Under rapid industrial and commercial development, with expanding population, urbanization, improvement of people's living standard and general national prosperity of most developing countries, industrial and municipal wastewater has not been properly disposed of, and in most cases has caused water pollution and seriously affected water resources management. The conventional waste-water treatment plants have thus become uneconomical. There is a growing need for an innovative and economical alternative. Many local governments are finding themselves at the centre of this great challenge and are being compelled to rapidly innovate and open up for partnership to civil society and private sector. However, given the existing gaps in policy, institutional, financial, technical and technological arrangements, they lack the capacity to implement sustainable policies in the face of rising rates of urbanization as well as an enabling framework to facilitate public-private collaboration aimed at advancing sustainable management of urban wetlands.
The objective, in synergy and joint work between the Ramsar Secretariat and UN-HABITAT, is to promote of social and environmental sustainability of towns and cities in relation to wetlands and water:-
- Provide support to cities to develop integrated plans,
- Collection, documentation and dissemination of innovations and Best Practices on cities and wetland Management
- Review of planning legislation and by-laws
- Awareness raising.
Affected groups and cities with wetlands vulenerable to the impacts of Global Warming