The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Policy

COP22 OUTCOME DOCUMENT OF THE ACTION EVENT ON WATER

Thanks to the efforts of the water community, Morocco, France, and Peru, and the UNFCCC, a dedicated "Water Action Day" was organized during COP 22, which included a Dialogue about the role of the water community in supporting the UNFCCC and the role of the UNFCCC in supporting effective water management. The participants of the Dialogue, led in discussion by the OECD and AGWA, had their comments directed into a plan released today.

Organizers have prepared an Outcome Document of the Action Event on Water based upon the discussions that took place during throughout the Action Day on Water. The document contains key information that will have important ramifications for water-climate policy moving forward.
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Morocco strives to maintain political support for water within the climate change agenda

Morocco strives to maintain political support for water within the climate change agenda
This article was written by AGWA Policy Group members Maggie White (French Water Partnership, Coalition Eau, Eau Vive) and Louise Whiting (WaterAid)
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Photo by John Matthews

Just six months after the signing of the Paris Agreement, Morocco and France have kept the promise made at COP21 to highlight water’s critical role when it comes to addressing climate change – including both the reduction of carbon emissions and adapting our societies to the climatic impacts that are now inevitable.

The key role that water plays in both adaptation and mitigation was acknowledged by the majority of countries that signed the Paris Agreement, as evidenced through the content of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). In fact, 83 percent of the NDCs that have been submitted highlight the importance of adaptation – especially in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Pacific-Asia – and 93 percent of the adaptation content refers to water as fundamental to effective adaptation programmes (1). It is beyond question that water is central to the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement.

It was therefore essential that just before COP22, the COP Presidency chose to support, promote and lead an event on addressing climate change in Africa specifically from a water perspective.

The International Conference on Water and Climate: water security for climatic justice (2) was co-organised on the 11-12th of July by the Government of Morocco, the Government of France, the World Water Council and with the support of the French Water Partnership. The event fell under the high patronage of his majesty the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, and was fully supported by the head of the Moroccan government. With over 600 participants in attendance, and more than 20 African ministerial delegations, the conference was a huge success in terms of building the much-needed political awareness of the role of water in the battle against climate change.

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The IWA’s Principles for Water Wise Cities – Developing a Shared Water Vision

This guest blog was written by AGWA member Lisa Andrews (IWA Intern for Cities of the Future) with edits from Corinne Trommsdorff (IWA Programmes Manager for Water Climate & Energy / Cities of the Future)

Water — it sustains us and the planet, and it is increasingly becoming a central focus for planning across disciplines and in the face of climate change. Many organizations are now using water as their central focus for planning and adapting to climate change, and this is the backbone of the International Water Association’s (IWA) Cities of the Future Programme (CoF). The Cities of the Future agenda harnesses the power of the IWA network to co-create solutions and join efforts to manage a city’s many waters in a sustainable and resilient manner, an approach summarized by the IWA Principles for Water Wise Cities detailed below.

Coming from the ‘World’s Biggest Gathering on Water’, the 7th World Water Forum held in Korea, the IWA set out to develop what is now called the ‘IWA Principles for Water Wise Cities.’ This initiative was taken as an outcome of the theme ‘Water and Cities’ of the Forum. The driver for action was the statement that ‘vision underlies all collaborative action’ and there was a strong need identified for a document to support the development of a shared water vision between urban and water stakeholders, and in particular to inspire urban leaders on a progressive water vision. Read More...
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From Bonn to Marrakech - The Role of Water in Ongoing Climate Discussions

This guest blog was written by AGWA Policy Group members Maggie White (French Water Partnership) and Sofia Widforss (SIWI)

The "spirit of Paris" — transparency, inclusiveness and flexibility — was on everyone’s minds during the Pre-Cop meeting that took place in Bonn at the UNFCCC headquarters from 16-26 May. A sense of purposeful urgency was in the air. Participants sought to continue the positive dynamics of Paris that promoted involvement of all stakeholders, leaving "no one behind," and inciting countries to ratify quickly so that the Agreement could also enter into force earlier. "The world is looking upon us and we cannot disappoint it."

During the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) meetings, the constructive tone from Paris was present. An optimistic spirit was in the hallways — a willingness to build on the Paris Agreement (PA), albeit facing a complex process ahead. Shifting from an agreement-focus towards an implementation-focus, adaptation has replaced mitigation as the centre of attention. Water, as the key element mentioned in most Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and essential for adaptation measures, was mentioned in many different contexts (e.g., linked to sustainable business and agriculture, gender and human rights, as well as to funding). Read More...
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Joint Proposal on Water Resilience – adaptation and mitigation to climate change

At the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly, the Sustainable Development Goals were signed off by 193 countries and formally adopted. This is great news for the climate adaptation community. In addition, the French, Swedish and Peruvian governments presented the countries’ joint proposal, which concerns the central nature of climate and water issues to sustainable development, at a high-level seminar in New York. Read More...
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Pacific Island Nations: Challenges and Lessons Learned

At the Seventh World Water Forum in South Korea, AGWA coordinated a thematic session on "Mainstreaming Climate Adaptation into Water Management, Planning, and Policy." It was co-convened by UNESCO-IHP. This video highlights Dr. Christine Chan of AGWA as she speaks during the panel discussion. In her talk she addresses some of the lessons learned from her experiences in Pacific Island Nations. Dr. Chan outlines some of the challenges facing local populations as climate change affects their lands and offers her thoughts on ways to enhance resilience in these areas.
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Hydropower in Transboundary River Basins

Hydropower development is forging ahead in a large number of river basins. Generation has grown steadily over the past decades and will continue doing so in the future – not least due to global dynamics related to climate change mitigation. Many of these basins are shared by two or more riparian states. This lifts existing challenges such as potential environmental and socioeconomic costs and benefits to an additional level of complexity by adding an international dimension. Within this complex framework of developments and interests, one dimension stands out that has received particularly little attention by both academic scholars and policy makers – the relationship between water resources management institutions at the basin-level (namely River Basin Organizations (RBOs)) and the (private) hydropower development sector (including financiers, developers and equipment suppliers).
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