“Water for All” – Theme for International Day of Action for Rivers 2024

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(VOVWORLD) -Themed “Water for All”, this year’s International Day of Action for Rivers (IDAR), on March 14, focuses on raising awareness about the importance of water and the need to promote cross-border cooperation in protecting rivers and managing water resources.
“Water for All” – Theme for International Day of Action for Rivers 2024 - ảnh 1A panorama view of the Mekong River (Photo: VNA)

The International Day of Action for Rivers was first called “The International Day of Action Against Dams and For Rivers, Water, and Life” at an international meeting of people impacted by dams first held in 1997 in Curitiba, Brazil.

After nearly three decades, IDAR has become an annual event and aimed to promote solidarity and common awareness among communities and countries about the vital importance of rivers to the lives of billions of people on the planet and to the maintenance of biodiversity.

IDAR also offers an opportunity for countries and organizations to promote transnational and cross-border cooperation projects on water resource management, readiness to take action to protect the integrity and the natural flow of rivers and ensure equal access to clean water for communities living around rivers.

According to the non-governmental organization “International Rivers”, freshwater ecosystems are an essential necessity for human life. However evidence shows a serious decline in freshwater species of fish and aquatic animals worldwide. There has been a reduction of around 83% within the past 54 years, a rate twice that of land or marine species.

The tumbling numbers are most clearly seen in large river systems around the world, such as the Mekong in Southeast Asia, the Amazon in South America, and the Congo in Africa.

In addition, more and more rivers are becoming greatly affected by environmental pollution, for example in the Karnaphuli of Bangladesh and the Sava of Serbia.

Climate change and the over-construction of hydroelectric dams are leading to the alteration of natural water flow and the drying‑up of fresh water sources. This is an alarming situation for the world because ensuring access to water and sanitation for everyone is one of the UN’s most important development goals to sustain.

Kaveh Madani, Director of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, warns that if all of us don’t do enough for water, for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6), we will undermine the progress on the other SDGs.

“Whatever we want to do and deliver will have a relationship and interdependence on water. So, unless we have a serious action, unless we make meaningful progress on SDG6, we cannot deliver and fulfill the goals that we have set for 2030,” said Madani.

A series of water events kicked off this year’s “World Water Day”, celebrated annually on March 22 with the theme “Water for Peace”.