There has never been a more urgent need for environmental action. The ocean is filling with plastic and acidifying. Rivers are being polluted with untreated wastewater. Biodiversity is dwindling under the impacts of deforestation, land-use change, and agricultural intensification. Climate change is progressing, carrying with it ever more frequent and intense wildfires, floods, droughts, and amplifying issues of water scarcity and quality. Unmitigated, these impacts threaten our very existence.
Even as the Earth’s ecosystems heave under the triple threat of pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss, they carry within them the potential for combatting all three crises.
Wetlands filter wastewater, coastal mangroves and reefs provide protection against storms and flooding, forests and peatlands function as carbon sinks whilst also sustaining pollinators crucial to neighboring crops, green urban spaces mitigate flooding and cools down our cities. Protecting and restoring nature is clearly indispensable to safeguarding human and planetary wellbeing.
Tackling the challenges our planet currently faces will require nothing less than profound societal and economic transformation, including the ways I which we manage and develop our water resources. Protecting and restoring water ecosystems must be at the heart of this global redesign to ensure that ecosystem services critical to our existence are sustained.
Acknowledging the central role of healthy ecosystems in building a water-secure future lies at the core of UNEP-DHI’s work. Nature-based Solutions (NbS) constitute a key focus area of our work within integrated water resources management and climate change adaptation.
Read more about our ongoing projects and tools with nature-based solutions via the links below: