water for sustainable development: Water, the water-energy-food mix and the importance of sustainable economic and urban development.
- Water for climate, resilience and the environment: an important source for oceans, biodiversity, climate, resilience and disaster risk reduction.
- Water for cooperation: cross-border and international water cooperation, cross-sectoral cooperation and water for the 2030 Agenda.
- Decade of Action for Water: Accelerating the implementation of the goals of the Decade, through the United Nations Secretary-General’s Plan of Action.
For detailed information on these dialogues with participants Click here.
5. How to join this campaign?
Water is such an important issue that affects everyone. As UN member states, governments and stakeholders prepare to announce their water commitments, the UN is also calling on all people to take action themselves. Any action – small or large – can help accelerate change and help achieve the Goals and Sustainable Development Goal 6.
Here are some simple remedies that we can incorporate into our daily routine –
- Use less water in the bath and also reduce water waste in your home. With around 44% of water wasted in homes not safely treated for reuse, using less water in the shower can be a huge saving of this precious resource. A few tips for saving water.
- Participate in cleanup campaigns for local rivers, lakes or wetlands. Plant a tree or create your own water park. This can help protect aquatic ecosystems from pollution, reduce the risk of flooding, and store water efficiently.
- Raise awareness of the interrelation between toileting, hygiene and menstruation. Break down stereotypes by starting conversations about so-called taboo topics in your local community, school or workplace.
- Learn more about the goals and targets of SDG 6 and continue to advocate for solutions at local and national levels. Support water-related campaigns and find other ways to help conserve water resources.
Some useful links:
Five things to know about the 2023 UN Water Conference