Oggi si celebra il World Water Day, la Giornata mondiale dell’acqua istituita dalle Nazioni Unite nel 1993, con l’obiettivo di sottolineare il valore essenziale di questa preziosa risorsa, di preservarla e renderla accessibile a tutti.
Better Water, Better Jobs è il tema di questa edizione 2016, dedicata al ruolo centrale svolto dall’acqua nella creazione di posti di lavoro. Approfondiamo questo aspetto con un articolo pubblicato recentemente sul nostro portale Now How Africa.
World water day 2016: water for people, water by people
On March 22 the overwhelming importance of water internationally will take centre stage. Too few people among the world’s population of 7.4 billion realize that impacts of the availability and security of supply of safe drinking water range from micro to macro level – from the well being of individuals to the rate of development of nations across the world.
The focus of the annual World Water Day 2016 on March 22 highlights the relationship between water and a decent work agenda in the quest for sustainable development.
UN-Water supports the World Water Day campaign which is coordinated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with the support of other UN-Water members and partners.
“Today, almost half of the world’s workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights. The theme in 2016 — water and jobs — is focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies.” (see http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/about/en/).
Of particular interest to Africa, where unemployment in the 54 countries (total population 1.166 billion) ranges between 25 and 45%, is the conference’s opening address by the ILO’s Carlos Carrion Crespo, entitled What has water to do with jobs? at a conference at ILO headquarters in Geneva to mark World Water Day. The conference is one of many World Water Day events being held in various countries around the world.
The United Nations World Water Development Report 2016, entitled Jobs and Water to tie in with World Water Day, is at the core of the event in Geneva.
Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, will lay out responses to the question: How do you convince governments and donors not just to sign up to a decent work agenda but to really implement it?
His keynote address at the conference is entitled: Water and Jobs – Macro, Micro and Strategies for Developing Countries.
Thereafter, a high-powered panel will lead discussion under the heading Recognize, Organize, Formalize: How water and jobs stretch across economics, human rights, gender and vulnerable populations.
Real progress has been achieved to improve water scarcity in Africa and globally as outlined in the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which had a deadline of 2015. By 2012 an MDG sub goal of halving the proportion of the globe’s population without sustainable access to safe drinking water had been achieved.
The UN believes that investing in green sectors, including the water sector, creates more jobs and greater prosperity. “Early investment in the provision of clean water and adequate sanitation services appears to be a precondition for progress. Once made, the rate of progress will be faster and more sustainable.”
World Water Day is not the only international focus on the challenging issues of water and the impact of water availability and quality.
The annual World Water Week conference for professionals from around the globe working in the field of water and development will be held in from 28 August to 2 September. The conference is organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
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