Greetings! At the end of April, I got an email from the UN climate change convention (the UNFCCC) asking to set up a call. Such emails (and calls) are not that unusual, though the UNFCCC body was new to me - the “consultative group of experts,” or CGE.
The call began by my colleagues saying, We were asking many of our colleagues who was an expert on assessing climate risk for water, and many people — well, everyone, really — said to contact AGWA. We’re organizing three regional workshops for roughly a total of 130 national governments to host a workshop on the how to help countries and communities adjust to climate impacts expressed through freshwater. Read More...
07/06/18 Filed in: Announcement
Are you working on averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with impacts of climate change? Join the Roster of Experts
of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage to volunteer your specific expertise!
Experts register through the Roster of Experts of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. Relevant individuals registered in the roster are contacted by the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism to contribute their expertise in undertaking specific activities of the workplan of the Committee. If contacted experts are interested in working with the Committee as invited, voluntary technical work begins. Read More...
06/05/18 Filed in: Guest Blog
This article was written by Susanna Tol (Wetlands International) and Ingrid Timboe (AGWA).
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. Read More...
25/05/18 Filed in: Announcement
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. Read More...
06/02/18 Filed in: Policy
The AGWA policy agenda for 2018 is quickly filling up. Based on the successes of the previous few years in global policy, we are making some significant but subtle shifts in our work for this year.
Especially for the UNFCCC, we have done a lot of awareness raising — seeking water partners willing to stand with us to tell stories of the linkages between water and climate change, as well as partnerships within the UNFCCC and national signatories. This work has been critical as well as dramatically successful. We clearly need to keep pursuing this path, but by itself awareness raising is no longer sufficient.
Beginning in late 2017, we began pivoting to describe more specific recommendations for how the UNFCCC can receive “plumbing”: which institutions, issues, and processes within the UNFCCC need resilient water knowledge, and how do we move towards building support and then implementing these recommendations? In many ways, this also means that we need to move outside of the comfort zone of other water-centered organizations.
For instance, urban resilience, disaster risk reduction (DRR), forestry and agriculture, energy and nature-based solutions are all growing areas of emphasis in global policy. How do we ensure that water knowledge is effectively represented in these areas? We must continue to cultivate a greater network of partners outside the traditional water community and we are pursuing ways to work more strategically, whether by participating in more major non-water meetings, such as the upcoming Adaptation Futures conference in Cape Town, or by partnering with organizations like the Red Cross or a broad set of the finance community to scale-up the impact of our work.
This expanded focus also means that we need the full network to be involved to represent AGWA and to jointly articulate these issues and forge the necessary partnerships. Please volunteer and collaborate! Read More...
05/12/17 Filed in: Policy
The 2nd annual Water Action Day, held 10 November 2017 at COP23 in Bonn, Germany was largely successful, bringing together an exceptional group of over 100 speakers representing a diverse range of stakeholders and viewpoints including national and international financial institutions, national ministries, farmers organisations, NGOs, basin networks, civil society, the private sector, local governments, indigenous groups, and youth. The organizers, including AGWA, recently published the Water Action Day Outcomes Document
, which gives a brief overview of our priorities over the next few years and will guide our actions during this time. These include:
- Scale up collaboration between Climate and Water communities in preparation of the COP24 and beyond by contributing to the Global Climate Action Marrakech Partnership and the overall UNFCCC process, showcasing how wise water management can support the delivery of the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda and the Sendai Framework targets.
- Through the water-focused basin networks, continue efforts to expand and improve adaptive water management projects and increase the capacity of basin communities to address climate adaptation and mitigation.
- Improve and increase water-sound climate financing by working with a broad spectrum of finance institutions to ensure mechanisms are in place for water-intensive climate investments to adopt resilient water resource management, in order to better respond to uncertain climate impacts.
The full document is available here: http://alliance4water.org/resources/cop_23_outcome-waterday_final.pdf
. Read More...
15/11/17 Filed in: Policy
The Yearbook of Global Climate Action was launched today at a high level GCA event during COP23. The Marrakech Partnership’s 2017 Yearbook of Climate Action
, drawing from thematic and regional meetings, summarizes the achievements in climate action over the last year.
The Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action
was launched in COP22 in Marrakech to provide a strong roadmap for the UNFCCC process to catalyze and support climate action by Parties and non-Party stakeholders in the period from 2017 to 2020. The partnerships and initiatives of non-Party stakeholders, through the Marrakech Partnership, and in cooperation with national governments, aim to take immediate action on climate, consistent with the full implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
This Yearbook demonstrates that non-Party stakeholders are steadily progressing with climate action. Read More...
