The world's rivers are in crisis - 6 Oct 2010  
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The world's rivers are in crisis.
According to a new study by US researchers Professor Peter McIntyre of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and City College of New York modeler Charles Vörösmarty, river systems and the lives they support are in a “crisis state” on a global scale. This analysis for the first time evaluated the world’s major rivers based on two main criteria: the stability of water supplies and the preservation of biodiversity.

 Overall, the scientists found that water supplies for nearly 80% of the world’s populations are highly threatened, with over 30 of the 47 largest rivers in the world facing at least moderate jeopardy in terms of water security. Fourteen of these 47, or nearly a third, are also under very high threat of biodiversity loss. This is due in part projects such as dams, which have secured water supplies for humans but have also placed thousands of plant and animal species in danger.

To their surprise, the scientists also found that rivers in the developed world are among the most highly threatened. Moreover, the researchers stated that their findings were likely conservative, as this study did not account for pollution effects from activities such as mining, or contaminants affecting wildlife such as increasing levels of pharmaceutical substances in the water.

However, the scientists plan to use the analytical framework of the report to present the information more specifically to decision makers and provide them with recommendations for improvingthis potentially life-threatening situation. 

We are grateful for this study, Drs. McIntyre and Vörösmarty, with its insights on the major water security problems we are facing in virtually every part of the planet.

May our urgent counter actions restore our precious rivers so that all beings depending on them may survive. During a July 2009 international seminar with our Association members, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed deep concern regarding the spreading water crisis while identifying a way that both this and other environmental problems could be addressed.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Oh my God, many countries in the world are short of water. In India and China, even America, many places became short of water. Basic necessity only. Why? Because they use up all the water from the river to divert it into big farms, factories, like animal farm factories. They have to use a lot of water to give the animals to drink. And then, use water to grow the crops for the animals to eat. And when they kill the animals, or before they kill the animals they have to use water to clean their pens every day and wash it down into the stream.

There was enough water for all of us, plus over for everyone! We began this industry of meat diet, then everything got worse – more shortage of any kind, more temperature rise, and more suffering, more disasters, more hunger, more war.

So I don’t know why people don’t just become all vegetarian?

Asia-Pacific region pledges green growth.
At a United Nations conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, government ministers from over 40 Asian and Pacific Island nations pledged their cooperation in environmentally sustainable economic development.
They also committed to a plan that alleviates poverty by providing jobs in energy efficiency and alternative energy sectors, as well as endorsing the Astana ‘Green Bridge’ Initiative, which encourages eco-partnerships with Europe.

Addressing the meeting, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov stated, “In all countries of the region, there is a need for economic growth and simultaneously, a need for safety of the environment...

This challenge requires a new focus on a green economy and for environmentally sustainable development.” Commending the meeting’s participation, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Noeleen Heyzer said that the record number of ministers attending the event signaled the region’s growing prioritization of the environment.

Our accolades and appreciation, United Nations and ministers of all Asia-Pacific countries for your cooperative green accords. Blessed be such efforts in creating climate resilient societies as we work to promote a sustainable future for all beings on Earth.

As part of an expanding trade agreement between shipping companies in their countries, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China also agree to establish a joint research center to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissionsin the shipping industry.

With the UN stating that biodiversity loss is accelerating due to factors like habitat destruction and climate change, Australian researchers are urging a more global understanding of patterns of extinction to effectively protect species currently listed as missing before it's too late.

Along with an active recycling program, Durban, South Africa is the first city on the continent to successfully convert captured landfill gas to usable electricity, an activity that also benefits air quality.

A team of European scientists are working with the Northern Bald Ibis, currently one of the rarest birds on Earth, in helping it re-learn migratory patterns to and from the Alps in the hope of restoring its numbers.