Environmental damage, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises around the world. Floods, drought and water pollution worsened by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes. When our ecosystems are neglected, it is harder to provide people with water needed to survive and thrive.
The water-related benefits of healthy ecosystems provide a powerful illustration of the fundamental nature of ecosystem services. Ecosystems provide water purification as they process and filter out pollutants and sediment when water moves through wetlands, forests and river systems – allowing for the provision of clean drinking water. Ecosystems regulate water quantity, storing and tempering the release of water thereby providing protection against water-related disasters such as floods.
Nature-based solutions have the potential to solve many of water challenges. It is a need to do so much more with ‘green’ infrastructure and harmonize it with ‘grey’ infrastructure wherever possible. Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods.
In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners. The 2018’s theme of World Water Day is “Nature for Water”, which will explore how people utilize nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century. The “Nature for Water” will mean how we can reduce floods, droughts and water pollution by using the solutions we already find in nature.
Taking the global theme of 2018, UNESCO Office Jakarta and Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN) will jointly organize a half-day seminar to celebrate World Water Day 2018. The event will bring together experts, relevant national stakeholders, universities, and development partners, to exchange their views on the “Nature for Water”. In addition, the event will launch the World Water Development Report (WWDR) 2018, which is an annual and thematic report, developed from joint effort of the UN agencies and entities that focuses on different strategic water issues each year and aims to provide decision-makers with the tools to implement sustainable use of our water resources. Besides, there will be a side event exhibition to showcase the achievement of UNESCO Office Jakarta and IGCN networks.