IAHR is partnering with the Source-to-Sea (S2S) Platform, a multi-stakeholder action platform bringing together a wide range of institutions committed to strengthening coordination of the governance and management of land, water, coastal, and marine resources in the source-to-sea continuum. The S2S Platform’s mission is one of the main areas of concern for IAHR which, in June 2022 and under the overall theme “From Snow to Sea”, will celebrate its 39th IAHR World Congress in Granada, Spain.
The dynamic interface between land and oceans represents a key development and environmental challenge of our time. Unsustainable human activities are imposing a heavy burden on water related ecosystems. Nutrient loads from unmanaged agricultural runoff and inadequate wastewater treatment continue to cause eutrophication and the spread of dead zones in our coastal and marine waters. Globally over 80% of all wastewater is discharged without treatment, resulting in ecological damage, health risks, and economic loss. The degradation of freshwater and marine environments has a direct impact on crucial ecosystem services, thereby endangering livelihoods and food security, especially for the poorest people.
The international community has recognized the need for integrated coastal and freshwater management in the Manila Declaration on Furthering the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA). It was adopted by 65 countries in January 2012, and committed “to improve cooperation and coordination at all levels to deal with issues related to oceans, coasts, islands and their associated watersheds, by applying integrated management such as “ridge to reef” approaches, including by involving stakeholders and developing innovative solutions to improve or resolve identified problems”.
The Action Platform for Source-to-Sea Management facilitates contact between decision-makers and experts to provide on-demand knowledge, support, advice, and guidance to policy making and implementation on freshwater, land, coast, and sea. By doing so, it will enhance the efforts of the international community to fulfill, inter alia, its commitments to the Manila Declaration and the implementation of the SDG agenda and its targets.