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World Water Day is a day of international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and to take action to make a difference.
World Water Day dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio, Brazil where it was recommended to designate an international observance for water. The United Nations Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.
Each year, UN-Water – the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation – sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or upcoming challenge. The engagement campaign is led by one or several of the UN-Water Members with a related mandate. On World Water Day, countries and tens of thousands of individuals and organizations get involved in several ways. They get informed, engaged and act. Together they make a difference – especially for the most vulnerable people on our planet but also for future generations.
2016’s theme is “Water and Jobs” – better water, better jobs. This year’s theme was coordinated on behalf of UN-Water by the International Labor Organization which is the entity that promotes rights at work, encourages decent employment opportunities, enhances social protection and strengthens dialogue on work-related issues. This year’s theme highlights how both water and jobs have the power to transform lives: water is central to human survival, the environment and the economy and decent work can provide income and pave the way for broader social and economic advancements.
In Belize, a ‘Water and Jobs’ summit was held in Belmopan and Belize City on March 15 and 16, where the importance of water was discussed by Ministry officials, the Hydrology Unit and the National Climate Change Office. The event also highlighted the winners of the National World Water Day poetry competition. First place was won by Jahseed X Avila. There were several NGO’s that had presentations, informational booths and games for the students who attended the session in Belize City. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) assisted with the judging of the poetry competition. Entries came from across the country with notable poems about communities whose residents are dependent on fishing for their livelihood. The winners hailed from Corozal, Orange Walk, Independence Village and Belize City.
Second place was won by Suleima Pat for her poem “Water and Jobs ” which focused on drought.
“then I see a man standing on his fields.
The crops are dried; his wells are empty, and his children cry with thirst…
The seconds tick away. Tick tock tick tock …
Tears start oozing down my face.”
The week long activities included the observation of Earth Hour 2016. In several locations across the country, lights were turned off, candles lit and artists sang and conservationists gave speeches about how to carry out individual actions to to affect climate change. The CCCCC was also represented at this event which is a way to bring attention to energy consumption, sustainability, and climate-change issues.
Today is World Water Day! It is being observed under the theme International Year of Water Cooperation. In designating 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, the United Nations General Assembly recognizes that cooperation is essential to strike a balance between competing needs and priorities and share this precious resource equitably, as well as using water as an instrument of peace.
In his official address to celebrate World Water Day, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says “water holds the key to sustainable development, we must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource.” Watch his full address below…
According to The Water We Eat, a report produced by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN), the average person consumes more than 3,400 liters of virtual water each day—this is the water hidden in the products we buy and the food we eat and it can vary significantly. So “what we eat, how we produce food, and how much food we waste can all impact the size of our water footprint. ” How are you managing your water footprint?
World Water Day is observed annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Learn more about our work to improve water resources across the Caribbean here.
Here are seven free World Water Day tools courtesy of Food Tank, a Think Tank focused on issues related to food.
1. On Pinterest, Food Tank developed 24 images about ways each of us can reduce water waste. Please check them out (and feel free to share them) by clicking HERE.
2. Drop In the Bucket put together this great short video for YouTube offering powerful facts about water.
3. UN World Water Day did a series of great animations and educational materials to celebrate World Water Day.
4. For great research and advocacy campaigns about food and water all year long see the Food and Water Watch website.
5. For more information about international water policy check out the Global Water Policy Project.
6. The Center for Investigative Reporting offers these six cool infographics about food and water.
7. And several of the CGIAR centers provide great research and tools, including the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)