The High-Level Segment of the third session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-3) opened on 5th December in Nairobi, Kenya. The opening plenary was officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and follow up remarks were delivered by Presidents David Granger of Guyana and Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona of Trinidad and Tobago.
Delegates then convened in four consecutive thematic Leadership Dialogues. Interactive “Leadership Dialogues” were designed to provide participating Ministers with an opportunity to intensify high-level engagement and discuss and articulate solutions and contributions towards a pollution-free planet, providing strategic direction and setting the foundations and accelerating action on the pollution agenda.
Ramsar Secretary General, Martha Rojas Urrego, made an intervention in the Dialogue 3 on “Practical solutions towards a pollution-free planet”. She stressed wetlands’ function as filters, absorbing pesticides and chemicals and removing harmful waste from water.
“Over 80% of the world's wastewater is released to environment without treatment. Freshwater pollution is recognized as a growing global concern that is threatening access to safe drinking water for 1.8 billion people. Role of wetlands in wastewater management and water purification is therefore crucial to environmental sustainability, and to a pollution-free planet” said Martha Rojas Urrego, “The Nakivubo Swamp in Kampala, Uganda, filters the city’s sewage and industrial waste. The economic value of water purification services of the Nakivubo Wetland has been estimated as $ 1.8 million per year” she added.
The summary of Leadership Dialogues will be delivered at the wrap-up pleanary for the High-Level segment.