GWP Initiative to Integrate Water Resilience in Climate and Development Plans
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GWP launched the Water Resilience Frontiers initiative at the UN Climate Change Conference, emphasizing that, while water is already on the climate agenda, it needs to be brought from the margins to the mainstream.

The initiative will maximize the application of ‘frontier technologies’ and social practices, including digital technologies, sustainability practices, futures forecasting and art projects to support the integration of water considerations into country revisions of NDCs and development planning.

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) has launched an inter-agency effort to promote the resilience of water resources worldwide in the face of climate change. Over the next year, the initiative, called Water Resilience Frontiers, will work with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other partners to support the integration of water considerations into country revisions of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and development planning. The work will maximize the application of ‘frontier technologies’ and social practices, including digital technologies, sustainability practices, futures forecasting and art projects.

GWP launched the initiative at the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain, in December 2019, emphasizing that, while water is already on the climate agenda, it needs to be brought from the margins to the mainstream. The initiative, referred to in full as ‘Water Resilience Frontiers: Pathways for Transformational Climate Resilient Water Security in 2030 and Beyond’, will harness the best and latest thinking and actions to support preparations for climate-induced water scarcity. The initiative is part of the UNFCCC’s Nairobi Work Programme, which supports adaptation policies and practices.

GWP also launched several publications at Climate Change Conference, including a study of 15 countries’ integration of water action in their NDCs, National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and SDG strategies.

“Nowhere is there real integration” in water resource management, and transboundary management is “dramatically absent.”

Monika Weber-Fahr, GWP Executive Secretary, stated that the findings show “nowhere is there real integration” in water resource management, and that transboundary management is “dramatically absent.” She called for leadership on water issues, which, she said, could bring together the climate and sustainable development agendas. She also urged ministerial-level delegates from all countries to identify and act on vulnerable ecosystems so as to avoid having “water points of no return” such as the Aral Sea and Lake Chad, where environmental collapse has occurred despite prior awareness of mismanagement.

Alex Simalabwi, Global Head, GWP, stressed that water availability will change in years to come, and that planning and investment, supported by laws and policies, should begin immediately.

GWP has worked with partners in more than 60 countries to improve their resilience to climate change through offering guidance on water-related investments. The Partnership has supported more than 77 countries to prepare projects and access climate finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to implement climate resilience water projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.


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