UNESCO Launches Guide to Climate-resilient Water Infrastructure Development
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The guide to climate risk-informed decision analysis is intended as the first step in establishing a global community of practice that will implement the approach in water-related infrastructure.

The approach outlined in the publication aims to assist developing countries and data-poor regions as it draws on local knowledge and stakeholder engagement at the early stages of engineering projects.

23 October 2018: The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has published a guide to climate risk-informed decision making that provides a bottom-up approach to risk assessment and planning. The guide titled, ‘Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA): Collaborative Water Resources Planning for an Uncertain Future,’ is intended as the first step in establishing a global community of practice that will implement the CRIDA approach in water-related infrastructure.

The CRIDA approach is thought to be useful in developing countries and data-poor regions as it draws on local knowledge and stakeholder engagement at the early stages of engineering projects.

Planning and decision making on future infrastructure needs must work with, rather than against, climate-related uncertainties.

The book-length guide to CRIDA is co-published with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), building on cooperation with other actors including the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), and the World Bank. AGWA, which was founded in 2010 as a network for promoting adaptation to climate change as it affects water resource management, is publicizing the CRIDA approach through its website and other channels.

The CRIDA approach consists of five stages that align with and add to conventional planning cycles: participatory scoping and problem definition; bottom-up vulnerability assessment; strategy development, including formulation of adaptation pathways; formulation and evaluation of alternatives; and final recommendations for implementation, based on institutional capabilities and levels of concern.

Announcing the launch of the guide, the US-based National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) at the University of Maryland explains that water-related infrastructure can last for over 100 years and thus has long-lasting impact. Planning and decision making on future infrastructure needs, according to SESYNC, must “work with, rather than against,” climate-related uncertainties. SESYNC’s mission is to bring together the science of the natural world with the science of human behavior and decision making to find solutions to complex environmental problems. [Publication: Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA): Collaborative Water Resources Planning for an Uncertain Future] [SESYNC Press Release] [AGWA Report Web Page on CRIDA]

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