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Water Facts and Figures

  • POSTER household WWD2017 EngThis year, we focus on wastewater and ways to reduce and reuse as over 80% of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature polluting the environment and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.

    We need to improve the collection and treatment of wastewater and safely reuse it. At the same time, we need to reduce the quantity and pollution load of wastewater we produce, to help protect the environment and our water resources.

    Sustainable Development Goal 6 – ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 - includes a target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse.

    UN Water

    UN-Water is the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related issues, including sanitation.
    Building on a long history of coordination in the UN System, UN-Water was formalized in 2003 by the United Nations High Level Committee on Programmes. It provides the platform to address the cross-cutting nature of water and maximize system-wide coordinated action and coherence. UN-Water promotes coherence in, and coordination of, UN system actions aimed at the implementation of the agenda defined by the Millennium Declaration and the World Summit on Sustainable Development as it relates to its scope of work. Through UN-Water the United Nations act as "One UN".
    The scope of UN-Water’s work encompasses all aspects of freshwater, including surface and groundwater resources and the interface between fresh and sea water.



  • POSTER cities WWD2017 Eng
    • Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused
    • 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene cause around 842,000 deaths each year.
    • 663 million people still lack improved drinking water sources.
    • By 2050, close to 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, compared to 50% today5. Currently, most cities in developing countries do not have adequate infrastructure and resources to address wastewater management in an efficient and sustainable way.
    •  The opportunities from exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials. 
    •  The costs of wastewater management are greatly outweighed by the benefits to human health, economic development and environmental sustainability – providing new business opportunities and creating more ‘green’ jobs.
    • Every day, 2 million tons of human wastes are disposed of in watercourses, and in developing countries 70 % of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply
    • 70% of the global water withdrawals go to agriculture. The world population is expected to rise from 7 billion people today to 9 billion in 2050, leading to a 60% increase of the food needed globally and a 19% increase of agricultural water consumption.
  • Water and sanitation are at the very core of sustainable development, critical to the survival of people and the planet. Goal 6 not only addresses the issues relating to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, but also the quality and sustainability of water resources worldwide.



    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all

    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations 

    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally 

    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity 

    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate

    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes 

    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies 

  • Oceans, along with coastal and marine resources, play an essential role in human well-being and social and economic development worldwide. They are particularly crucial for people living in coastal communities, who represented 37 per cent of the global population in 2010. Oceans provide livelihoods and tourism benefits, as well as subsistence and income. They also help regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and protecting coastal areas from flooding and erosion. In fact, coastal and marine resources contribute an estimated $28 trillion to the global economy each year through ecosystem services. However, those resources are extremely vulnerable to environmental degradation, overfishing, climate change and pollution.


    Goal 14

    By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient 


    By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans 

    By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics 

    By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information 

    By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation 

    By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism 


Human Development Report 2016 ‘Human Development for Everyone’ to Launch 21 March 2017

The Human Development Report 2016 ‘Human Development for Everyone’ will be launched on 21 March in Stockholm with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven; United Nations Development Programme Administrator, Helen Clark; and the Director of the Human Development Report Office and lead author of the report, Selim Jahan. In past decades, there have been significant gains in human development levels in almost every country; but millions of people have not benefitted from this progress. Who has been left behind and why? The Human Development Report 2016 looks into these two questions. It identifies substantial barriers to development and recognizes that in every society certain groups are far more likely to suffer disadvantages than others. The report also looks to what societies should do to advance human development for everyone. It sets forward policy recommendations at the national level and also looks at ways in which the global development landscape – particularly multilateral organizations – could be made more effective in the fight to leave no one behind and achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report also looks to what societies should do to advance human development for everyone. It sets forward policy recommendations at the national level and also looks at ways in which the global development landscape – particularly multilateral organizations – could be made more effective in the fight to leave no one behind and achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Small Island Developing States meet in Bahamas to take stock of progress towards the 2030 development agenda


The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Symposium, organized by the Government of Bahamas with support of the United Nations, focusing on the specific development challenges faced by SIDS, will kick off on 21 February 2017 in Nassau, the Bahamas. 

