We are facing a global crisis never before experienced. COP 28 is perhaps the international conference that will have the most significant relevance for the future of humankind. No corner of the planet, nor any of its eight billion inhabitants, can escape climate change. The response must address mitigation and adaptation simultaneously. And it must be immediate and generous on the part of those contributing most to warming.
The large Nile basin is the stage for the biggest political disagreement over access to water resources in recent times. The interests of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia represent the dramatic dependence of agriculture, energy, security, and the environment on water management. Partnerships must prove that we can meet and overcome a challenge of this magnitude.
We are not progressing as we should to meet the 2030 Agenda. Despite improvements in some goals, the lack of progress is troubling in eradicating extreme poverty, improving food security, and climate and environmental action. There is also a slowdown in water and sanitation. A recent UN report summarizes a situation that we must reverse.
Water stress is increasingly present all across the world. If we do not take measures in the short term, the situation will be critical by the middle of this century and will seriously threaten the world's geopolitical balance. The data are compelling. Demographics, the growth of extractivism, and climate change are against us. On the positive side, we have the growing awareness of governments and companies and increasingly knowledgeable citizens.
Water science is essential for understanding and managing groundwater resources. It provides knowledge that should be accessible to all, especially those without access. It is the basis for agricultural self-sufficiency, health, and dignity. Our experience recovering wells and water bodies corroborates its importance in facing droughts with sustainable facilities.
The IPCC forecasts continue to be fulfilled, and droughts are affecting regions where they were rare. The Mediterranean Basin, especially in its western area, is experiencing an exceptional lack of rainfall. A new climatic frontier is emerging there, and the solutions generated will be of utmost importance for future water management on Earth.
The world of water shows us that we must study problems and approach solutions from a global perspective. All human activities are closely interrelated, and isolated sectoral initiatives run a high risk of failure in terms of efficiency and sustainability.
COP15 on biodiversity has been the first in which the private sector has participated. It is a realistic and practical step forward that reverses the flow of pressure from citizens and companies to political power and promotes the understanding of natural capital as an irreplaceable value that must be preserved.
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