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Our great rivers in brief – October 2016

Find the news on the great rivers of the world, in particular on the mangrove forest of the Sundarbans in the delta of the Ganges in Bangladesh, and that of the Mekong in Vietnam.

The Ganges delta in Bangladesh

The Sundarbans mangrove forest in the Ganges delta, Bangladesh.

A new UNESCO report published on 18 October highlighted the risks linked to the construction of a new coal-fired power plant upstream of the Sundarbans mangrove forest. Along with its associated pollution and acid rain, this project will have impacts on the quality of the water and on the habitat of Bengal tigers (about 450 live in the Sundarbans).

The Sundarbans forest lies astride the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. It is one of the world’s last remaining mangrove forests. According to UNESCO observers, this site threatened by the rising sea level cannot withstand a reduction in the supply of freshwater to the mangroves.

On the occasion of its third session on deltas, IFGR recalled the need to act and restore the mangroves, a commitment made the previous year during the COP21.

We have forgotten the rivers!
An article by Erik Orsenna published in Le Figaro on 14 December 2015.
Read the article

Further information

The Mekong delta in Vietnam

An environmental data centre dedicated to the Mekong delta will open soon in Vietnam. It will enable collecting, integrating, analysing and conserving data on the region’s natural resources and the environment. The data processed will be used to modernise agriculture, improve the quality of water resources and the network of infrastructures, and develop subsistence resources.

The construction of the centre will require an investment of around $14.5 million, of which $13.8 is funded by the World Bank’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme.

Around the world

By 2050, an additional 1.5 billion people will be faced with water stress. This is the conclusion of the latest report from MIT.

These forecasts, calculated according to different variables (future demographic and economic growth, the impacts of climate change), take into account the commitments made by governments in Paris in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The authors consider that the answer to this challenge requires the improvement of both water storage capacities and the efficiency of water supply systems.

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