The three-day Symposium will take stock of how SIDS can fast track towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the SAMOA Pathway – a global commitment which highlights the unique development needs of SIDS due to their particular vulnerabilities, including to the impact of climate change.

At the Symposium, participants, including high-level government and UN officials, will also discuss partnerships for development, the role of public institutions as well as the need to mobilize information and communication technology, and strengthen monitoring and statistical capacities.

For more information on the Symposium, please visit: http://bit.ly/2kh6Fch. Join us online by using the hashtag #SIDSSymposium2017. The Symposium will be streamed live: http://bit.ly/2kR2pwc


Speakers will include:  

  • H.E. Mr. Perry G Christie, Prime Minister, the Bahamas
  • Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, UN



UN in the Caribbean - working towards the SDGs

ECLAC - Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (CEPAL)

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 07ECLAC has been involved in a project entitled “Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean: Reducing the Carbon Footprint in the Caribbean through the Promotion of Energy Efficiency and the Use of Renewable Energy Technologies” through which ECLAC and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) have helped provide countries in the Caribbean with increased opportunities to develop projects in energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with possible avenues for funding these projects. 


This has led to policy changes throughout the region, and even a new regulatory board, the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC) in Saint Lucia.


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Through the project entitled “Strengthening the technical capacity of public finance officials in select Caribbean Small Island 

Developing States (SIDS)”, ECLAC has provided training and workshops to policy-makers and finance managers in the application of methods and procedures for better management and forecasting of public expenditure and revenue

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An ECLAC-led team carried out a mission to Belize in August, to support the Government as it assessed and strived to recover from the damage from Hurricane Earl.

In February, ECLAC and UNISDR carried out training in Panama to prepare participants for disaster and how best to use the methodology provided.





ITU - International Telecommunications Union 

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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that “The spread of information and communication technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies". ITU is continuously making a concerted effort to highlight the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) will play in achieving the SDGs within its Member States.


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ITU is helping with the development of a National ICT plan for Trinidad and Tobago (2017-2027). This will take the form of technical advice to the government to ensure an organizational, functional and governance structures that are consistent with the Government’s national agenda and goals for the sector; taking into consideration the country’s specific requirements, circumstances and limitations.

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ITU is coordinating a Cyber Security Awareness Programme for Caribbean Schools. This will include Child Online Protection (COP) - Caribbean Cyber Awareness & Anti Cyber Bullying workshop and Train the Trainer Programme in 2017







 FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization

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The right to adequate food is a human right. FAO continues to play a role in promoting policy dialogue and developing partnerships between the Government, producer groups, commercial sectors and civil society.


In direct support to the national goal to reduce Non Communicable Diseases, the Ministry of Health, FAO, PAHO and UNDP trained thirty persons on Communications for Behaviour Impact.




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With the funding of the Global Environment Facility, FAO, state agencies and environment interest groups are working on forestry and protected areas co-management plans and biodiversity conservation targets in Matura, Trinity Hills, Nariva, Main Ridge Forest reserve and the Marine Park of North East Tobago.

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With GEF Funding, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and fisheries are working together to improve the national action plan 

and the institutional and regulatory arrangements for shrimp/bottom trawl fisheries.



E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 12FAO, Ministry of Agriculture, NAMDEVCO and farmer groups tested and developed Post Harvest Protocols for the production of pumpkin and cassava.


 E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 13In support of national food safety 34 public health inspectors and an FAO food expert came together to standardize food inspection protocols and to draft a national food inspection manual.

FAO and Caribbean governments mobilized funding for a technical assistance project to produce Agriculture Disaster Risk management plans and preparedness training.

