African Stakeholders Call for Prioritizing Water at COP 22
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In preparation for the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 22), 650 decision makers, researchers, technical experts, financiers and civil society members from 40 countries came together for an International Conference on Water and Climate.

Organized under the theme 'Water Security for Climate Justice,' the conference resulted in a ministerial call from 22 African countries emphasizing the importance of implementing and funding water initiatives in Africa, both in the context of the COP 21 outcomes and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

conference_international_d'eau12 July 2016: In preparation for the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 22), 650 decision makers, researchers, technical experts, financiers and civil society members from 40 countries came together for an International Conference on Water and Climate. Organized under the theme ‘Water Security for Climate Justice,’ the conference resulted in a ministerial call from 22 African countries emphasizing the importance of implementing and funding water initiatives in Africa, both in the context of the COP 21 outcomes and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With a view to creating a unified African voice on water and climate change, the Conference underlined that the water sector represents potential solutions to climate change in addition to being a particularly climate-vulnerable sector. The Conference was organized around four sessions on: vulnerability of water resources to climate change; the role of water in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs; the water-energy-food security-health-education nexus; and using climate change finance mechanisms for water initiatives. A workshop on large dams and climate change also took place.

The call from African water ministers, which will be presented at COP 22, was an outcome of a ministerial roundtable themed ‘Toward Climate Justice!’ that developed a common African position around water ahead of COP 22 and considered ways to put water at the heart of the climate negotiations that are scheduled to take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, in November. Ministers also discussed African mobilization around the effects of climate change, the sanitation sector and cooperation with the private sector on financing water initiatives in Africa.

In their call, titled ‘Water for Africa,’ the ministers take note of the opportunities presented by the momentum toward integrating water and sanitation in the climate negotiations, which was initiated in Paris and will be further implemented in Marrakesh. Underlining the urgency and necessity of acting on resilience and adaptation, particularly in the water and sanitation sectors, the ministers call for integrating water and climate, prioritizing water in adaptation discussions, adopting priority action plans for water and the SDGs in Africa, enhancing access to finance for water projects from climate funds, and encouraging civil society involvement.

The conference, held 11-12 July in Rabat, Morocco, was jointly organized by the Minister Delegate in Charge of Water of the Ministry of Energy, Water and Environment of Morocco, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Maritime Affairs of France and the World Water Council. Participants and speakers included representatives from a number of partner water organizations, including L’Institut de Recherche pour le Développement au Maroc (IRD) (Moroccan Research Institute for Development) and the French Water Partnership (FWP).

At the close of the conference, Minister Delegate in Charge of Water Charafat Afailal called the event a “mini water COP” and invited the World Water Council to make it an annual event in preparation for the yearly climate negotiations. [International Conference on Water and Climate Website] [Conference Programme] [Moroccan Ministry Event Announcement (in French)] [Moroccan Ministry Press Release on Opening of Conference (French)] [Moroccan Ministry Press Release on Closing of Conference (French)] [Ministerial Call ‘Water for Africa’ (in French)] [IRD Press Release (in French)] [FWP Press Release (in French)] [FWP Event Webpage (in French)]


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