Stockholm, Sweden -- Wetlands International calls for action to address urgent water security issues that are undermining the health and livelihoods of millions of people through our participation at World Water Week, which features the theme “Water and Food Security.” As part of high level discussions on the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, and in order to draw attention to the emerging phenomenon of ‘water grabbing’, we are showcasing our work in Mali where the wetlands of the Inner Niger Delta are critical for the food and water security of over one million people.
Wetlands International calls for better decision making (both public and private) in which the rights and needs of communities are taken into account in order achieve sustainable, equitable development. The water, energy, and food sectors are interconnected in important ways. This ‘nexus’ means that actions taken in one sector, in isolation, can have detrimental impacts on other sectors.
Too often the impacts from freshwater abstraction and pollution on ecosystems, water supplies and livelihoods are not apparent or even considered in decision making for energy, food and industrial purposes. In fact, rivers, lakes, deltas and swamps serve as critical ‘natural water infrastructure’ and support the livelihoods and health of many of the poorest and most marginalised communities in the world.
To bring attention to these issues, we are speaking at the following events:
Tuesday 28 August, Towards a Green Economy: The Water-Food-Energy Nexus
09:00 - 17:30 Room T5
At 14:25 Bakary Kone of Wetlands International Mali will deliver a keynote address on Water for Food, Energy and Ecosystems - Opinions for Benefits Sharing in the Upper Niger Basin. As part of The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus workshop, organised by the German government, Stockholm International Water Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute, we will highlight the critical need to put the environment at the heart of considerations on water, food and energy. To achieve sustainable development in Mali, the many benefits provided by wetlands through services such as fish production and water for farming in the Inner Niger Delta need to be better integrated into plans for large-scale infrastructure and land deals for upstream irrigation.
Tuesday 28 August, Side event on Water Grabbing
17:45 - 18:45 Room K21
Wetlands International and partners Rain, BothEnds and Simavi will call attention to the emerging issue of water grabbing. Ground and surface waters are under increasing stress around the world. The goal to ensure sustainable food and water security is being put further at risk from large-scale land acquisitions targeting lands with water for irrigation. In this side event we will present a case study on the challenges in the Inner Niger Delta of Mali, where over one million people depend on the waters for their livelihoods, health and sanitation. We will also invite participants to help define the problem, identify causes and drivers, and contribute solutions. View the side event flyer.