07/11/17 Filed in: Announcement
Great news for anyone that couldn't make it to COP23! The UNFCCC has announced that you will be able to virtually participate. They will be live-streaming all official side events via YouTube Live using the UNFCCC Climate Change Studio channel. The broadcast will include presentation slides (as they appear on the screen) and the video of the speaker as available. Note that events will be live broadcast based on local time in Bonn, Germany. They will also be archived for future viewing. Continue reading more below for details and make sure to visit AGWA's #BlueLineBonn page
for more information on all things COP23! Read More...
11/10/17 Filed in: Policy
Second International Conference on Water and Climate
Hosted by the World Water Council and the CoP22 Presidency as represented by the State Secretariat for Water of the Kingdom of Morocco
Following up on the July 2016 conference
in Rabat, Morocco, the World Water Council and representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco with support from AGWA worked to mobilize the water community in preparation for November’s COP 23 in Bonn, Germany. About 100 attendees from four continents participated over the two days. The conference
tried to concentrate on the question of how best to integrate water thematically within the UNFCCC policies and institutions. Climate negotiators from Senegal, Bangladesh, Morocco, Germany, and El Salvador as well as many representatives from agriculture, cities, finance, the private sector, and WASH all took part. Other governmental actors ranged from a mayor to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Several suggestions were made that should be useful going forward, including a strong message for the water community to reach out to other sectors recognized by the UNFCCC and argue for how water supports (rather than is more or equally important for) their climate-related targets, an emphasis on connecting the SDGs and UNFCCC through a water lens, the need to work with subsidiary institutions within the UNFCCC on rationalizing water resources through their work (and potentially more broadly through the NDCs and NAPs), and communicating to national and UN parties humbly and effectively how water is connected to both mitigation and adaptation. Read More...
Share your experience and research, and help scale up climate-resilience all over the world. In response to the invitation of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) at its 44th session, the Nairobi work programme (NWP) has opened three calls for submissions in the area of adaptation and climate resilience.
You are invited to post your organization's submission(s) before 20 September 2017
. Your submission will inform the climate negotiations during COP 23 in November 2017, and will be made available to the general public. For further information on the submission process, and to access templates for submission, read more below. Read More...
28/06/17 Filed in: Article
is a series of guest “opinion columns” on water, written by senior participants in different parts of the international water community. The columns provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. In this piece John H. Matthews, co-founder and Coordinator for AGWA, describes the implications of the United States' decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. The article focuses on the decision's effects on UNFCCC processes and the potential role of this withdrawal as a rallying cry for cities and other nations.
"The real question, however, is if US actions are the start of an erosion of support for the Paris Accord or, alternatively, the community of nations rallies round and doubles down.
...within the US’s hierarchies of governance, states and cities play a more important role around energy management. Especially for cities, there is a more widespread consensus of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the rate of climate change. These decision makers are close to the impacts. As a result, the US may continue to make substantial progress against national climate goals." Read More...
24/05/17 Filed in: Policy
Global Water Partnership, International Water Association and World Water Council, three members of the #ClimateIsWater Initiative
convened a side event at the Bonn Climate Change Conference on 18 May. The event, entitled "Implementation of NDCs – climate finance for water-related adaptation and mitigation action," was well received by the audience. It was covered by multiple types of media, allowing you to read all about the event or watch a full-length recording. See below for details. Read More...
16/03/17 Filed in: Policy
This guest blog was written by Stephanie Lyons, Policy Analyst (Water Security and Climate Change) for WaterAid's Global Policy Team. Ms. Lyons represented the AGWA Policy Group at the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance meeting in Bonn, which took place March 7-9. The following report outlines future plans for the SCF in 2017 and beyond.
The 15th meeting of the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) brought together the SCF’s member countries
and observers to take forward its work in 2017. This was the first of two SCF meetings for 2017 (aside from the SCF Forum); the second meeting has been tentatively scheduled for 18-22 September 2017. An abridged summary of the SCF’s main agreements follows; detailed daily summaries are available from the Climate Finance Advisory Service
and documented outcomes are available from the UNFCCC Secretariat
. Read More...
13/03/17 Filed in: Report
The Nairobi Work Programme has released its synthesis report on health and adaptation. It is now available online
to view or download. Below is a synopsis of the report provided by the NWP.
Climate change presents a risk to health in a variety of ways. The health risks resulting from climate change impacts in countries are changing and the interlinkages between health, climate change and other drivers of global environmental changes are complex and need to be better understood. A large number of activities ranging from policies that are planned and implemented by governments, to various actions undertaken by intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and communities are already under way in order to address climate change impacts on health. However, a number of challenges, particularly with regard to awareness and education, as well as planning, capacity and financial mechanisms continue to limit action on the ground.
In order to better protect human health from the impacts of climate change, numerous collaborative actions need to be implemented. During the 10th Focal Point Forum of the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, which focused on health and adaptation, Parties, partner organizations and experts discussed a range of collaborative actions to protect health from the impacts of climate change and to develop resilient health systems.
