19 April 2018
Following the official launch of the UN World Water Development Report 2018, which took place at the World Water Forum in Brazil, the UNESCO Almaty Office organized a launch event of the Report in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 10 April 2018.As the flagship publication of UN-Water, the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR) provides an exhaustive review of the state of global water resources. Coordinated by the UN World Water Assessment Programme, the UN World Water Development Report is the fruit of collaboration between the 31 United Nations entities and 39 international partners that comprise UN-Water. Its publication coincides with World Water Day, celebrated every year on 22 March. The 2018 edition demonstrates how nature-based solutions can play an important role in improving the supply and quality of water and reducing the impact of natural disasters.
For wider dissemination of the WWDR 2018 key findings among local partners, the UNESCO Almaty Office, in cooperation with the Public Fund "Center “Cooperation for sustainable development" (Almaty, Kazakhstan), Central Asian Regional Water Network CAR@WAN organized launch event in Almaty.
A number of relevant stakeholders, research and educational institutions, as well as representatives of governmental entities, international organizations, independent experts and students took part in this event. The participants have discussed the potential of nature-based solutions in Kazakhstan and barriers for its wider use. Nature-based solutions in the context of the Aral Sea environmental disaster raised particular interest and discussions among the participants. Experts also noted that more work is needed in the field of wetlands protection, taking into account the existing regulations and international legal instruments. The need to restore water protection zones and strips was also noted.
Nowadays, the use of nature-based solutions remains marginal and almost all investments are still channeled to grey infrastructure projects. Yet, to satisfy the ever-growing demand for water, green infrastructure appears to be a promising solution complementing traditional approaches. The authors of the Report therefore call for greater balance between the two, especially given that nature-based solutions are best aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015.
The Report and its summaries, as well as other useful materials are available for downloading here.