“Water no get enemy” said the great Nigerian saxophonist Fela Kuti. In celebration of World Water Day, we felt it was important to express this feeling too. What are the main challenges surrounding water, humans, their environment and climate change?
“Oceans and water” is one of Plan A’s 6 climate action themes. Read more about on our platform’s Oceans Theme Page. We have outlined four critical angles that can be fixed, that need financing and would bring direct benefits to humans. It’s time to pick a fight and fight it. There is no plan B for our planet.
Why do oceans matter to the fight against climate change? A video by Plan A
Fish Stock and Marine Life
Corals, which are both living beings and habitat for other species, are also suffering greatly from global temperature and acidic variations in the oceans, but also from the plastic contamination. Our oceans’ fish stock is in free-fall, and marine life is losing its most treasured habitats and wonders. Most recently, hundreds of large marine mammals have been found to wash ashore, their stomach full of plastics.
The Indian organisation Sagar Mitra – Friends of the Ocean turns plastic collection on land into an act of life for marine life. They are currently raising funds to expand their programme to reach out to school and form the next generation to plastic consciousness.
Protected Areas and Damming
Natural areas for animals (that are not humans) are a prerequisite for our global survival. The Anthropocene (the era in which humans are numerous and powerful enough to have an impact on a planetary level – now) requires us to budget natural buffer zones capable of absorbing our impact.
Rivers need to flow freely and oceans need to be clear of toxic plastics for life to thrive once more. In order to fix this problem, we need three things: education, laws and action. The Japan Environmental Action Network is organising this summer 500 clean-ups throughout the archipelago of Japan, increase public awareness and train regional leaders on marine litter issues.
Floods, Droughts and Disasters
The oceans are as nurturing as they can be dangerous and destructive. Hurricanes have augmented both in terms of frequency and intensity. In the meantime, the coastal population has also sharply increased to the detriment of natural protective barriers such as wetlands, mangroves or forests. More than ever, populations – and not only from the shores – need to engage in adaptation and resilience works to prevent catastrophic consequences of phenomena already visible today. As wet places get wetter and dry places drier, the multiple risks associated to water have gotten more serious with each melted droplet.
In Cameroon, the Martin Luther King Junior Memorial Foundation works to raise awareness on the link between human activities and landslides. By training community leaders, environmental managers and community reporters, the LUKMEF is disseminating know-how and resilience strategies to the people that need it the most today and tomorrow.
Fresh Water Use and Resource Management
844 million people – about one in nine people – lack access to clean, affordable water within 30 minutes of their homes. With a growing need for water for all sorts of human activities, from textile industry to cooling off nuclear plants to industrial agriculture, freshwater is in high demand. As land use change evolves, so must our approach to water and its uses.
In the People’s Republic of Lao, The Association to Support the Development of Peasant Societies helps local communities adapt to the fast-changing South-East Asian world whilst. maintain the natural environment healthy. Their current project provides for the installation of clean water facilities in 3 villages, training in community environmental management in 3 villages and the drafting of regulations for community environmental and water management.