The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Call for expressions of interest in UNFCCC Regional Climate Weeks

The Regional Climate Weeks are organized by the UNFCCC secretariat with the Nairobi Framework Partnership partner agencies and hosted by different Governments in three regions throughout the year. They are so far organized in Africa, the Asia Pacific and in Latin America and the Caribbean. The goal of Regional Climate Weeks is to support Parties in the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals by mobilizing stakeholders across the region.
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The business benefits of engaging with the Sustainable Development Goals

This article originally appeared on the Aquacross website.
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The EU integrated the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, including three SDGs that are particularly relevant for the management of aquatic ecosystems as they cover Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Life below water (SDG 14) and Life on Land (SDG 15). The AQUACROSS project aims to support the achievement of these SDGs by providing knowledge and tools regarding the management of aquatic ecosystems.

In this attempt to reach out to the business community, this brief developed by IUCN discusses how businesses working directly and indirectly with marine and freshwater environments can profit from engaging with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Arguably, supporting the achievement of SDGs will reduce specific threats to aquatic ecosystems and ensure the sustenance of services that these provide. This will in turn benefit economic activities that rely on these ecosystem service provisions.

The brief highlights the important role that business plays in the implementation of the SDGs, by providing crucial financing, in addition to contributing to innovation and technical capabilities. In addition, businesses can benefit from engaging with the SDGs, as the engagement will allow the identification of new markets and opportunities for investments and partnerships. Furthermore, by supporting the achievement of SDGs, the environmental performance of businesses can be improved, whereas risks related to biodiversity loss and water scarcity can be reduced. Also, by engaging with SDGs, businesses can improve their communication with consumers and stakeholders, as well as decision makers, to ensure their visibility and the continued access to resources. Read More...
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Forests and Wetlands Are Water Infrastructure. New Green Bond Helps Finance Their Protection

This article was written by Todd Gartner, Manager of WRI's Natural Infrastructure for Water, and John Matthews, AGWA's Coordinator.
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East Africa’s Kariba Dam is almost empty due to diminishing rains. In Brazil, Sao Paulo’s reservoirs were reduced to dried mud three years ago, and experts say the city is heading toward another dry spell. Catastrophic floods recently wreaked havoc in southern England, Texas and Bangkok.

These are not simply one-off events; they represent systemic failures in water infrastructure development — failures that are increasing in frequency and severity as Earth’s climate shifts.

A new financial mechanism—“green bonds” that pay for using ecosystems as “natural infrastructure” for clean, ample water—can help.

To find out more about the Water Infrastructure Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard, read the
Joint Press Release in the AGWA Blog or visit CBI's website. From there you can download the Standard and other helpful documents. Read More...
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Media Release - Global Launch of New Climate-Based Water Resilience Criteria

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Global Launch of New Climate-Based Water Resilience Criteria
Boost for Green Bond Investment in Water Infrastructure, Sustainable Ecosystems, Cities, Agriculture & Energy

LONDON: 22/05/2018: 11:00 BST:
The Water Consortium, a global group of climate finance and sustainability organisations, has formally launched the new Water Infrastructure Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard marking a major turning point in best practice for sustainable investment in water-based infrastructure and green/grey hybrid systems.

The final development phase extends the Criteria’s reach to cover nature-based and hybrid water infrastructure, such as wetlands and watersheds, that may be used for purposes of water collection, storage, treatment and distribution, flood protection and drought resilience.

This means that for the first time, nature’s water infrastructure such as watersheds, wetlands, and forests, which are essential for the provision of clean water around the world, can be protected, managed and restored, using Climate Bonds Certified green bonds – making them ripe for the investments they direly need.

Developed for potential green bond issuers and investors, the new Water Infrastructure Criteria defines and evaluates low carbon and climate resilient water infrastructure projects by encompassing two broad components: 1) climate mitigation and 2) climate adaptation and resilience.  

The Criteria screens what types of water assets and projects can be included in green bond investment in water projects to qualify for Climate Bonds 
Certification. Certified projects must contribute to reductions in greenhouse gases over the lifetime of the asset, and must prove sufficient adaptation to changing climatic conditions.

Developed in two phases, the first phase of the Criteria covered both traditional ‘built’ or grey engineered water infrastructure for water treatment, flood defence, drought defence, storm water management, and ecological restoration and management.

