The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

New Episode of #ClmateReady Podcast | What Would Hammurabi Do? Adaptive Governance and Climate Change

Civilizations have always depended on water. It’s no surprise, then, that laws pertaining to water and water governance have been around for thousands of years. All of that experience shows how difficult it is to govern water well. Climate change compounds these challenges.

In this episode of ClimateReady, we look at multiple scales of water law through the example of a single river basin — from local allocation issues to national policies to international conventions. We are joined by Dr. Emma Carmody, an environmental lawyer for the Environmental Defenders Office of New South Wales and an expert in governance for the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. Emma also lends her expertise as a legal advisor for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. We discuss Australia’s influential Water Act, the need to adapt policies in light of climate change, and the role of broader international agreements in driving local and national environmental policy.

Following the main interview, we have a “Postcard from the Future” sent by Alan Hesse, a cartoonist, freelance conservationist, and creator of the upcoming “Polo the Bear” comic on climate change. Alan draws attention to the important and often undervalued relationship between science and the arts.

You can find out more about Emma’s work with EDO in the Murray-Darling at or For information on Alan’s upcoming comic book due early 2019, visit

OOSKAnews Voices | An Accidental Survey: The State of Climate Adaptation Today

OOSKAnews Voices 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, AGWA's Coordinator John H. Matthews focuses on the politics of adaptation decisions as well as the regional nature of climate adaptation policy and practice. It draws upon Dr. Matthews' recent experience leading a series of regional UFCCC adaptation workshops for national focal points.

"Despite the youth of adaptation as a practice and a relatively narrow window for the launch of national adaptation programs, much differentiation had probably emerged. The CGE was providing me with an excellent opportunity to test my hypothesis — to see a natural experiment in variations in policy and practice."

Special Issue of the International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management on "Climate Change and Biodiversity Assets"

The journal "International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management" is coming out with a special issue on climate change and biodiversity assets. They are currently seeking submissions for original articles on this thematic subject. The special issue is set to be published in spring 2018.

The goal of this special issue is to collect new studies on Climate Change and Environmental Assets Challenging Topics and Relevance in the International Arena (Global, Regional, National) together with The connections between Biology and Ecology of Global Change and Economic, Social and Environmental impacts (Adaptability of SES systems to Climate Change) to identify areas where more knowledge is needed and to recommend possible policy-related actions that could be pursued. The objective is to publish original, high-quality articles that deepen the theoretical and practical understanding on this thematic subject. You can read more about the call for papers on their site or by clicking below.

Special Feature in "Ecology and Society" on Resilient Flood Risk Governance

The journal Ecology and Society has come out with a special feature on resilient flood risk governance. The publication is a deliverable of the EU project STAR-FLOOD ("Strengthening and redesigning European flood risk practices: towards appropriate and resilient flood risk governance arrangements"). The STAR-FLOOD project designed policies to better deal with river flood risks in urban areas across Europe from a combined public administration and legal perspective, with the aim to make European regions more resilient to flood risks.

STAR-FLOOD investigated strategies for dealing with flood risks in 18 vulnerable urban regions in six European countries. This special feature of E&J aims to disseminate the project's main research results to an audience of scholars and practitioners with an interest in increasing the resilience of social-ecological systems to catastrophic natural hazards, and flood risks in particular.

The special feature is available here. It includes 16 articles in all.

Flood Risk Governance - OECD Call for case studies

The OECD has developed a Checklist for decision-makers and stakeholders to assess the performance of flood risk governance arrangements at different levels, in light of the 12 OECD Principles on Water Governance adopted in June 2015.

As foreseen in the project, OECD is extending a wide call for case studies to collect practical experience and draw policy lessons from a diversity of situations:
  • Those of you willing to participate are invited to fill-in the online Checklist by 2 November 2016 with a specific case of flood risk governance in mind;
  • Alternatively, you can also complete the Checklist in Word version accessible here and return it by email to the OECD Secretariat.

Free Global Environmental Education Online Course

We would like to share an exciting opportunity with you - an online course open to all (students, non-students, credit, non-credit) starting on 1 February 2016. It’s a trans-disciplinary approach so includes not just environmental education but also environmental sociology, environmental governance, environmental psychology, environmental communication, and natural resources management. 580 students from over 80 countries have signed up as of mid December 2015, so it’s a great opportunity to network with environmental professionals around the world.

You are encouraged to form local or interest groups—e.g., students at a university or professionals in a stewardship organization could take the course as a group. For non-credit (Cornell certificate) participants, it’s free.

Course information is available at and below is announcement. Read More...