The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

AGWA at the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia
The 8th World Water Forum (WWF8) will take place 18-23 March in Brasilia, Brazil. WWF8 is the world’s biggest water-related event and is organized by the World Water Council (WWC). The 8th edition of the World Water Forum will hold more than 200 sessions and debates about themes related to water. The World Water Council organizes the Forum every three years together with the respective host country and city. It will be the first time the event is held in the Southern Hemisphere.

AGWA will take part in a number of events during WWF8. We will be officially coordinating one session on behalf of UNESCO, co-convening a high-level panel, and participating in others. You can find out more about our involvement below. This page will be updated periodically as more details and events are finalized. Make sure to check back often in the lead up to 18 March.

More details about WWF8 can be found on the event website - Registration is still open for those interested in participating.
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AGWA's World Water Forum Events
Below is a list of the official WWF8 events and seminars related to AGWA. In each of these AGWA serves a role as an organizer, co-organizer, or presenter. All events will take place in the Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center. The full program for WWF8 can be found at

Bridging Water and Climate

As shown by the preliminary NDC submissions, over 90% of countries with adaptation sections acknowledge water in their commitments, which shows the significance of water and the demand for it to be addressed systematically and strategically. Countries recognize the need for water to be addressed both as a potential risk and as a vector for solutions as they implement at the national, local and project scale level. The water community possesses vast experience, knowledge and skills in the management of natural resources, which can help Parties fulfill their commitments through integrated and resilient water resources management. However, formal acknowledgement within global frameworks such as the SDGs and UNFCCC of water’s crucial role in climate change adaptation and mitigation remains missing. In addition, traditional water concepts are not always tailored to the specific needs and specifications which are increasingly required by specific donor and climate funds.

This High Level Panel will bring together government representatives and the water and climate communities to work towards an integrated platform for addressing climate and water challenges at global, national and project scales.

When: Monday, 19 August; 14:30-16:00
Venue: Room ST1 (M7)
Co-organizers: World Water Council, AGWA, SIWI, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Uncertainty, Vulnerabilities, and Resilience

Vulnerability is a function of the interaction between exposure of a system to hazards, sensitivity of the exposed parts of the system, and the adaptive capacity that offsets the level of vulnerability. Investments in water security help safeguard socio-economic growth in the face of increasing vulnerabilities to water-related risks. The session will focus on approaches that reduce vulnerabilities, increase resilience and deliberately deal with uncertainty. Integrated planning and policies that combine and sequence investments in information, institutions and infrastructure will be discussed. The session connects to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for DRR and the Paris Agreement, in which floods and droughts top the list of climatic hazards identified in Governments’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Examples of how drought and flood management are being addressed in these international frameworks and at the country level will be highlighted with a view to inspire progress in the SDGs.

When: Monday, 19 August; 16:30-18:00
Venue: Room ST8 (M Cons1)
Co-organizers: Global Water Partnership (GWP), National Center for Natural Disaster Monitoring and Alert (CEMADEN), Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), University of Minho - Centre of Studies on Geography and Spatial Planning

Science and policy together on climate change?

The SDGs provide a new framework for setting national development strategies, but that framework provides little guidance about how to also meet NDC goals as well as how to ensure coherence between national development goals and implementation at project scales. These issues are especially important for water-intensive projects. The social and natural sciences are fundamental for ensuring that decision making and policy formation are climate informed and that resilience is a consistent outcome. This session will define recommendations for fostering a dialogue about best practices between science and policy development and implementation. Together, we will explore how integrated governance can enable science-based decision making for water-intensive projects and policies across sectors, scales, and institutions. Examples of national and sub-national SDG implementation will be presented to demonstrate how science interacts with policy frameworks. A discussion will explore mechanisms to ground governance structures climate-relevant natural and social science.

When: Wednesday, 21 August; 14:30-16:00
Venue: Room ST8 (M Cons1)
Co-organizers: AGWA, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), National Institute of Water (Argentina), UNESCO-IHP