COP23: Call for Water Financing to Triple; "Nature Based Solution Declaration" Signed

BONN, Germany

The majority of national climate plans with an adaptation component which have been submitted under the Paris Climate Change Agreement prioritize action on water, yet financing must triple to $295 billion USD per year to meet targets.

The “key message” was communicated by the international water community today at the “Global Action Day for Water” during the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.

Representatives of the international water community today co-signed a “nature based solution declaration” at the opening of the Water Action Day “to encourage the use of natural systems in managing healthy water supplies”.

The representatives underlined the imperative to develop closer cooperation within the climate community, as well as the energy, agriculture, urban, health, and oceans communities. Water must emerge as a greater priority in national policies and be integrated within other major sectors such as energy, food security, health, education, they said.

Water challenges have been recognized as a core thematic area by the annual conference along with Energy, Agriculture, Oceans & Coastal Zones, Human Settlements, Transport, Industry and Forests.

Following an inaugural Water Action Day at COP22 in Marrakesh Morocco, this year’s Water Day events “(are) designed to build on our achievements in mainstreaming water into the global climate action agenda, enabling climate and water actors and their allies to learn from one another and engage as full partners in achieving a sustainable and resilient climate future for all people…” (Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, AGWA).

“Sustainable use of water for multiple purposes must remain a way of life and needs to be at the center of building resilient cities and human settlements and ensuring food security in a climate change context,” Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, President of the Women for Water Partnership, and Co-Chair of Water Scarcity in Agriculture Platform (WASAG) said today (10 November).

“Involving both women and men in decision making and integrated water resources initiatives leads to better sustainability, governance and efficiency,” said Ms Verhoef-Cohen.

The co-signing “international water community” representatives encompass a number of networks, including #ClimateIsWater, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and Global Alliances for Water and Climate (GAfWaC).

At COP22 in Marrackesh, Morocco the findings of the Water Action Day were subsequently presented to the event’s closing plenary, with three specific recommendations:

  • Harmonizing water and climate policies, launching a Water Action Plan for Climate Resilience and implementing the five fingers alliance concept, an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses collaborative solutions in the domains of water, food, energy, health and education
  • Extending water access and sanitation services in Africa
  • Reinforcing resilient water governance and promoting participatory, inclusive, integrated, and ecological water resources management

An update on the Blue Book on Water and Climate, which was produced by the Moroccan Government as an outcome to a Water and Climate conference held in July 2016 before COP22 in Marrakesh, is expected to be released during proceedings in Bonn.

The current Bonn-hosted conference is presided over by Frank Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Fiji, the first small island developing state to hold the presidential role at a COP. “The human suffering caused by intensifying hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods and threats to food security caused by climate change means there is no time to waste,” said Bainimarama, who assumed Presidency of the COP23 conference on behalf of Fiji from Morocco during the 6 November opening.

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