Launch of Freshwater Challenge

Posted on March, 07 2023

Official Side Event at the UN Water Conference to launch global challenge to restore rivers and freshwater wetlands
The side event will officially launch the Freshwater Challenge, which is a country-driven initiative that aims at leveraging the support needed to bring 300,000 km of rivers and 350 million hectares of inland waters under restoration by 2030.

Based on nationally-identified priorities, the Challenge will take an inclusive and collaborative approach to implementation where governments will develop freshwater restoration targets and co-create solutions with indigenous people, local communities, and national and international partners.

The Challenge is a concrete, future- and results oriented action contributing to the Interactive Dialogue 3 Water for Climate, Resilience and Environment: Source to Sea, Biodiversity, Climate, Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction through a cross-sectoral approach that encompasses sustainable development, biodiversity, climate, and disaster risk reduction.

The side event will focus on the announcement of substantial, innovative and transformative commitments for the Water Action Agenda and for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Building on the momentum around the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, governments will present their freshwater restoration priorities to be included in their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and engage to promote their integration in the revisions and updates of the National Implementation Plans for SDGs, climate and risk reduction strategies and plans.

An Action Plan will be proposed to mobilize support for the countries engaged in the Freshwater Challenge and accelerate the implementation and achieve the ambitions by 2030. The Member States attending the event offered to act as “regional champions” to scale up the target setting and action and engage other Member States in view of the SDG Summit.

The event will be hosted by the governments of Colombia, DRC, Ecuador, Gabon, Zambia, Mexico and Ecuador - and is supported by WWF, IUCN, Wetlands International, TNC, Secretariat of the Ramsar Wetland Convention, UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and AB InBev.
Launch of Freshwater Challenge

Related links

Bita River in Colombia
© Jorge Garcia
Pantanal wetland - one of the world's largest tropical wetland
© Andre Dib/WWF