Water management is increasingly recognized as a component of climate change adaptation. For those countries belonging to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that have submitted adaptation commitments, 80% acknowledge water. Countries recognize the need for water to be addressed both as a potential risk as well as a means for solutions at the national, basin, local and project scale levels.
Despite all this, formal acknowledgement within the Paris Agreement of water’s crucial role as a connecting resource in climate change adaptation and mitigation is missing. The water community possesses vast experience, knowledge and skills in the management of natural resources, which can assist Parties to fulfill their commitments through integrated and resilient water resources management.
To bridge this gap, the High-level Strategic Workshop on Water and Climate “Raising ambitions on the road to CoP25” was held in Bonn on 13 June 2019. Its primary goal was to mobilize and encourage a range of political and institutional stakeholders from both the water and the climate arenas to exchange and work together to assure the continued and improved long-term visibility of water within climate discussions, stressing the necessity to implement national plans and strategies to deliver on commitments.
Based on the richness and quality of the discussions, a solid step was taken towards this aspiration, by first learning to speak each other’s language. Multi-stakeholder roundtable discussions provided the opportunity to examine each country’s situation with regard to water and climate change and advocate for affording greater attention to water solutions within the parties’ adaptation communication and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in view of their anticipated updates in 2020.