World´s Large Rivers Initiative kicks off in Vienna

A Two capital cities on opposite banks of the Congo River Brazzaville on the north© NASA Two capital cities on opposite banks of the Congo River: Brazzaville on the north side, and Kinshasa on the south side.The World’s Large Rivers Initiative kicked off recently with the first meeting of its working group, at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria.

Led by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP), this international initiative was created in response to threats and pressures on the world’s large river basins. It aims to analyze the state and future development of these vital systems, assess future trends, identify and test adaptation and mitigation strategies, and develop innovative strategies based on best practices for their sustainable management.

In the Niger Basin, Countries Collaborate on Hydropower, Irrigation and Improved Water Resource Management

Dominic Chavez World BankDominic Chavez/World BankThe Niger River is one of the few perennial sources of water in the arid and semi-arid lands of Africa’s Sahel region. For thousands of years, the river has supported communities of farmers, cattle grazers, and fishermen.

Today, the Niger Basin is one of the most fragile developing regions of the world, by any measure. Seven of the basin’s 10 countries are among the world’s poorest 20, with Niger having the lowest Human Development Index in the world. The threats of food insecurity and climate change are compounded by civil unrest, terrorism, and the Ebola crisis, all of which feed the vicious cycle of rural poverty and insecurity in the region.

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What is WED?

Celebrate the biggest day for positive environmental action!

World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.

The WED theme this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” The well-being of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources. And yet, evidence is building that people are consuming far more natural resources than what the planet can sustainably provide.

Many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.

Consuming with care means living within planetary boundaries to ensure a healthy future where our dreams can be realized. Human prosperity need not cost the earth. Living sustainably is about doing more and better with less. It is about knowing that rising rates of natural resource use and the environmental impacts that occur are not a necessary by-product of economic growth.

New Collaboration Launched to Restore the World’s Forests

United Nations Environment Programme and International Union for Conservation of Nature join forces to restore forest ecosystems

Dunes and Pine Forest at Coto Doñana National Park inSpain byPeterDunes and Pine Forest at Coto Doñana National Park inSpain byPeterEfforts to combat climate change and improve livelihoods by restoring forest lands continue to build momentum. A new collaboration is being launched between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to restore at least 150 million hectares of forest landscapes by 2020, leading up to the Secretary- General’s Climate Summit on 23 September 2014.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene November - December 2017 Vol.12 No.6