Displaying 21-23 of 23 key documents
Source: UNESCO | March 2009
This report, prepared by the World Water Assessment Programme under UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), assesses global freshwater resources including what drives the pressures facing them, how water is used, climate change's future effects on water supplies and options for improving water management for sustainable development.
The authors highlight the increasing demand for water, outlining the demographic, economic and social factors — such as population growth, international trade and changing lifestyles. They argue that climate change will undoubtedly affect water resources, impacting water quality and the frequency of extreme events such as droughts or flooding.
Investment in the water sector is important, say the authors — to improve access to clean water as well as decrease pollution from untreated sewage discharge. International donors must play a part in improving water infrastructure in the developing world, they add.
But how individual countries respond will depend on their own development objectives, capacity and political framework. The authors outline options for policymakers to increase supply, manage demand, reduce losses and reallocate resources.
Source: UNEP | February 2009
This report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) calls for international action to combat the global economic crisis with a stimulus package based on clean energy and environmental protection. The author — Edward B Barbier from the University of Wyoming — argues that while stimulating growth and creating jobs are key objectives, unless new policy initiatives also reduce carbon dependency, protect ecosystems and water resources, and alleviate poverty they will not be enough to avert future crises.
Developed countries must remove subsidies and adopt complementary carbon pricing policies, says Barbier. Developing countries should spend at least one per cent of GDP on improving access to clean water and should also expand educational and health services for the poor. And all economies should consider removing water subsidies to increase water efficiency, he adds.
He concludes that the international community has a central role to play in promoting this global green new deal — through global governance, facilitating access to development assistance and enhancing trade incentives.
Source: FAO | 2008
This report combines a background paper and summary report from a moderated email conference held by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in March 2007.
The background paper outlines the current and future challenges for water availability. The authors discuss options for dealing with water scarcity, focusing on agricultural water use, and ask how biotechnologies — from microorganisms for pest control to genetically modified crops — can help.
The summary report highlights the consensus among conference participants that biotechnology has a valuable role to play in addressing water scarcity in developing countries.
It presents examples of biotechnologies being used in the developing world, including marker-assisted selection, genetic modification, biofertilisers and wastewater recycling. But the report calls for increased collaboration and interdisciplinary research, as well as more involvement of stakeholders in designing solutions, to help biotechnologies move from the lab to farmers' fields.