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Documentary on sustainable water solutions awarded FAO prize

The issues of water are complex, challenging, and universal. People mostly think of water as the solution for thirst. However, it is the magic ingredient in food as well, essential for agriculture, which accounts for 70 percent of fresh water withdrawals. With only 2.5 percent of the world’s water being fresh water, people need to find a way to use this precious resource efficiently and sustainably in order to continue feeding the ever-growing world population.

This concern is highlighted in Sustainable Nation, an hour-long documentary that was awarded the FAO Osiris Prize at the 35th Agrofilm International Film Festival in Slovakia. The Israeli film follows three dedicated “water warriors” whose goal is to ensure sustainable access to water in communities from developing and developed nations alike.

Be it a drought in the United States, water shortages in Israel, contamination of fresh water sources in India, or long distances women walk for water in Uganda, the film examines long-term, sustainable water solutions that also aim to protect natural resources. Very often these innovative solutions rely on the combination of modern technologies and simple methods that come from people outside the local community and can be replicated elsewhere.

“Sustainable Nation is a film not just about the global water crisis, but about changing the way we think about water,” said director Micah Smith. “The film follows the lives of those living in water-starved areas and the innovators who traverse the globe seeking solutions.”

A sustainable future, framed by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, is a joint responsibility that calls for comprehensive and participatory approaches. From ending poverty and hunger to responding to climate change and sustaining our natural resources, food and agriculture lies at the heart of this. Therefore FAO's work is geared to tackle the root causes of poverty and hunger, build a fairer society and leave no one behind.

More than 100 films from all around the globe were submitted for the Agrofilm festival. Screenings took place in several cities across Slovakia accompanied by several side events, including lectures, discussion forums, an art exhibition, and farmer’s markets.

4 October 2019, Nitra, Slovakia

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