UNHCR-  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 04Collaborates with the Living Water Community (LWC) in Trinidad and Tobago and the Ministry of Education to develop a protocol for UNHCR’s persons of concern, which would ensure that their children have access to education and that registration requirements, including immunization cards, identification documents and previous school records do not constitute barriers.


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03Ensure, through the LWC, that refugees are able to access services at public health facilities and through a network of private doctors who provide pro bono services to refugees. This year, six families received either one-time financial assistance for medical costs or regular support for chronic conditions.


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Through the LWC, UNHCR assisted 98 individuals with financial assistance to cover accommodation costs. Additionally, each month an average of 80 families receive food items through LWC’s Food Bank, which UNHCR partially funds. Food items frequently include, milk, beans, rice, flour, sugar and coffee. Families are selected to receive this assistance based on particular vulnerabilities. In addition, this year, eight families participated in a monthly cash-for-work program





 WHO/PAHO - Pan American Health Organization



E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03PAHO/WHO, alongside the Ministry of Health, conducted a two-day training workshop for obstetricians and midwives on the Medical Management of Post-Partum Haemorrhaging, a leading cause of maternal deaths world-wide and in Trinidad and Tobago.


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 17This was followed by the pilot roll out of the Perinatal Information System (SIP) which saw Health Care and IT professionals from the five RHAs, Ministry of Health, the HIV Coordinating Unit in the Ministry of Health and MAMATOTO receive training on the PIS System which will assist the country to improve the care of mothers and their babies and avert maternal and newborn deaths.


PAHO has done work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health contributing to the strengthening of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Management system in Trinidad and Tobago, including procurement of antiretroviral drugs. The aim of this mission was to assist the country in averting any future shortages of multiple health products including key medicines used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and the adverse effects on patients and patient care in the public sector.


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 02In July 2016, a two day workshop was held for Public Health Inspectors to train them on proper food hygiene and good manufacturing practices. This workshop was also used to validate a new WHO/FAO manual for training food handlers and entailed a project in which all Public Health Inspectors spanning all counties of Trinidad and Tobago came together in strategizing for the requirements needed to register all food handlers.


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PAHO has collaborated with the Ministries of Health, Planning and Agriculture to address the safety in the consumption of locally caught fish following the “Fish kill” incident in the Gulf of Paria. PAHO has helped find an internationally accredited laboratory to conduct toxicological analyses on the locally caught fish and to develop a Terms of Reference to conduct a public health risk assessment on consuming the fish caught in the Gulf of Paria.







UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund

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Promotes Universal Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) for all, particularly groups most at risk, through the adoption of a national SRH policy.

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Provides support to the Ministry of Education in implementing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)/Life Skills Education in schools through Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) through technical assistance and South to South collaboration with Jamaica.


E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 05Developed a mobile SRH application, to provide information on SRH to young people.

Works with organisations such as the Inter-religious Organization and networks of men and boys to address gender equality





Jamaica calls for Caribbean action on sustainable development

( originally posted by Caribbean News Now  - 10 February 2015)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Jamaica’s minister of water, land, environment, sustainable development and climate change, Robert Pickersgill, has issued a call to all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) stakeholders to shape the sustainable development agenda of the region.

“Governments, the private sector and civil society must all work together in shaping this agenda, particularly in 2015 when the global community will tackle several issues that will greatly influence the sustainable development roadmap of the globe.

“It is imperative that the Community speaks with ‘one voice from the same script’ in key international fora to ensure that the interest of the Community and that of small island developing states are represented”, he emphasized.

The minister was addressing the opening of the 53rd special meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on the environment and sustainable development at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters, on Friday, 6 February. 

Pickersgill drew attention to three pivotal processes, in which the region is actively involved, for their critical importance to sustainable development: the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in March; the Third International Conference for Financing Development, in July; and the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, in December.

Noting that the linkages between disaster risk management and climate change cannot be overstated, he urged greater collaboration and coordination between the two sectors to ensure policy coherence and harmonised efforts at both national and regional levels.

[ read the full story ]

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