Since the initial phase launch in 2016, about USD1.5 billion of Certified green bonds have been issued against these Criteria in
 North America and South Africa.

The Criteria now fully recognise that ecosystems (including rivers, lakes, natural watersheds, aquifers and groundwater) are the original water infrastructure and are essential to meet local, national, and global resilience goals. Nature-based solutions are increasingly being integrated within formal water management systems as green and hybrid infrastructure.

The Water Infrastructure Criteria is part of the overarching 
Climate Bonds Standard, which provides investors with a verifiable, science-based screening process to evaluate bond investments in a variety of sectors, bringing climate mitigation, resilience and adaptation planning to the fixed income investment space.

Undertaking the staged development program has been a Technical Working Group (TWG) and Industry Working Group (IWG), convened by the Water Consortium, which is comprised of the Climate Bonds Initiative, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA; supported by the Stockholm International Water Institute), Ceres, CDP, and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

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DMDU Annual Meeting: Call for Abstracts

The Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty (DMDU Society) will hold its annual meeting from 13-15 November in southern California. They have put out a call for abstracts for oral and/or poster presentations. Abstracts related to this year's themes of urban planning and technology or involving communities from Latin America or the Pacific Rim will be given special consideration. You may also propose to present a tool or model that is relevant to DMDU in the showcase session. Abstracts will be accepted until 15 June.
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Water we doing about water?

This article was written by Susanna Tol (Wetlands International) and Ingrid Timboe (AGWA).
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Did you know that the answer can be found in nature? Nature-based solutions such as restoring mangrove buffers in degraded coastal areas or preserving peatlands have the potential to solve many of our climate and water challenges, reduce vulnerability and help us adapt to a changing climate. Commemorated this year with the theme ‘Nature for Water’, World Water Day 2018 urged people to explore nature-based solutions to contemporary water problems. And UN Water focused its World Water Development Report on Nature Based Solutions for Water stating that today, more than ever, we must work with nature, instead of against it. We highlight this topic at the ‘Talanoa Dialogue’ (6 May, Bonn) to enhance ambitions on water and wetlands under the Paris Agreement through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other long-term strategies which provide key entry-points to discuss national targets, set policies and create cross-sectoral collaboration.
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AGWA Updates: May 2018

We have just released the latest issue of AGWA Updates, our internal e-newsletter. You can access the May 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. Plus, as always it is full of the latest news related to climate change, climate finance, policy, and much more. It's well worth your time!

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Natural Hazards & Nature-based Solutions Platform

A new website has been launched to provide support and resources for those working around nature-based solutions and disaster risk reduction. The Natural Hazards – Nature-based Solutions platform is a hub for projects, investments, guidance and studies making use of nature to reduce the risks associated with natural hazards. Its objective is to host and facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences and lessons learned from a range of stakeholders, to provide guidance on the planning and implementation of nature-based solutions, and to champion these solutions in the arenas of policy-making and investment for disaster risk reduction.
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Young Water Fellowship Program - Call for Applications

Young Water Solutions is excited to announce the call for applications for its Young Water Fellowship 2018, after a successful implementation of its first edition in 2017. The program will empower 10 young social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to tackle water and sanitation issues in their communities, by providing them training, mentorship and seed-funding grants.

The call is open to all young people aged 18 to 30 years old from low and middle income countries. For conditions and specific information, please visit the Young Water Solutions website. The Terms of Reference can be downloaded here.

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The Geography of Future Water Challenges

The Geography of Future Water Challenges
A new report from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency provides "a global overview of development scenarios and pathways forward, within the context of the water-related challenges up to 2050." The Geography of Future Water Challenges uses infographics as well as a narrative storyboard to describe what the world would look like if development continues along business-as-usual trajectories, particularly in the context of water issues. The report highlights the need for an integrated approach to limiting climate- and water-related risks at a global scale. Read More...
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AGWA-led Course at Oregon State University

AGWA's Coordinator Dr. John Matthews will be teaching an upcoming course on "Climate-Resilient Resource Management." The one-week immersive course at Oregon State University will run from 25-29 June, 2018 at the Corvallis, OR campus (USA). It is a graduate level course designed for current grad students or professionals seeking additional training in the latest climate adaptation trends and perspectives.
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