Rotary has partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to launch the Community Action for Fresh Water initiative, a collaborative effort aimed at protecting and conserving freshwater ecosystems globally. This initiative underscores the commitment of both organizations to address environmental challenges and aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as well as Rotary’s focus on the environment.
Rotary International President Gordon McInally expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “Partnering with UNEP empowers Rotary members to significantly contribute to freshwater conservation efforts, beginning with the waterways in their own communities. Through this collaboration, our members will bring local solutions to global challenges, directly impacting the health and sustainability of their communities.”
The initiative seeks to empower Rotary members by providing them with the tools and resources to clean up, protect, and monitor their local waterways. With a focus on tackling escalating challenges such as pollution, climate change, and habitat degradation, the partnership aims to enhance the conservation and monitoring of freshwater ecosystems on a global scale.
Rotary, leveraging its extensive global network, will play a pivotal role in implementing community-based solutions that directly influence freshwater ecosystems, with a particular emphasis on watershed-level activities. Members will actively engage in identifying and safeguarding crucial local bodies of water, collaborating closely with local stakeholders to organize cleanup and conservation campaigns, conduct educational initiatives on water conservation, participate in habitat restoration, and monitor water quality.
Leticia Carvalho, Head of UNEP’s Marine and Freshwater Branch, emphasized the importance of freshwater ecosystems, stating, “Freshwater ecosystems are essential for the well-being of our planet, providing crucial services from biodiversity stability to water supply for communities. This collaboration amplifies our efforts at the grassroots level, combining Rotary’s community presence with our expertise to make a meaningful impact and fostering respect for these vital resources.”