Because water issue are of such importance to us, Directors of Active Remedy (Stella Joy and Tara Joy), attended and participated in the UN Climate Change Conference COP22, which was held in Marrakech, Morocco 7th-18th November.
Active Remedy are partners with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the Nairobi Work Program (NWP). Therefore Stella and Tara were invited to attend and participate in the 10th Focal Point Forum of the NWP on Health and Adaptation, which was part of SBSTA 45, at COP 22 on the 9th Nov.
It was a lively and interactive meeting that brought together government ministers and policy makers, researchers, scientists, practitioners, health experts and financial institutions and encouraged them to identify and discuss the key challenges relating to climate change impacts upon human health and to identify effective solutions. It emphasised the importance of action, implementation and strategic collaboration in order to close critical gaps when addressing the topic of health and adaptation.
This gave Stella and Tara the opportunity to highlight the point that in addressing the impacts of climate change on human health, water scarcity and the entire global water cycle need to be taken into account.
The atmosphere was friendly and attentive and it was a pleasure for Tara and Stella to meet with and discuss these matters with other delegates and to hear about their experiences from their diverse fields of expertise and geographical locations.
She emphasised the relationship between the global water cycle, climate, water scarcity and health issues. She also proposed that because mountain ecosystems are key ecosystems in regulating the global water cycle and climate, that the UNFCCC SBSTA should consider the reforestation of mountain regions worldwide, as a mitigation response to key challenges in the area of climate impacts on human health.
She stated that this could be done in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agreed upon by world governments in September 2015, through the implementation of Target 6.6:
The connection between water scarcity, ecosystem restoration, climate and health may seem obvious. However, partly due to the way by, which the different areas effected by climate change are divided up into so many categories, the impacts of the depletion of the ecosystems that regulate climate and water, do not usually get mentioned in discussions and negotiations on how to address climate change related health issues. In such negotiations the emphasis is more often upon the increase in disease, sickness and starvation and the need to mobilise greater support for vaccinations and medical care.
We at Active Remedy agree that this is very important but we feel that without including the global water cycle and ecosystem restoration into the discussion, then a major part of the solution for mitigating the increasing health crisis would be missing.