Water, ecosystems and climate change
Water, in terms of both availability and quality, is increasingly recognised as one of the most important, and challenging, natural resource issue the world is facing. Already one third of the world's population live in areas of high water stress, set to increase to half the world population by 2030. Water scarcity creates conflicts and is increasingly becoming an issue of security in some parts of the world.
Water is key to achieving most of the MDGs, particularly for food production, drinking water and sanitation, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. The improved management of water is central to achieving sustainable development – in all countries.
Water availability and quality are services provided by ecosystems, underpinned by biodiversity – and both terrestrial and aquatic components (wetlands) play critical roles in driving nature's water cycle.
Desertification, land degradation and drought have negative impacts on the availability, quantity and quality of water resources that result in water scarcity. And most of the main impacts of climate change are expressed on ecosystems and people through changes in water availability. Water therefore forges strong links between the three Rio Conventions.
Cancun December 2010
Nagoya October 2010