STOCKHOLM CITY: Conservation measures should be in place in all countries because shortage in the supply of water could spur civil and political unrest, said Manuel Gerardo Pedro Pulgar-Vidal Otalora, Peru’s environment minister and Convention of Parties (COP) president.
“Water should be raised in water debate in the upcoming COP in Paris in December as this is vital and (a) very crucial concern for people’s survival. Water is the main driver for food production, public health, people’s survival and economic development,” said Pulgar at the World Water Week silver jubilee celebration spearheaded by Stockholm International Water Institute.
But water scarcity is now causing unrest in many parts of the world as a result of global warming or climate change.
He said that before the discussions on climate change unfold in Paris, world leaders should address water supply shortage and include this issue as a priority development goal.
“There is a relationship between climate, water and science, food security and ecosystem development,” he underscored.
Stefan Lofven, Sweden prime minister, said his country is committed in helping address the growing demand for water. He added that they were able to implement a system that serves as a model for sustainable clean water program as they also work on reducing the use of fossil fuel.
“The world cities are growing and so is the population. The city of Stockholm manages the sustainability of clean air and clean water. Stockholm is the Venice of the north where you can find fresh drinking water in the city. Water is the key to development, food security and global success. Today, Stockholm is leading in tap water sustainability,” Lofven said.
He said that Sweden is committed to provide one percent of its Official Development Assistance (ODA) for sustainable development programs for people living in poverty as women and children are more seriously affected for lack of water and poor sanitation.
Christopher Loeak, Marshall Islands president, lauded Lofven for committing to help and address the impact of climate change.
“The rising seawater is coming already at our homes. Scientists said that at the end of the century Marshall Island will vanish because of sea level rise due to climate change,” Loeak said.
Aside from sea level rise, Loeak said that two years ago they suffered severe drought and this prompted them to declare a state of emergency.
“Food security without water, everything is dying. Climate disaster is threatening our very own survival. (The) Paris climate talk agreement is very important for the survival of the world. It is therefore imperative that any sustainable agenda ‘water sustainability’ should be part of the agenda,” he said.