A broad coalition of nations, river basin organizations, business and civil society recently announced the creation of the international Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation to make water systems – the very foundation of sustainable human development – more resilient to climate impacts.
The “”Water Resilience Focus” event under the Lima to Paris Action Agenda on climate change also highlighted other key partnerships and coalitions to make river basins, lakes, aquifers and deltas more resilient to climate change and reduce human interference with oceans
Almost 290 water basin organisations are engaged under the Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation.
Climate changes, coupled with unsustainable use of water, are causing widespread impacts on societies and economies, creating droughts, floods and warming which affect all water systems and trigger negative and often fatal impacts.
Without improved water resources management, the progress towards poverty reduction targets, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and sustainable development in all its economic, social and environmental dimensions, will be jeopardized.
Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation
The pact involves a wide geographic coalition of national and cross-border river basin organisations, governments, funding agencies, local governments, companies and civil society.
It encompasses individual commitments to implement adaptation plans, strengthening water monitoring and measurement systems in river basins and promoting financial sustainability and new investment in water systems management.
These major collaborative projects combined represent over US$20 million in technical assistance and potentially over US$ 1B in financing. They include:
- A financial commitment by India to build climate resilience through improved groundwater management.
- In the Niger Basin (9 African countries involved), the launch of a 10-year investment plan to strengthen resilience to climate change, with financial support from the World Bank/IDA, WAEMU, KfW, GEF and the countries themselves.
- In Jordan, Lebanon, Monaco, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia, a 7-year commitment under the Mediterranean Water Platform to assess the state and trends of water resources, supported by the European commission.
- In Morocco, a project to increase resilience of the agriculture sector through improved irrigation practice, with financing from IBRD and the Kingdom of Morocco.
- In Mexico: 4-year collaboration to improve management of water resources and water services in the Mexico Valley.
- In Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia, program Ecocuencas, a 3-year commitment to a financial mechanism for adaptation to climate change in river basins, supported by the European commission.
- In China, a 3-year commitment to improve management of the Hai river basin, supported by France.
- In central Africa in the Basin of Congo, the launch of a hydrological and meteorological monitoring program benefiting over 160 million citizens, with financing from AFD.
Cities Committing to Strengthen Resilient Water Systems The Mega Cities Coalition, involving 10 megacities with 85 million people, is establishing a knowledge exchange platform and launching supporting projects.
- The World Bank Group’s financial commitment of USD 200 million to enhance Water Security and Climate Resilience in Kenya’s Coastal Region.
- A financing program, including 50 million euros from AFD and 15 million euros from Senegal, to protect 300 000 people from flooding Pikine, a suburb of Dakar.
Business Community Engages to Monitor and Reduce its Water Use
The private sector is mobilising a coalition of companies, including 27 which have already committed, under the Business Alliance for Water and Climate Change.
The objective is to reduce risks related to the quality and availability of water. Actions will include water impact measurement and reduction; reporting and transparency; collective action within river basins and taking stewardship of water use through the business value chain. The alliance will take advantage of the mobilisation of global networks and individual water on the NAZCA climate action portal to monitor, scale-up and initiate other collaborative initiatives after the COP21 climate change conference.
Countries join a coalition to enhance resilience on deltas
The Delta Coalition includes 12 countries (Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, South-Korea, Mozambique, Myanmar, Netherlands, Philippines, Vietnam, France and Bangladesh) to bring deltas to the forefront of global policy discussions, build partnerships and focus on action, aiming to increase resilience for almost 250 million people in deltas in these 12 countries.
Beyond these LPAA initiatives, a strong civil society and high level mobilisation
Civil society plays a key role in the water and climate change agenda. All actors, including NGOs, such as SIWI or the World Water Council, French Water Partnership, CLOCSAS-LAC, among others will bring their commitments to enhance water resilience. Furthermore, the Youth Commitment for Water and Climate Change Adaptation has been signed by more than 20 youth networks in the world.
Enhancing action on conservation and resilience of oceans to climate change
Climate change deeply impacts the marine environment as well as the hundreds of millions of people who depend on it. National and local governments, international organisations and the private sector are building concrete initiatives on three main topics: commercial shipping, marine protected areas and shoreline management.
- Commercial shipping: the maritime transport sector is taking action to reduce greenhouse gases emissions 20 % by 2020 in tonnes-km, and 50 % by 2050.
- Adaptation and marine ecosystem conservation: more marine protected areas, World Heritage recognition, children’s education, innovative funding support such as debt-for-nature swaps.
- Coastal risk management and adaptation: solutions to rising sea levels, coastal erosion, flooding and extreme climate. Furthermore ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions, or become carbon free by a given deadline (Maritime Regions in Action), partnerships to reduce the rate of coastal erosion in West Africa and reduce the risk of floods in 2023 (Adaptation of the West African coastal areas), recommendations and commitments regarding sustainable coastal management (including protection and restoration of natural ecosystems like mangroves).
- The scientific community as part of this global endeavour include the Tara Expeditions which provide open source information and data to guide policy makers in ocean-climate decisions, and international cooperation to develop oceanic monitoring systems for climate change.
The LPAA initiatives addressing WATER and OCEANS RESILIENCE are, as for today:
- Paris Pact on Water and Adaptation
- MegaCities Coalition on water
- Business Alliance for Water and Climate Change
- Adaptation of the West African coastal areas
- Maritim Regions in Action against Climate Change
The Lima-Paris Action Agenda is a joint undertaking of the Peruvian and French COP presidencies, the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UNFCCC Secretariat. It aims to strengthen climate action throughout 2015, in Paris in December and well beyond through: mobilizing robust global action towards low carbon and resilient societies; providing enhanced support to existing initiatives, such as those launched during the NY SG Climate summit in September 2014; and mobilizing new partners and providing a platform for the visibility of their actions, commitments and results in the run up to COP21.