UNITED NATIONS: Several African and Latin American countries on Thursday launched a major initiative to restore 300,000 kilometers of rivers by 2030, as well as lakes and wetlands degraded by human activity.

The “Freshwater Challenge,” led by a coalition of governments that includes Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico and Gabon, is the largest river and wetland restoration project in history.

It aims to restore degraded rivers as long as seven times the Earth’s circumference and an area of wetlands larger than India by 2030, according to a statement from the UN Water Conference that ends Friday in New York City.

The initiative calls on all governments to set national river restoration targets to restore healthy freshwater ecosystems critical to humanity’s water needs and biodiversity. No details were given on how the effort will be funded.

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2023

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