Water


Each day, one of every two people on the planet quenches his thirst with water that originates in mountains.
And as the world population swells to an estimated 9.6 billion by 2050, the worldwide demand for freshwater will continue to soar.

More than half of humanity relies on mountain freshwater for everyday life. The ten largest rivers originating in the Hindu Kush Himalayas alone supply water to over 1.35 billion people. Some of the world’s largest cities, including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Tokyo and Melbourne, are dependent on freshwater from mountains.

Climate change is already causing more than 600 glaciers to disappear, resulting in springs and rivers drying up. Greater frequency of extreme weather events, droughts and floods, including flash floods and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), are also expected to increase in mountains, causing imbalance between current water supply and demand.

Given the importance of mountain water resources worldwide, the careful management of mountain water resources is a global priority.  Water management practices need to be adapted to different climatic zones, using locally adapted soil and water management techniques. Most importantly, watershed management must take into account the needs of all those who depend on mountain water, including those who have the greatest stake in preserving healthy mountain ecosystems – people who live in mountain areas themselves, who are often marginalized from the decision-making processes. 

Side event: Human mobility in the context of climate change in mountain areas – evidence, gaps and priorities

Side event: Human mobility in the context of climate change in mountain areas – evidence, gaps and priorities

event

The International Organization for Migration will be hosting a side event at the 3rd High-Level International Conference on International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028 in Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan. The event will be a moderated discussion held in person on 11 June (time and location to be confirmed).

The event will...

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New hydroponic garden paves the way for experimentation on better resource management in soil-less agriculture

New hydroponic garden paves the way for experimentation on better resource management in soil-less agriculture

news

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and La Sapienza University of Rome have further consolidated their research collaboration in the field of sustainable agriculture with the inauguration of a hydroponic garden on the FAO terrace, the result of the study of new water-based growing techniques.

The innovative...

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IISD report on UNFCCC expert dialogue on mountains

IISD report on UNFCCC expert dialogue on mountains

news

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded, every increment of global warming matters. Climate change impacts will be vastly different at 2°C of warming compared to 1.5°C. This is especially true for mountain ecosystems.

On Wednesday, an expert dialogue focused on exactly this topic, discussing impacts, research gaps,...

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Restoring mountain ecosystems - Challenges, case studies and recommendations for implementing the UN Decade Principles for Mountain Ecosystem Restoration

Restoring mountain ecosystems - Challenges, case studies and recommendations for implementing the UN Decade Principles for Mountain Ecosystem Restoration

publication

Mountains are home to a variety of ecosystems that provide vital services directly to 1.1 billion people and billions of others living in connected lowland areas. Half of humanity depends on mountains for the provision of freshwater alone. Mountain ecosystems cool local temperatures, increase water retention, provide carbon storage, and...

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UNFCCC COP 28 / Cryosphere Pavilion event - Mountains of opportunity: how to leverage funding for climate adaptation

UNFCCC COP 28 / Cryosphere Pavilion event - Mountains of opportunity: how to leverage funding for climate adaptation

event

Mountain areas are key for climate adaptation efforts due to their transboundary and global importance (natural hazards, water towers, global biodiversity hotspots), high vulnerability to climate change, and tendency to host marginalized and isolated communities. This event, organized by the Adaptation at Altitude programme, will focus on the importance...

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UNFCCC COP 28 - Taking Action for Humanity and the Planet

UNFCCC COP 28 - Taking Action for Humanity and the Planet

event

Climate change presents a threat to human health. It affects the physical environment and ecosystems communities depend on for their health, livelihoods, survival and well-being. Climate-sensitive health risks are disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. The Health in All Policies approach can contribute to improved governance and...

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