Integrating water resource management and biodiversity conservation
Protecting water resources through biodiversity conservation
Water quantity and quality (particularly in relation to pollution by pesticides and fertilisers) are essential parameters for the functioning of all ecosystems. The competing and potentially conflicting demands of this limited resource from different sectors, make water policy highly strategic to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Wetlands also have outstanding importance for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, as recognised in the [Ramsar Convention].
Natural vegetation cover in water catchments helps to maintain hydrological cycles, regulating and stabilising water runoff, and acting as a buffer against extreme events such as flood and drought. Vegetation removal results in siltation of catchment waterways, loss of water yield and quality, and degradation of aquatic habitat, among other things. Vegetation also helps to regulate underground water tables, preventing dryland salinity which affects vast areas of agricultural lands, at great cost to the community. Wetlands and forests act as water purifying systems, while mangroves trap silt, reducing impacts on marine ecosystems.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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