International Day of Action for Rivers: From theme, history to significance, all you need to know

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The International Day of Action for Rivers is marked on 14 March every year to highlight the importance of rivers in our lives. The day also aims to raise awareness about equitable access to clean and flowing water.

This year marks the 25th edition of the International Day of Action for Rivers.  The day also creates awareness about how freshwater ecosystems like rivers are increasingly being polluted due to human activities.

History:

The International Day of Action for Rivers was first marked in March 1997, according to the official website of the International Rivers organisation. In the first International Meeting of Dams Affected Peoples held in Curitaba, Brazil, the International Day of Action Against Dams and For Rivers, Water and Life was adopted by representatives from over 20 countries. It was also decided that the day would be marked on 14 March, as it was Brazil’s Day of Action Against Large Dams.

Since then, the International Day of Action for Rivers has been celebrated all over the world.

Significance:

The day is significant since it raises importance about how rivers sustain human lives. It also highlights how pollution and industrial activities after threatened these water bodies. Freshwater ecosystems like rivers are a crucial source for clean water for drinking and irrigation.

However excessive construction, encroachment activities and dumping industrial sewage into rives have resulted in these water bodies becoming polluted, thus impacting communities who depend on them for their survival. For sustainable development of the planet, it is important that river bodies are protected from such activities. The International Day of Action for Rivers aims to raise awareness about these issues and how they ultimately affect humans.

Theme:

These bio-diverse ecosystems are also one of the most threatened in the world. This year, the International Rivers organisation has stated that it will mark the day by celebrating “the importance of rivers to biodiversity.”

Celebrations:
On this day, several activities such as river clean-ups, paddleboard celebrations and webinars are organised across countries. Several volunteer activities to raise awareness about what more can be done to protect river bodies are also held on this day.

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International Day of Action for Rivers: From theme, history to significance, all you need to know
International Day of Action for Rivers: From theme, history to significance, all you need to know
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