Wet and wild

01 March 2012 | Article

Mission: Safeguard the world’s freshwater supplies
Destination: 6th World Water Forum, Marseille, France
Date: 12-17 March

To coincide with the 6th World Water Forum that takes place in France this month, we’re taking a look at IUCN’s efforts to help secure the world’s fresh water supplies and improve access to clean water.

Universal access to water and sanitation is one of the key challenges of the 21st century. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to this challenge. Many different approaches are needed but IUCN firmly believes that better management of our natural ecosystems such as river basins, forests, lakes and wetlands can, and should, play a key role.

There’s no substitute for water. We rely on it to grow our food, produce our goods and generate our energy. Water is central to social and economic development but this fact is too often overlooked. Ecosystems such as river basins, if kept healthy, are key for meeting the water needs of people and nature, and ensuring stronger economies.

In Marseille, politicians, water managers, the private sector and NGOs will find themselves around the same table debating and sharing solutions, and we hope, committing to implement them at the scale needed. IUCN will have a strong presence, working to ensure that ‘natural solutions’ become a major part of the global water management portfolio.