Water is Key to Implementation of Climate Adaptation


A high-level international seminar, “Water to Guide the Implementation of the (COP 21) Paris Agreement,” will convene on September 1st at Stockholm’s 26th World Water Week. The event will be hosted by the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the French Water Partnership, the Global Water Partnership, the government of The Netherlands and Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on behalf of the international “ClimateisWater Initiative,” which aims to elevate the visibility for water within global climate change discussions.

While water was substantively present in the COP climate discussions, formal negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) did not include water as a leading subject.

The seminar will present the case for water as a key to implementation of climate adaptation, and engage in how specific national experiences can bring concrete solutions at all levels internationally.

At a separate event earlier in the week, hydro-climate experts based in Sweden and elsewhere said that rainwater harvesting and other green water management methods are key to alleviating hunger in sub-Saharan Africa and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, and called for a “Green Water Initiative.” Green water is the part of the rain that infiltrates into, and is stored in soil.

“Large parts of the world are struggling to adapt to a drier reality, but challenges are especially dire in Africa’s drylands. Africa’s climate is its Achilles Heel,” said Professor Malin Falkenmark, Senior Scientific Advisor to Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.

The group called for a Triple Green Revolution in Africa: green for productive use of green water, green for intensification and enhanced food production, and green for sustainability and building water resilience in watersheds.

They suggest rainwater harvesting systems that can offer supplementary irrigation, harvested from slopes and valley bottoms and stored in ponds or dams for use during dry spells and drought periods financed by a Water Harvesting Innovation Fund for Africa.

OOSKAnews is reporting in full daily from World Water Week in Stockholm.