Half of the world’s workers - 1.5 billion people - are employed in eight water and natural resource-dependent industries. Water shortage and related problems of access to water and sanitation might limit economic growth and job creation in coming decades, according to the World Water Development Report 2016 with the theme of “Water and Jobs,” launched in China on 11 May in Beijing.
“Promoting high-quality jobs while preserving the environment and ensuring sustainable water management will reduce poverty, promote growth and create a future with decent work for all.” said Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director-General for Natural Science, UNESCO. She unveiled the latest edition of the UN World Water Development Report together with the representatives of ILO, FAO and UNESCO in China. Representatives from the China Water & Power Press and other partner organizations witnessed the launch of the report.
Despite its vital significance, water does not always get attention it deserves. Water is key to human survival, environment and economic development. One fifth of 2 million work-related deaths every year are caused by poor quality drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
“Opportunities for employment, growth and decent jobs are contingent upon the sustainable management of water resources and the provision of water-related services” said Stefan Uhlenbrook, coordinator of the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), which produces the report.
Launched globally on World Water Day, in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the report demonstrates the key role that water plays in the transition to a greener economy, an issue of great significance for China.
The United Nations World Water Development Report is produced by the WWAP, hosted by UNESCO, for UN-Water - the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related issues. The report presents an exhaustive account of the state of the world’s water resources. Until 2012, the report was published every three years. It became an annual publication devoted to a specific water-related theme in 2014.
The launch event was co-organized by Beijing Youth Daily with support from the Tasly Group.