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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Investing in science can reduce water risks – study


Recent study on water-related project has revealed that investment in science could help to reduce risks associated with water resources.
The study was conducted by the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment and promote sustainable development, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with the partnership of the United Nations University and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
About 200 major international water-related projects over the past two decades were studied which gave room for the identification of existing as well as emerging challenges and how science could offer solutions.
A press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet revealed that the study extracted lessons from a portfolio of major transboundary water projects involving investments of more than US$7 billion, about N1,1 billion.
It is also revealed that river basins in particular are set to experience growing pressures as a result of urbanization, rising water scarcity and poor water quality.
GEF warns that the linkage between science and policymaking needs strengthening, and that the consequences of poor decision-making are dire leading to water-bankruptcy in some regions in the world with their adverse effects on food and energy security.
The study showed a significant drop in the level of dissolved oxygen levels in marine areas which is a critical ecological indicator. A major increase of stored heat in oceans was also highlighted in the report.
The director, United Nations University International Network on Water, Environment and Health, Zafar Adeel said the study underscores how often early 'alarm bells' with respect to emerging issues can be heard and must be heeded.
"The report offers helpful recommendations to the GEF to foster this process," he said.
Also commenting, the GEF's International Waters Focal Area Coordinator, Ivan Zavadsky said that over 20 years GEF has catalyzed the largest investment of its kind in human history.
“GEF's $1.3 billion catalyzed a total of $7 billion of investment in managing shared waters - fresh and marine - in almost every part of the planet, above and below its surface," Ivan said.
"World leaders agreed at the Rio+20 summit in June to strengthen the science-policy interface and to foster international research collaboration on sustainable development. This is especially important in respect to water resources at a point in time of unprecedented pressures from climate change and urbanization to pollution and over extraction," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.


Yinka Awosanya/LS

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