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Edited by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management and the United Nations Environment Programme, The Role of Ecosystems in Disaster Risk Reduction is one of the first books to compile latest knowledge and evidence on the links between healthy ecosystems and resilience to disasters.
Most human activities that use water produce wastewater. As the overall demand for water grows, the quantity of wastewater produced and its overall pollution load are continuously increasing worldwide. Over 80 per cent of the world’s wastewater – and over 95 per cent in some least developed countries – is released to the environment without treatment.
The world is facing a water quality challenge. Serious and increasing pollution of fresh water in both developing and developed countries poses a growing risk to public health, food security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services. Pollution is strongly linked to economic development – with population growth and the expansion of agriculture, industry and energy production all in turn producing wastewater, much of which goes into surface and groundwater bodies uncontrolled or untreated.
The world is facing a water quality challenge due to serious and increasing water pollution, both in developed and developing countries. This poses a growing risk to public health, food security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services. It is urgent to assess where water quality is inadequate or under threat and to incorporate the need for good water quality into the concept of water security.
The Tana River basin supplies Nairobi with 80 per cent of its drinking water. It also provides 70 per cent of the country’s hydropower. Eight million people live along the river, where tea, coffee, maize and other cash crops are grown for export, and cattle grazing and fishing provide major sources of food for large parts of the country’s population.
UN Environment's new Freshwater Strategy 2017 - 2021 is designed to bring together the organization's work that touches upon freshwater and provide a catalyst for action with various partners and stakeholders, at different levels of engagement. The Strategy describes where UN Environment will take global leadership, contribute to topics of immediate and pressing concern, and actively follow processes closely related to freshwater.