Addressing Global Concerns with Local Actions: World River Day- 26 September 2010
26 September 2010 (the last Sunday of September) marks the 6th World River Day. The Initiative is a means of raising awareness about crucial river issues around the globe. The official Website: http://commons.bcit.ca/worldriversday/ provides a forum for local groups worldwide to promote their activities and form linkages around the theme of river-care.
In the face of dire predictions and evaluations of the status of rivers, World River Day is a refreshing reminder of the successes that can be achieved through local efforts: http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2010/08/restoring-our-urban-streams-by.html
The founder of World River Day is river-enthusiast Mark Angelo, who first began organizing river-cleaning missions by kayak, some twenty years ago. Since these early activities his vision of local action has evolved into a much larger mobilizing force; coordinators estimate that this year several million people across 36 countries will participate in River Day events. Such local mobilizations are crucial not only for providing immediate assistance to river-systems but also for lobbying local, regional and national authorities to take action.
The advent of World River Day coincided with the UN declaration of 2005-2015 as the Water for Life Decade: http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/. This aim for this Decade is to achieve “a greater focus on water-related issues, while striving to ensure the participation of women in water-related development efforts, and further cooperation at all levels to achieve water-related goals of the Millennium Declaration, Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit for Sustainable Development and Agenda 21.”
The Decade officially started on World Water Day, which has been held on 22 March annually, since 1993: http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/. The purpose of the World Water Day is to communicate messages on water quality, ecosystems and human well-being.
Such efforts in support of water-initiatives reflect the global recognition, at all levels, of the water challenges we face. Within this global movement is the CIAT-team working on the Project: Assessing and Anticipating the Impacts of Benefit-Sharing Mechanisms (BSMs) in the Andes. This Project is part of a global river basin management scheme within the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF). This Program is largest international investment to date, on research into the interlinked issues of water management, food production, poverty alleviation and environmental conservation.
The CIAT team will soon launch their Blog-site. This will provide an overview of the global CPWF Program as well explain in detail the BSM Project in the Andean region. Stay tuned for details.