Results: 1 - 10 of 14
  • The costs of industrial water pollution on people, planet and profit
    Author: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).Industrial pollution is a severe threat to water resources around the world, particularly in the Global South where the view prevails that pollution is the price to pay for progress. This view is usually associated with the ideas that dealing with pollution is too costly, that pollution prevention is too difficult and impractical, and that environmental and social effects can be dealt with in the future. To make matters worse, there is also a general misconception that wastewater treatment plants can eventually deal with all water pollutants, whatever their toxicity. This short-term view has resulted in the widespread dumping of undisclosed and often hazardous chemicals into water. However, when substances with persistent and/or bioaccumulative1 properties remain undetected or ignored in the aquatic environment, longlasting and irreversible environmental and health problems can result. Zero dischargeThe only way to address these hidden dangers in our water is through a preventative approach: Taking action to phase out the use and discharge of hazardous chemicals, rather than attempting to control the damage with endof-pipe treatment methods. Accordingly, Greenpeace is calling for governments to adopt a political commitment to zero discharge2 of all hazardous chemicals within one generation, based on the precautionary principle and a preventative approach to chemicals management. This commitment must be matched with an implementation plan containing short-term targets, a dynamic list of priority hazardous substances requiring immediate action3, and a publicly available register of data about discharge emissions and losses of hazardous substances, such as a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR)4. Our call for zero discharge is built upon three decades of exposing and addressing the problem of hazardous chemicals. However, rapid industrialisation is now taking place in many parts of the Global South, with seemingly little regard for the painful lessons learnt in the Global North where the pollution caused by hazardous substances has generated enormous economic, environmental and social costs
  • Securing Water and Land in the Tana Basin: a resource book for water managers and practitioners
    Author: UNEPThis manual is about ecosystem management in the Tana Catchment the second largest basin in Kenya with a large variety of landscapes from high potential upland areas to mainly pastoralist arid and semi-arid lowlands. The ecosystem approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. Adopting it will help to reach a balance between three objectives: conservation, sustainable use, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits1 . Ecosystem services are defined as the benefits humans receive from ecological systems and include provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services (MA 2005). An ecosystem service could be food products, but can also describe as more complex functions that benefit human life in an indirect way. Ecosystem services have been categorized by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment into four types (see figure 1): Provisioning services are perhaps the most recognizable as benefits to people and can be easily valued in economic terms. These include food (such as fish, but also crops), fibre and fuel, but also genetic material. Regulating services ensure that ecosystems keep on functioning through changes and include climate regulation, water regulation, water purification and waste treatment, erosion regulation, natural hazard regulation, and pollination. Cultural services are non-tangible and hard to put a value on. These services can be spiritual and inspirational, recreational, aesthetic, and educational. Supporting services are functions that provide over a long-term time. They include soil formation and nutrient cycling. Ecosystem services can also be divided into direct market goods (such as water for domestic use or crop yields) and non-market goods (such as biodiversity, or soil formation) (Wilson & Carpenter 1999). Estimating the values of goods and services in an ecosystem helps to make hidden social and environmental cost and benefits visible (Wilson & Carpenter 1999). In some instances, services can be replaced by technology but often only at a higher cost than maintaining the original service (Cairns 1995). It may be a useful thinking exercise to try and value the service. For example, a watersheds purification functions can be monetized and compared to the cost of substituting these by a water treatment facility to provide clean water to a community
  • Adaptation of water resources management to climate change
    Author: IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UKThis report will help water professionals to identify actions that can be taken to adapt to the changes in the world's water regimes expected to occur over the coming decades. Its origins can be traced back to the World Water Vision, a declaration on global water issues adopted in March 2000 during the Second World Water Forum. The Vision highlighted climate change as one of the major challenges facing water professionals over the next twenty-five years. The World Water Vision coincided with a growing awareness within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the need to adapt to climate change. Changes to the climate are already leading to more unstable and shifting water regimes around the world. The limited reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that are agreed upon in international negotiations will be inadequate to mitigate their effects. It is becoming apparent that if we cannot prevent the problem, we must adapt to it. IUCN's work on the linkage between water and wetland resources and climate change stems from its engagement in the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. As a long-standing partner of that Convention, IUCN provided technical advice to Parties when they adopted their first resolution on climate change at their seventh Conference of Contracting Parties in 1999. More recently, IUCN prepared the Wetlands and Climate Change report, which provided an analysis of the linkages between the Ramsar Convention and the UNFCCC. Further work conducted by IUCN in partnership with others has unveiled more and more evidence of increasingly unstable and shifting water regimes around the world. Water professionals in most countries are confronted with greater variability in the amount and seasonality of rainfall and stream flows, as well as the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme hydrological events. Their concern is that this variability will increase with a warming world, and place ever increasing challenges on conventional water practices and policies. This book encourages water professionals to continue with, and to strengthen, the changes they are already beginning to make. Climate change reinforces the new style of management that is emerging within the water sector in response to rising demands for water resources. Such a management style moves beyond technical quick fixes to engage with various societal groups in a process to deal with emerging risks and uncertainties. The new management style includes all stakeholders, relies on the capacities of people, encourages joint learning, and invests in managing conflicts. IUCN looks forward to working with water professionals and other partners in catalysing a societywide process for addressing one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Only by thinking, working and learning together can we tackle the impacts on water resources and the uncertainties induced by climate change.
