Celebrating World Water Day 2024 United in Support of ‘Water for Peace’

Take action to protect, restore, and manage riverine ecosystems on this year’s World Water Day and every day to engender peace and prosperity for all. We support our partners with the Global River Protection Coalition in this joint statement.

GRPC Statement on World Water Day
March 22nd, 2024
United in Support of ‘Water for Peace’ World Water Day March 22, 2024

As we approach World Water Day, the Global River Protection Coalition would like to express our support and commend the invaluable efforts being made to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation and equitable access to clean water worldwide. As enthusiastic, committed social and environmental scientists, conservation advocates, and policy experts, we urge colleagues at jurisdiction-based agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and outdoor industry trade organizations to support this year’s campaign, ‘Water for Peace,’ focusing on water’s critical role in the world’s stability and prosperity.

This annual day of observance, founded by the United Nations to highlight the importance of freshwater, invites collaboration toward the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The day offers an excuse to step back, shine a light on successful initiatives, share assessments of the current threats, and suggest broadscale priorities. As a result, we can better address challenges related to the dramatic and extreme events and trends driven by our warming climate.

In July 2022, the United Nations acknowledged the importance of a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a fundamental human right. This recognition resulted from the General Assembly’s acceptance of the UN Human Rights Council resolution 48/13 in October 2021. The right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment encompasses various aspects, including clean air, a stable climate, access to safe water and sanitation, healthy food, non-toxic living environments, and biodiversity protection.
Moreover, it includes the right to access information, participate in decision-making processes, and access justice and effective remedies without fear of retaliation. Achieving this right necessitates international cooperation, solidarity, and equitable environmental actions, including adequate resource allocation. States are also responsible to prevent their activities from causing environmental harm globally.

Only ⅓ of the world’s rivers longer than 1,000 km remain free-flowing as a result of dam development and other infrastructure. Fragmentation disrupts the flow of water and nutrient-rich sediments, impedes the migration and reproduction of aquatic and riparian species, and can have far-reaching consequences on both freshwater and marine environments. In just 40 years, 83% of the world’s freshwater mammal, bird, fish, reptile, and amphibian populations have declined, while 76% of migratory freshwater fish have been lost.

Founded in 2020, the Global River Protection Coalition’s mission is to advance the creation of global free-flowing river conservation policies to protect and restore riverine connectivity, biodiversity, and other associated ecosystem services. We are composed of scientists, academics, advocates, and conservation practitioners from around the globe.

On this World Water Day, let us unite in solidarity and redouble our efforts to protect and preserve this precious resource upon which all life depends. We call on the GRPC to support action agreed upon during Water for Peace initiatives.

Dr. Denielle Perry
Co-chair, Global River Protection Coalition
Associate Professor, Northern Arizona University School of Earth and Sustainability, United States

Vanessa Correa Roldán, MSc.
Co-Chair, Global River Protection Coalition
Researcher, Museum of Natural History, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru

Dr. Sergio Salinas Rodríguez
Co-Chair for Latin American Region, Global River Protection Coalition
Associate Researcher, The Southern Border College, Mexico

Risa Shimoda
Co-Chair for North America Region, Global River Protection Coalition,United States
Executive Director, River Management Society
Chair, Competition Council, American Canoe Association Board of Directors
Chair, World River Center/International Whitewater Hall of Fame

Dr. Emily Hite
Co-Chair for North America Region, Global River Protection Coalition
Assistant Professor , Anthropology, Saint Louis University, United States

Sharon Ruthia
Co-Chair for East Africa Region, Global River Protection Coalition
Blue Economy Youth International, Kenya

Esther Netshivhongweni
Co-Chair Southern Africa Region Global River Protection Coalition, South Africa
Chair of African Community Conservationists-NPO
Chair of the Biodiversity Credit Alliance Community Advisory Panel

Olga Laiza Kupika
Co-chair Africa Region Global River Protection Coalition
Senior Research fellow, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana; Zimbabwe

Justice Zvaita
Co-Chair Africa Region, Global River Protection Coalition
Founding Director, Centre for Climatology and Applied Research

Michael Fiebig
Director of River Protection, Southwest U.S.
American Rivers, United States

Monti Aguirre
Latin America Program Director/River Protection Lead, International Rivers, Columbia/United States

Ian Harrison
IUCN-SSC Freshwater Conservation Committee Co-Chair, United States

Madeline Kiser
Living Rivers Movement, Costa Rica

Shannon Farley
Co-Executive Director, Rivers and Forests Alliance (RAFA), Costa Rica

Pía Weber
Freshwater Project Officer Patagonia Project, Chile.
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Member of Rivers Protected Initiative, Chile.

Constanza Prieto Figelist
Latin America Legal Director
Earth Law Center

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