This document provides a synthesis of information on the impacts of climate change on human health, and on emerging activities, challenges and opportunities for collaborative climate action, including under the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. It is based on the information submitted by Parties, partner organizations and other relevant organizations, and inputs from participants during and after the 10th Focal Point Forum on health and adaptation. Read More...
21/02/17 Filed in: Articles
The final installment in a series of three articles on water and climate change policy has just been released
by Global Water Forum. The three-part series is written by a group of AGWA members including the Co-Chairs, Coordinator, and Policy Group members. The articles will examine the co-evolution of water and climate change policy over the past 20 years. Part three explores the period from the most recent global climate policy conference to the present day, with speculation about where we may see water and climate policy headed into the future. Read More...
13/02/17 Filed in: Articles
The second installment in a series of three articles on water and climate change policy has just been released
by Global Water Forum. The three-part series is written by a group of AGWA members including the Co-Chairs, Coordinator, and Policy Group members. The articles will examine the co-evolution of water and climate change policy over the past 20 years. Part two also tells the story of AGWA's creation. Read More...
08/02/17 Filed in: Articles
The first in a series of three articles on water and climate change policy has just been released
by Global Water Forum. The three-part series is written by a group of AGWA members including the Co-Chairs, Coordinator, and Policy Group members. The articles will examine the co-evolution of water and climate change policy over the past 20 years. No matter what your level of policy knowledge is, this article is definitely worth your time. Read More...
21/12/16 Filed in: Policy | Outcome Document
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. Read More...
24/10/16 Filed in: Announcement
The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research is offering a unique free online course
on the Impacts of Climate Change and its Impacts in Latin America taught by 21 Latin American scientists to empower resource managers, decision makers, stakeholders, scientists to cope with climate and global changes. The course aims to provide users with a good understanding of current climate change science as well as analytical abilities in the following areas: impact of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services, impact of environmental global changes, international mechanisms to cope with impacts on biodiversity and the economics of climate change
The course will be launched at COP-22. The course promotes Sustainable Development Goals #4, #13 and #17. Read More...
20/10/16 Filed in: Article
is a series of guest “opinion columns” on water, written by senior participants in different parts of the international water community. The columns provide a global platform for organizations and individuals to promulgate their views and messages. In this piece John H. Matthews, co-founder and secretariat coordinator for AGWA, describes the importance of next month's COP22 conference to water.
"The Paris Agreement — the most significant climate framework since the founding of the UNFCCC — does not mention water at all, but the Paris Agreement may also be the most significant water agreement in human history. How does a policy framework that lacks any mention of water affect water management? The answer shows the gap between the climate policy world and the water world..." Read More...
09/06/16 Filed in: Policy
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...
29/04/16 Filed in: Article
On April 22nd leaders from over 175 nations joined together in New York to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change. AGWA's Secretariat Coordinator John Matthews joined with Regina Buono of the Baker Institute for Public Policy to write a piece for Forbe's on this historic occasion and what it means going forward."The agreement signaled a broad commitment to slow the rate of climate change and to provide support to many of the poor countries facing big climate impacts to their most vulnerable citizens. But what the Paris agreement really indicated is a shift in perspective: from a planet thinking about reducing the rate of climate change (and the regulatory and other risks inherent in managing businesses and economies with the primary objective of halting or slowing carbon emissions) to one looking at adapting to climate change by addressing the risks inherent in climate impacts. And the most important element in this shift—the medium through which change and adaptation can be seen most clearly and quickly—is water."
The full article is available here
. Read More...
The Nairobi work programme team at the UNFCCC secretariat invites you to contribute to the secretariat’s data compilation effort on the use of local, indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices for adaptation.
At its forty-first session, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) requested the secretariat under the guidance of the Chair of the SBSTA, in collaboration with the Adaptation Committee and the Least Developed Countries Expert Group, and with contributions from relevant Nairobi work programme partner organizations, to make publicly available a compilation of good practices and tools and available data collection initiatives for the use of local, indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices for adaptation, for consideration at SBSTA 44.
In light of this call for contributions on the part of Nairobi work programme partner organizations, we welcome all information you would like to share with the secretariat regarding good practices, tools and data collection initiatives referring to the use of local, indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices for adaptation. If possible it is requested that information be submitted both in English and in Spanish or French so as to allow for broader outreach and dissemination of knowledge. Read More...
In the context of the work under the UNFCCC Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts, the Executive Committee of the Mechanism initiated a stocktake of organizations working on slow onset events (e.g. sea level rise, increasing temperatures, ocean acidification, glacial retreat and related impacts, salinization, land and forest degradation, loss of biodiversity and desertification) and the scope of their current efforts. The results from the initial stocktake are compiled into an online database. Read More...