Landmark project launched in Budapest to counteract deteriorating water quality in ecosystems

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the Global Water Systems Project (GWSP) launched the International Water Quality Guidelines for Ecosystems (IWQGES) project on Thursday at the Budapest Water Summit.

The aim is to improve the sustainable management of global water resources.

The health of ecosystems is severely threatened by the declining quality and quantity of water resources due to the consequences of human population growth, unsustainable development, land use and water management as well as climate change.

Prof. Dr. Jakob Rhyner, Director of UNU-EHS said "The goal of these empirically derived guidelines is to trigger action from international and national authorities towards the protection and improvement of ecosystem health by providing governments with useful tools to establish high water quality standards for their ecosystems.

At present, international guidelines only exist for drinking water, recreational use, irrigation, livestock, and water reuse, among others. No comparable international water quality standards exist for ecosystems. The aim of the IWQGES project is to develop a set of voluntary, science-based policy and technical guidelines to improve the frameworks for sustainable management of the water resources and aquatic ecosystems.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’18″

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