UN Atomic Energy Agency and Food and Agriculture Sector Announce Major Efforts to Address Global Water Crisis

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on Thursday announced a global network of water analysis laboratories and a group to promote collective national-level action to improve coordination of water management. announced the tool. Margins of the United Nations 2023 Conference, which starts Wednesday in New York and ends on Friday 24 March.

Commitments in line with the Water Action Agenda and the call for all countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030 were announced in the SDG Media Zone. Major plenary sessions and high-level panels are underway elsewhere on the United Nations Headquarters campus.

Water analysis lab

Launching the IAEA’s global network of water analytical laboratories, known as GloWAL, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said this interconnected network will help countries to identify the properties and properties of water through the application of nuclear technology. mentioned helpful (isotope hydrology).

“This technology helps us read a lot,” he continued, referring specifically to the content, degradation and renewability of water sources. “By establishing this network of labs, we will be able to scientifically identify the nature of the water challenges facing countries and develop or adapt policy solutions to address them.

Furthermore, beyond the issues related to the global water crisis, GloWAL will address another key challenge facing the international community: technology gaps and access to data collection that have long plagued developing countries. It also helps to deal with delays in “If developing countries don’t have the capacity to know what the problem is and how to solve it, they are far worse off.”

“So the purpose of GloWAL is to allow countries to collect their own data. added as water crisis.

Asked to give an example of how my network works, Grossi said he doesn’t want to say that one country faces more challenges than others, but that the water council’s He said he could mention co-host Tajikistan. Kingdom of the Netherlands).

In fact, Tajikistan, home to giant glaciers that provide much of the region’s freshwater, will host the GloWAL Institute, which monitors the health of these important water sources.

“Glacier degradation is a very serious problem in this country, and by doing this, we want them to understand how quickly glaciers and snow caps can regenerate and how to better manage runoff. If it melts, it will be less,” he said.

Agriculture is a “deal maker”

Water accounts for 70% of the world’s freshwater withdrawals, so agriculture is a trade broker, not a trade broker, to deal with the crisis, said Liengeng Li, FAO’s Land and Water Director. said he could become a

“It is doable,” he said, because there are many solutions to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of water used in agriculture. In fact, the use of more sustainable water and land management practices in many large countries, such as China and the United States, has increased crop yields even though the overall water used in agriculture has begun to decline. Did.

“Irrigated agriculture is at least three times more productive,” he continues, adding that improving efficiency, especially as the growing population on the planet by 2050 will need to produce about 50% more agricultural products. emphasized that it should be aimed at This efficiency has been found to lead to increased production of ‘thirsty crops’ such as rice, sugarcane and cotton. ”

“We strongly believe that agriculture can contribute to a more water- and food-secure world in the future … first of all in terms of efficiency … and secondly, the agricultural sector is looking at ways to reuse and recycle water. For example, many countries, especially in urban areas, are making progress in reusing treated wastewater in agriculture.

With this in mind, he said FAO has submitted seven commitments to the United Nations Water Council, addressing both policy and innovation. Implementing all the agency’s initiatives, he pointed to among them the National Water Roadmap towards the 2030 Agenda. It is a tool for promoting collective action at the national level and improving cross-sectoral coordination on water management and governance in support of the SDGs.

He also launched the Global Dialogue on Water Tenure within the framework of water governance, working with Member States, civil society, academia, the private sector and partners from sister UN agencies to develop principles for responsible conduct. announced the definition of Governance of water rights.

working together

Conference spokesperson Nanette Brown (United Nations Department of Global Communications) asked how the two agencies would work together towards the goals of the Water Action Plan, and Grossi said FAO and the IAEA are working together in these areas. A long-time partner, in fact in this case the only two international organizations with a joint working center for nuclear technology in food and agriculture.

“We recognized early on the inseparable link between energy and food,” explained Mr. We aim to contribute to food security and sustainable agricultural development around the world.

For example, while FAO was working on strengthening irrigation and other agricultural techniques, the IAEA was working on drought-tolerant crops. All this work is done in a way that does not negatively impact the environment. “We bring solutions to concrete problems.”

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