The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | What the Heck Is Resilience? Moving Words into Practice

Sustainable development has been the guiding principle for meeting today’s needs without compromising the future of our planet. But what happens when the pace of change outpaces sustainable development practices? And how can we adequately plan for development when the future is increasingly uncertain?

Often we use the term “resilience” in the context of climate adaptation but, perhaps artfully, we also often leave the word undefined. Resilience is a value, a goal, an ethic, and a principle intended to lead to action. Resilience-based approaches to adaptation and sustainable development are gaining more traction in recent years as ways to help communities, governments, and development organizations adapt, transform, and thrive in the face of change. In this episode of ClimateReady—the final one of Season 2—we finally take a deep dive into this resilience thread that runs through almost all of our stories around climate and water. Dr. Nate Matthews of the Global Resilience Partnership joins the show to discuss the principles behind the concept, the systemic changes involved, and the evolving relationships between donors, practitioners, and the private sector.

Following our main interview, we close out with a poetic story as our “Postcard from the Future.” Dr. Raha Hakimdavar, a Hydrologist at the US Forest Service, reflects on the cultural and personal significance of water, and an important but often forgotten impact of climate change. A full version of her poem is available at unfccc.int/documents/184122.
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AGWA Updates: January 2019

We have just released the latest issue of AGWA Updates, our internal e-newsletter. You can access the January issue by clicking here. You'll want to check out this issue to learn about the incredible amount of activity taking place within the AGWA network. As always it is full of the latest news on the intersection of climate and water from the fields of climate change adaptation, climate finance, policy, and much more. Stay updated! Stay informed!

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United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health

The United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health (UNU-INWEH) acts as the “UN Think Tank on Water” and contributes to the resolution of the global water challenge through a unique programme of applied research and education. Though they don't operate as a typical university with a physical campus, UNU-INWEH offers training and education through seminar series, online courses, and other opportunities. Through collaboration with a global set of researchers, organizations, and scientists, UNU-INWEH works to help developing countries build their capacity for lasting improvements in human and ecosystem health, and overall reduction in poverty. They work on a number of sustainability, water, and SDG-related issues.
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Looking Back at 2018: A Year of Accomplishments for AGWA

As we enter into a new year, now is a great time to take a moment and look back at all that AGWA accomplished in 2018. Our secretariat, members, and collaborators have an incredible amount of things to be proud of! As a quick way to sort through the highlights of a busy year, we have compiled the a list of noteworthy achievements. These are just some of the major milestones:
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Open Letter in “Science” Calls for Better Integrating Freshwater Conservation into Policy Objectives

A letter in Science, published today and co-authored by our own Ingrid Timboe, highlights an alarming statistic from the most recent Freshwater Living Planet Index (FLPI), published in the 2018 Living Planet Report (LPR) showing an 83% decline in monitored freshwater species. Most significantly, the rate of decline of freshwater species has risen with each report. Despite warnings from over a decade ago that the protection of freshwater biodiversity is “the ultimate conservation challenge” and “immediate action is needed,” conservation is evidently failing freshwater biodiversity and solutions must be found.

Additional research to form a better understanding of the species present in our freshwater ecosystems, and the ecological functions of these ecosystems is important. However, equally important as the need to do better science to fill the data gap is the need to do a better job at translating this science and data so that others can use them. It is essential that we engage policy makers and water managers at the local level in our research in order to better understand and represent the diverse needs of the communities living with freshwater biodiversity loss.
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