Mar 20, 2018

United Nations Calls For Increase in Green Infrastructure

The UN released a report, in conjunction with World Water Day, which emphasizes green infrastructure over grey

United Nations advocates for green infrastructure

The United Nations (UN) released a report at the World Water Forum in Brasilia, Brazil, which called for an increase in green infrastructure to address global water security challenges. The report argued in favor of green infrastructure as a solution to water scarcity and climate change instead of grey infrastructure. According to UN News, 3.6 billion people, nearly half of the global population, live in areas potentially water-scarce at least one month per year and 1.2 billion people live in areas at risk of floods, with both of these figures expected to continue to rise.

“For too long, the world has turned first to human-bilt, or grey, infrastructure to improve water management. In so doing, it has often brushed aside traditional and indigenous knowledge that embraces greener approaches,” Gilbert Houngbo, Chair of Un-Water and President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development said in the report.

The report points to green infrastructure initiatives in India, China and Ukraine as models for global water management strategies that work to preserve the natural functions of ecosystems. Rajasthan, India, has had a 30% increase in forest cover as well as increased groundwater levels after implementing rainwater harvesting. The study also points to China which has recently launched a project called “Sponge City” to incorporate green infrastructure with the goal of recycling 70% of rainwater and Ukraine which has been experimenting with artificial wetlands.