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Monday, November 5, 2012

Investment in science to reduce water risks –Study

Investments into science research has been found worthy of reducing water risks, says the latest study by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in partnership with the United Nations University (UNU) and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
The report of a recent study on water-related project has reiterated that investment in science could help in reducing risks that are in connection 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 UNU and UNEP.
About 200 major international water-related projects over the past two decades were studied which give room for the identification of existing as well as emerging challenges and how science can offer solutions.
A press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet revealed that the study extracted lessons from a portfolio of major trans-boundary 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 report of the study affirmed 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.
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 could be heard and must be heeded.
“The report offers helpful recommendations to the GEF to foster this process,” Adeel said.
Some other findings highlighted in the reports include a significant drop in the levels of dissolved oxygen in marine areas over a relatively short period of time which is an indication of critical ecology.
The report also stated that there is a major increase in stored heat in oceans with its negative impact on ecosystem, sea levels as well as human existence.
For GEF’s International Waters Focal Area Coordinator, Ivan Zavadsky affirmed that for over 20 years, GEF had 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.”
The UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP, Executive Director, Achim Steiner, pointed out that 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,” Steiner said.

Yinka Awosanya
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

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