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International Day of Biodiversity; a call for water security


The International Day of Biodiversity is Saturday 22 May. 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and the year that the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will conclude that the aims to reduce biodiversity loss have not been achieved. According to Wetlands International, this crisis for biodiversity is directly connected to the global water crisis that is threatening our planet.

Increasing global water stress in the poorest regions
Some 1.1 billion people that lack access to water and 2.6 billion that lack adequate sanitation services.  Population growth alone will push  a projected population of 2.1 billion, into water-short categories within the next 30 years. By the year 2025, 48 countries will be affected by water stress or scarcity - affecting around 35% of the projected global population in that year. Poverty worsens the situation as access to water is often an economical issue. Water stress in turn is increasing poverty.

The use of fresh water is increasing every day. So are the conflicts between people, villages and even countries over access to water.

Direct result of the loss of nature

In many regions water stress is a direct result of the loss and degradation of natural areas; especially wetlands like marshes and lakes. In a healthy state these areas are still the source of water for the majority of the world's people, vital for a range of services such as drinking water, food and transport. This role is however not very well recognised and seldom taken into account; loss of  biodiversity and of wetlands is often seen as ‘just’ a problem of conserving nature; not a threat to people's livelihoods.

Many development plans focus on developing infrastructure to increase access to water and sanitation systems, without considering the sustainability of the ecosystems supplying the water or the impacts of waste in downstream environments. Coordinated action is needed between sectors to ensure real water security.


To address this issue on a global level, Wetlands International will actively participate in the Strategic Plan discussions from 24-28 May in Nairobi. Download our submissions to the CBD SBSTTA and Strategic Plan at


For more information:

Wetlands International, Alex Kaat

Tel: +31 (0)6 5060 1917




Wetlands International is a global organisation that works to sustain and restore wetlands and their resources for people and biodiversity. Acting as a global authority on wetlands and their values and providing science-based knowledge, tools and approaches, we show at field level how wetlands can play a role in attenuating the global water crisis.


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