Message from the Secretary General on World Water Day, 22 March

The theme this year of World Water Day, Coping with scarcity, is an important one as we enter the third year of the water for life decade. We know that Water scarcity affects all social and economic sectors and threatens the sustainability of the natural resources base. Addressing water scarcity requires an intersectoral and multidisciplinary approach to managing water resources in order to maximize economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. Integration across sectors is needed. This integration needs to take into account development, supply, use and demand, and to place the emphasis on people, their livelihood and the ecosystems that sustain them.

Our Convention has a key role to play in helping promote the understanding that better management of ecosystems, especially wetlands, is essential in the promotion of a sustainable society for the future. Our own considerations of human related issues, as identified at COP9, mean the Convention has much to say on this important issue. For just as scarcity is a critical issue for human communities, it is also so for wetland and associated ecosystems. In joining with other actors in celebrating World Water Day 2007, let us make sure the consequences of shortage and scarcity for wetlands are given prominence alongside scarcity for people. Indeed, we need to reinforce the message that ecosystems without water means in the end people without food, shelter - and especially water!

More resources for World Water Day 2007 are to be found at http://www.unwater.org/wwd07/campaign.html#galleries. Why not send an e-card to remind others of the importance of the Convention in resolving this most critical of global issues?! Have a good World Water Day!

Peter Bridgewater

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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