The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

AGWA Updates: March 2018

We have just released the latest issue of AGWA Updates, our internal e-newsletter. You can access the March 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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New publication on Freshwater Ecosystems in Protected Areas

pittock book
A new book on Freshwater Ecosystems in Protected Areas: Conservation and Management, is edited by C. Max Finlayson, Angela H. Arthington and Jamie Pittock, and published by Routledge as part of their Series, Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management.

Freshwater ecosystems have the greatest species diversity per unit area. This book shows that, rather than a marginal part of protected area management, freshwater conservation is central to sustaining biodiversity. The book focuses on better practices for conserving inland aquatic ecosystems in protected areas (PAs), including rivers, wetlands, swamps, other brackish and freshwater ecosystems, and coastal estuaries. With an international authorship of 32 authors for 14 chapters, the book moves from describing the basic concepts of freshwater ecosystem types and ecological principles, through to defining the characteristics of freshwater protected areas, the threats they face, before discussing how to best manage them at catchment scale, and within the global landscape, and with the perspective of climate change.

For more details see:

Can climate change be a personal crisis as well as an institutional or technical one?

This guest blog is written by Ingrid Timboe, a member of the AGWA Secretariat.

Born in the 1980s, I grew up during a time of increasing climate awareness as the concept of human-induced climate change moved out of obscurity and into the mainstream. I have no trouble believing what the science tells us: that global warming is real, it’s here, and it will continue to impact our planet in varying ways for decades if not centuries. But it wasn’t until a few years ago, listening to a piece of music for solo piano entitled “Elegy for the Arctic” by Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi, that I fully connected with the reality of climate change and what it means for us and for our planet. As I listened and later watched the video of Einaudi playing this beautiful composition floating in front of Norway’s Wahlenbergbreen glacier, I felt profound sorrow for what is happening. At the same time, his music moved me to feel an even deeper commitment to keep working.

Nearly everything about climate change – from the name itself to the global phenomena it generates – is maddeningly complex, broad, and impersonal. For example, it is rather difficult to elicit strong emotions or personal connection with words and phrases like “CO₂ concentration,” “mitigation,” or “general circulation models.” But strong emotions are precisely what is required to respond to the very real and present threats associated with a changing climate.

NAIAD Project Presenting at European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018

AGWA and SIWI are part of an ongoing EU project called Nature Insurance Value: Assessment and Demonstration (NAIAD). The project is coordinated by the Duero River Basin Authority and funded under the European Horizon 2020 Program. The goal of the project is to operationalize the insurance value of ecosystems to reduce the human and economic cost of risks associated with water (floods and droughts) by developing and testing - with key insurers and municipalities - the concepts, tools, applications and instruments (business models) necessary for its mainstreaming.

NAIAD will be presenting at the EGU General Assembly this April in Vienna, Austria. Representatives of the NAIAD project will give a presentation and answer questions as part of Session HS5.4 - "Nature Based Solutions for hydrological extremes and water resource management."

For more information about EGU General Assembly 2018, visit To learn more about NAIAD, visit or check them out on Facebook. Read More...

Water is "The Connector" in the Climate Change Challenge

OOSKAnews recently conducted a video interview with AGWA's Coordinator, John Matthews, as a follow-up to an OOSKAnews Voices column by Dr. Matthews on COP23. This video interview explores these matters further, with focus on the past and future roadmaps for increasing recognition of the importance of adaptation in global climate considerations, and the place of water as a "connector" across climate change discourse.