UN bodies red code the impact of climate change on water resources crippling overall development
Various United Nations bodies October 29, 2021 made an urgent appeal to countries to make water an integral part of the fight against climate change. The Conference of Parties (CoP 26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) starts in Glasgow October 31.
A letter addressed to heads of countries by UN agencies like World Meteorological Organization, World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, IFAD, Unesco, Unicef, United Nations Environmental Programme, UN University, the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the Global Water Partnership (GWP), said:
Accelerated action is urgently needed to address the water-related consequences of climate change that impact people and the planet.
The UN agencies quoted an earlier Unicef report that over one-third of the world’s child population were severely exposed to water scarcity.
The UN World Water development Report 2020 emphasises that water is the ‘climate connector’ that allows for greater collaboration and coordination across the majority of targets for climate change (Paris Agreement), sustainable development (2030 Agenda and its SDGs) and disaster risk reduction (Sendai Framework).
The UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 aims to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” Climate change impact is going to affect this particular SDG in the water sector, besides others.
The UN agencies appealed to countries to “address more effectively, the water dimensions of climate change adaptation and mitigation, as provided for in an UN-agreed framework to accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6.”
They said as a priority countries should “integrate the water and climate agendas at a national level through national adaptation and resilience planning and at the regional level, through transboundary cooperation.”
This is one of the seven “urgent priorities” that the UN agencies have flagged for countries to take up.
As weather-related disasters strike countries with greater frequency due to climate change, the lack of meteorological infrastructure like early warning systems add to the woes.
One of the seven priorities suggested in the letter is to “encourage universal access to timely warnings about water-related disasters to help save lives and protect livelihoods.”
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