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Did you know that 60 percent of Europe's rivers are not healthy? Or that the rivers and freshwater wetlands of the world have lost 83 percent of their biodiversity since the 1970s? As we celebrate World Rivers Day, we talk to Eva Hernández, Coordinator of WWF's Living European Rivers Initiative and Therese Noorlander, Sustainability Director Europe for Coca-Cola, about the importance of protecting Europe's endangered rivers.
How big is the problem with endangered river systems and fresh water in Europe?
Eva - Percent - Rivers - Europe - Percent
Eva: We know that 60 percent of the rivers in Europe are not healthy. Some might say, "so 40 percent are ok, that's not that bad," but what if 60 percent of your body was damaged, or 60 percent of your home destroyed? A clear sign of the damage done to rivers and wetlands of the world is that they have lost 83 percent of their biodiversity since the 1970s. The health of these freshwater habitats affects our water, food, energy and our capacity to adapt to climate change—it's a serious topic. The good news is we know how to improve things. We need to multiply our efforts, reach more people and have more companies, authorities and citizens committed to the recovery of rivers and nature in general. Ultimately, this is about taking care of our home.
Therese: I'm still amazed by the figure that only 3 percent of the world's water is freshwater. That's the water we use to drink, grow crops and sustain so much of our lives. And yet in Europe, as Eva said, 60 percent of the rivers—the source of so much freshwater—are not. You may ask 'why does it matter to Coke?' Well, water is our key ingredient. It sustains our business and the communities we serve. Without water, everything stops. How could we not care?
Some might think...
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