Christine Gottschalk, director of the Centre for Resilience at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has described restructure of the agency's resilience programmes as conducive to "...really thinking about shocks and stresses as perennial features and not anomalies...This is really about knowing that [droughts and floods are] going to happen. How do we plan for it so we can be responsive?”
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The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released a new compilation of maps reflecting how effects of drought, sea-level rise, forest fires, extreme rain and flooding may affect selected regions in Europe. The maps are based on different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and climate models that have been projected through the 21st Century.
Alok Sharma has been announced by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the United Kingdom’s Minister with responsibility for COP26, the United Nations Climate Summit which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland in November this year. He is also the UK’s new Minister for the country’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The World Bank has announced a $10-15 Million USD grant for desalination in Gaza, Palestine. This funding, announced 10 February, will supplement funds already committed by the Partnership for Infrastructure Development in parallel with financing from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. The total project funding now exceeds $115 Million USD.
A coalition of more than 200 leading scientists have warned that the planet may be tipped into “global systemic collapse” by overlapping environmental crises. Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, extreme weather events, major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, food crises, and water crises top a list of 30 global risks both in terms of likelihood and impact, according to scientists surveyed by international research group “Future Earth”.
Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed challenges brought over the expansion of the Trans Mountain (TMX) oil pipeline system expansion project. The challenge, rejected in a 4 February unanimous ruling, was presented by four indigenous groups on the basis that they had not been properly informed or consulted regarding the extension of the pipeline.
The coalition of indigenous groups claim that the environmental review did not consider the effect of the project on the First Nations’ way of life and the environment in a meaningful way. Specifically, the proposed pipeline will run through a number of aquifers including the recharge zone for the Coldwater aquifer. The possibility of oil spills threatens the quality of drinking water for over 90 percent of the Coldwater First Nation reserve.
The chief of the Coldwater Indian Band, Lee Spahan, further argues that the threat to water goes beyond its quality, saying that the people have a connection to the water and that it is sacred. Spahan said the route through the First Nation’s territories is still to be determined and Canada has an ongoing duty to consult with it on the route and protection of its water.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the United States has said that a technical committee from Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan has not been able to co-produce a document that could lead to agreement on the controversial Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam.
The government of Laos has been challenged by neighbouring countries and NGOs about provision of data around environmental assessmnet of the Luang Prabang dam in the lower Mekong.
The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has dismissed the President of CEDAE, the State Water and Sewerage Company as the city’s weeks-long water supply and sanitation crisis shows little sign of abating.
In a second incident within one week Mexican activists in the country's northern border region broke through defences and seized control of La Boquilla dam, Chihuahua Province 4 February in an attempt to stop water diversions to the United States that are required as "payment" under a 1944 bilateral water treaty between the countries.
The government of Ukraine indicated 5 February that there will be no resumption of water supply to Russian-occupied Crimea through the North Crimean Canal.
During a visit to the Kherson region on 11-12 February, the Verhkovna Rada Committee on Human Rights will visit a dam at the closed section of the North Crimean Canal that is near an entry-exit checkpoint between the "Autonomous Republic" of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the largest city in Crimea. In advance of the visit, the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine, Anton Korynevich, stressed that the water from the channel will flow into Crimea via the canal only after the region has been de-occupied and that the scheduled committee meeting has nothing to do with water supply.
New analysis from environmental NGO WWF reports that the extractives sector suffered water-related financial losses of over $20 Billion USD in 2018, measuring operational risk (too much and too little water), regulatory and reputational risk to highlight companies, commodities, river basins and countries that face the highest overall water risks.
A February 2020 Blue Peace Bulletin from Indian think-tank Strategic Foresight Group examines tension between Pakistan and India over the Indus River, assesses the current situation and makes recommendations on how to build cooperation.
A January 2020 food security analysis conducted by three United Nations agencies has revealed that, despite “satisfactory” agricultural production, over 3.3 million people in the Central Sahel require immediate food assistance. It is feared that the situation may deteriorate and the agencies estimate that the number could rise to approximately 4.8 million this summer, if appropriate action is not taken urgently.
Kenya's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has appealed a magistrate’s court's decision to acquit nine suspects who had been charged in causing the death of 48 people in May 2018 when a dam burst on the Patel farm in Solai, Nakuru County.
The government of Japan briefed foreign embassy officials 3 February on an increasingly preferred method of disposal of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean. 28 diplomats representing 23 countries are reported to have attended the meeting.
Cross-border water management project H2O Gurea announced 3 February the outcomes of a three-year project between France and Spain along the rivers Bidasoa, Nivelle and Urumea, a process that has shown excellent results including improved water quality, biodiversity preservation, and river and flood management.
In 2018, over 17 million people were displaced from their homes, with over 90 percent fleeing weather and climate-related disasters according to The United Nations Office for Disaster Relief Reduction (UNODRR) which reported 3 February that while, for example, there were 1,600 recorded disasters, the real number is probably much higher.
NGO Wetlands International has called for the International Organization Partners to the Convention on Wetlands to urge the Contracting Parties to the Convention to consider a more ambitious global biodiversity framework and to adopt priority measures to curb freshwater biodiversity loss.
An annual assessment of global online media coverage of "underreported" humanitarian crises, many related to water challenges, indicates increasing linkage between such events and man-made climate change.
Humanitarian agency CARE International launched its fourth such analysis 28 January, examining 40 disasters and conflicts that have affected at least a million people to determine which are the most under-reported.
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