  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development
    Author: Tariq Banuri and Hans OpschoorThe purpose of this working paper is to raise critical issues on the relationship between climate policy and sustainable development. It criticizes current policy approaches, including that reflected in the Kyoto Protocol, on the grounds that they have inadvertently resulted in the placing of climate policy and development into separate boxes. Policy experience on climate stabilization has developed largely within the institutional, economic, and political context of industrialized countries, but policy analysis now needs to turn single-mindedly to the situation of developing countries. In the future, it would be necessary not only to induce adjustment in industrialized countries, but also to re-orient the growth process in the developing world towards de-carbonization. To this end, the working paper concludes with the identification of a set of questions for wider and urgent discussion. To set the stage, Section 1 provides a brief summary of recent developments in the climate literature. There is virtually no doubt today that climate change is already happening, that it is caused by the emission and accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, that it poses the gravest of dangers to life on this planet, and that much of its impact is already locked in because of past actions, but the most extreme costs could be avoided if policy responses are put in place immediately. Section 2 moves from climate trends to stabilization, and summarizes global as well national actions (in particular those developed under the Kyoto Protocol) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In retrospect, these have proven highly inadequate and have not produced an appreciable impact. The ideas that are being discussed on how to proceed beyond Kyoto are framed within the same overall approach. Their main weakness is the absence of credible measures that can reassure developing countries that the development agenda will be reconciled and integrated into climate action. De-carbonized economic development requires an approach that goes beyond Kyoto. Instead of separating climate and development, it should separate responsibility (and funding) from action. This implies a shift from the language of emission targets or rights to the language of investment, a language that provides the core of development thinking. A concrete option is to initiate a globally funded public investment program in developing countries, using the example of the Manhattan Project, to deploy available renewable technologies on a massive scale. Section 4 presents some initial ideas on this approach, and recommends research and analysis on critical themes.
  • Water Harvesting -Guidelines to Good Practice
    Author: : Rima Mekdaschi Studer and Hanspeter LinigerThese guidelines provide an overview of proven good practice in water harvesting from all over the world. They form a practical reference guide while providing support and specific technical expertise for the integration of water harvesting technologies into the planning and design of projects. Thus existing information and experience is strengthened. On a broader scale, the guidelines objective is to facilitate, share and upscale good practice in water harvesting given the state of current knowledge. Targeted end users include local and regional planners / advisors, rural development consultants, rainwater harvesting networks and communities of-practice, project managers, extension agents and other implementing staff. Through informing these professionals, the aim is to stimulate discussion and new thinking about improved water management in general, and water harvesting in particular, within rainfed agriculture, particularly in the drylands. The ultimate goal is to contribute to lifting 80 million rural people out of poverty by 2015: water security is a prerequisite to achieve food security for these people. In Part 1 of these guidelines the concepts behind water harvesting are introduced and a working definition proposed. This then leads to the development of a harmonized classification system. It is followed by an assessment of suitability, adoption and upscaling, and reflections on planning of water harvesting. In Part 2, we provide an overview of four water harvesting groups (or categories) and, for each, give a selection of good practice in the form of case studies. These case studies are presented in the systematic, consistent and standardised format developed by the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT).
  • Water governance in Kenya: Ensuring Accessibility, Service delivery and Citizen Participation
    Author: Hilda Moraa, iHub Research.Water governance involves the upholding of the policies, strategies and legislation where water service providers have to develop and manage water resources in an efficient and effective manner while being accountable to the recipients of the services. Effective management and access to water resources is vital to sustainable development and good governance. Governments across the world have spent considerable effort and resources to move toward that goal. Governments, the public, donors, and development agencies have often neglected challenges in water governance. Some of these challenges are related to policies, access to water resources, participation and water information. In Kenya, a range of technical solutions for water problems could work if governance structures are good. The first section of this paper addresses a review of Kenyas water supply and sanitation situation. The second section encompasses the governance structure in the water sector, which includes the policies, and institutions set to address water problems. The final section covers key water governance components and the use of technology as a strategic tool in the thematic area of water.


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