23.08.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

New film for the protection of world’s freshwater

© UN Photo/Kibae ParkAccess to water and sanitation in developing countries. Children collecting water in Kallayanpur slum, one of the urban slums in Dhaka.

UNESCO and the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea are presenting the online version of the new UNESCO short film “Protecting Water Quality for People and the Environment”, aimed to promote approaches and policies for sustainable water resources management and to enhance education and public awareness on water issues.

Clean water is essential to the health and well-being of people, preserving the integrity of the natural environment and sustaining our economies.  However, in many parts of the world, water is not always clean enough for safe human use, or for sustaining healthy ecosystems. How extensively is water quality degradation occurring across the world? What needs to be done to protect our precious water resources? How can we reduce the real threat to our health and ecosystems caused by ever-increasing water pollution?  

UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, have produced a new film “Protecting Water Quality for People and the Environment” promoting sustainable approaches and policies to address these pressing water challenges and to enhance education and public awareness on critical water issues facing the sustainability of human societies and the environment.  

The film highlights key water quality problems such as lack of access to safe water and sanitation, inefficient wastewater management in urban areas, water pollution caused by intensive use of nutrients and chemicals in agriculture, the invisible threat of new and emerging pollutants in water and the economic costs of water quality degradation.  It emphasizes the need to promote sustainable and innovative approaches to protect water quality to reduce poverty and secure sustainable livelihoods.  Examples of successful national efforts taken by UNESCO’s Member States to tackle water quality problems are also showcased.

The film was officially launched at the 6th World Water Forum (Marseille, March 2012) in the presence of Korean Deputy-Minister of Environment, Mr Jeong Yeon-man, and UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General, Ms Gretchen Kalonji.  The film will be screened at major international water events. It is intended to convey messages for education and awareness-raising on protecting water quality throughout the world.

Water is central to sustainable development, including the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and post-2015 objectives.  Let us protect our precious water resources!

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