Is Climate Change Already Affecting North American Waters?– Stéphane Dione, Member of Parliament & former Minister of the Environment in Canada

[Note from the editor: A second text from Stéphane Dione, member of Canadan Parliament. The text is an overview of the affects of climate change for the US, Mexico and Canada with policy recommendations . The speech was originally given at the 7th World Water Congress in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea on the 15th of April, 2015.

The full document can be read online separately on our Scribd repository (French versions available). Why not register and start a discussion on our website “content>discussions” ? ]

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The world’s waters are in trouble. Ocean acidification, depleting aquifers, dried up rivers and lakes, and toxic pollution are threatening the life-giving resource. Fish stocks are being depleted and agricultural land lost to expanding desertification. Some areas are plagued by droughts, others by floods. Poor water quality remains the largest cause of human health problems. Some 768 million people have no access to safe drinking water, 2.5 billion have no access to basic sanitation, 1.3 billion have no access to electricity.

What about North America? Mexico’s water scarcity crisis is on a scale like that of few other countries. But what to say about water-rich United States and Canada, which together have the highest freshwater footprint in the world? Ask Californians!

The evidence is in: the global water difficulties have reached North America. And climate change is exacerbating the problem.

North American waters are warming up. About 70 percent of glaciers in Western Canada could disappear by the end of the 21st century. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found that Canada’s ocean temperatures, from coast to coast to coast, are almost 4 degrees Celsius above normal. The Arctic Ocean is rapidly acidifying because sea ice loss is increasing the uptake of atmospheric CO2. Ocean acidification is also affecting shellfish-rich areas in the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

 

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What is the Right to Water?– Stéphane Dione, Member of Parliament & former Minister of the Environment in Canada

[Note from the editor: Mr. Dione was kind enough to send us the text from his introductory remarks at the Plenary Session on the “Right to Water”. The remarks were originally given at the 7th World Water Congress in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea on the 15th of April, 2015.

The full document can be read online separately on our Scribd repository (French versions available). Why not register and start a discussion on our website “content>discussions” ? ]

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What exactly is the right to water? The right of every human being to a sufficient supply of clean and safe drinking water and to adequate sanitation.

According to UNESCO, access to water and sanitation is a prerequisite for the realisation of the right to life, dignity, health, and education. UNESCO asserts that the greatest ecological and human rights threats of our time are freshwater shortages and inequitable access to water.

In approving the 2010 UN Millennium Development Goals, every member state committed to ensure that all its citizens get access to clean drinking water by the end of 2015. But with some 768 million people with no access to safe drinking water, 2.5 billion with no access to basic sanitation and 1.5 million children below five years dying every year of water-related illnesses, we know we will miss the 2015 target.

Despite this setback, the goal remains the same: to provide water for all. So we need to increase our efforts, and in order to do so, to find adequate answers to three questions, which I will ask our distinguished panelists to answer:

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Welcome to the FWS Blog

Hello All,

Welcome to the re-launch of the Food and Water Security Blog! The blog is a part of Aberystwyth University’s Food and Water Security Program run by the Institute of Geography, History, Politics and Psychology (IGHPP), which includes a companion portal fws.aber.ac.uk.

Food and water security (FWS) is experiencing a resurgence of interest through the United Nation’s international decade of action on water (2005-2015) while growing concerns about population growth, urbanization and climate change heightened the profile of the two resources in everyday life. To address the issue of FWS while acknowledging the multi-disciplinary links in the study FWS: from engineering water and agricultural infrastructure to suggesting policies for international economic development, – the blog welcomes a range of viewpoints, opinions and analysis on this very important issue.

If you would like to contribute an article to be uploaded on the blog, an opinion piece to be featured (approx. 1,000 words max.), or an event you would like publicized, please send entries with a short biography to fwsstaff@aber.ac.uk.

And don’t forget to visit our portal https://fws.aber.ac.uk where you can discuss information found on the internet (see: “content” tab on website), search through our article databases or checkout our links and RSS feeds. Thank you for your time and let the knowledge network grow!

EU-Africa High-Level Policy Meeting Posits Research Partnership in Food and Nutrition Security

An Expert Working Group is being set up by the EU-Africa High-Level Policy Dialogue in early 2014 to develop a detailed roadmap for the creation of an EU-Africa research partnership in food and nutrition security, supporting both the African Union Year of Agriculture and the FAO Year of Family Farming. Details can be found at:

EU-Africa High-Level Policy Meeting Posits Research Partnership in Food and Nutrition Security

Steve Smith
Library

Food and Water Security Masters at Aberysywth University

The MSc in Food and Water Security is an innovative interdisciplinary course which focuses on the scientific, economic, social and political factors that effect the secure production and distribution of food and water throughout the world. The course also examines the impact of climate change and conflict on food and water security across the globe. Drawing on three complementary academic disciplines, this new programme will train you to contribute significant advances to the way in which food and water security is achieved across the technical, environmental and social spectrum.

The Food and Water Security Masters course at Aberysywth University