The destruction of the Tanjaro River ecosystem shows that all is lost when water is polluted. Its recovery is also becoming an example of the difficulties of governance in a country that has not recovered from several wars. The short film Tanjaro is Dying, finalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 5, shows the disastrous consequences of the uncontrolled growth of a city in a region that has almost no memory of peace.
The Burkinabe province of Sissili has managed to eradicate open defecation. The implementation of the CLTS method, based on the communities’ decision to abandon this practice and build their own latrines, has proven to be effective. The Foundation’s collaboration with UNICEF, started four years ago, has established the guidelines the Burkinabe government will follow in the future to rid the rest of the country of a scourge that hinders human and economic development.
Lack of water, poor quality of parched pastures and inefficient governance underlie most ethnic and religious conflicts in the Sahel region. In the so called African “hunger belt”, it is clear that the attainment of the SDG 6 is essential to attain all other goals, especially SDG 16: peace, justice and strong institutions. An achievement that will enable the planet to envision a much better future.
The more we know about environmental problems, the more global solutions become. The water footprint of economic activity is closely linked to the carbon footprint, and both have an impact on the ecological footprint. The goal of reducing greenhouse gases should take hydric stress into consideration in a global approach that is essential to achieve efficiency and justice.
The acceptance of sustainability as an economic asset is spreading among companies. It transforms the concept of social responsibility and brings economy closer to citizens. Water use efficiency is increasingly present in sustainable business growth strategies and is critical to attain the SDGs.
The listing of water rights in California on the Wall Street stock exchange has raised serious issues due to the negative influence it might have on the protection of the human right to water. It is the response of the free market to a scarce good that is subject to the ups and downs in availability and prices mainly due to the climate crisis and the increase in demand. It is a factor that opens the perspective to financial speculation and this must be avoided.
The fight against the global eradication of trachoma needs a final push. The terrible disease, which causes blindness in 1.9 million people, requires surgery and antibiotics, but also clean water, hygiene and sanitation. The slowdown due to Covid-19 can be reversed in a joint and complementary move toward eradicating both diseases in the poorest and most disadvantaged areas in the world.
Nature is our most important asset. Not only is it the base of our economy, it is also an essential part of ourselves. If it gets sick, we all get sick. And its health has significantly deteriorated in the past few decades without traditional economy taking this into account. It is urgent to move forward so that economic advances include nature in the definition of wealth and water is a good indicator. Revising the concept of GDP is a first step.
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