The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a new strategic document outlining its freshwater-related priorities for implementing UNEP’s Medium-Term Strategy (MTS), 2022-2025. These aim to galvanize urgent understanding, prioritization and action for water worldwide.
Produced by the Inter-Divisional Water Group, a community of practice across UNEP, the document describes what and how freshwater issues help meet the water-related Sustainable Development Goal and address the three interlinked planetary crises in the MTS:
• Climate change
• Nature and biodiversity loss
• Pollution and waste
The impacts of all three of these inter-related planetary crises are directly, and in some cases disproportionately, felt on freshwater bodies, which are essential for the lives, livelihoods and health of people, economies and the planet.
At the same time, when functional, freshwater bodies are strong allies in combating all three crises. Freshwater bodies can help protect and restore biodiversity, mitigate pollution through water filtration and purification, and contribute to climate stability by providing both mitigation and adaptation benefits.
As water is under threat, there is a compelling need for action. Together with partners, UNEP will seek to facilitate measurable and substantive progress on freshwater issues at global, regional and national levels.