Africa and Caribbean South-South Learning Exchange

A South-South Learning Exchange took place in the Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad on 26th June 2014. A first of its kind south-south knowledge exchange between Africa and the Caribbean on water security and climate resilient development was held as a side event during the 2014 Global Water Partnership (GWP) Network and Consulting Partners Meeting, sought to enable lessons and experience sharing across the regions based on initiatives planned and realized under GWP’s global Water, Climate and Development (WACDEP) programme.

The Learning Event aimed at sharing lessons and experiences across the Africa and the Caribbean ‘Framework’ initiatives with a view to identifying what worked and what didn’t work, and to help shape future improved processes, practices and action. The high-level technical meeting was attended by 17 participants representing entities such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), GWP Secretariat, and regional GWP teams from Africa and the Caribbean.

The GWP - with funding from CDKN - developed the Framework for Water Security and Climate Resilient Development for Africa. This provides an overarching framework for, and tools to support, water security and climate resilient development. The emphasis was on the provision of frameworks and guidance to practitioners on the what, why and how to integrate water security and climate resilience in development planning processes, with a focus on the preparation of no/low regrets investment strategies. The Framework is currently being implemented through African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and GWP’s WACDEP in 8 countries and 5 regions/transboundary basins/shared aquifers across Africa.

Work on the Africa Framework unpacked the concepts of water security and climate resilient development, including the processes and protocols for assessing and decision-making around climate adaptation. Many of the concepts are applicable at a generic level, although Frameworks and guidance need to be specifically tailored to each regional context and setting, thereby ensuring synergies and opportunities are maximised. There is therefore scope to replicate the work in other regions and to adapt the Framework concepts, methods and tools to other specific regional contexts and issues.

CDKN identified the opportunity to develop a Water Security and Climate Resilient Development Framework for the Caribbean region, in partnership with GWP WACDEP Caribbean programme and the CCCCC. CDKN, GWP, CCCCC, and selected partners from the two regions now seek to exchange lessons learnt in development and application of the regional frameworks, tools, strategies and knowledge products for advancing water security and climate resilience supported by CDKN.

The discussions at the Learning event highlighted the importance of strengthening the dialogue between practitioners and stakeholders that have a clear role to play in achieving climate resilient development. Key lessons learned are reported alongside specific recommendations by the participants for future follow-up and collaboration at the AMCOW and CARICOM level. These included:

  • Organise a shared learning event at COP20
  • Promote further South-South Learning at the SIDS Forum
  • Initiate a dialogue on Climate Resilient Investment and Growth
  • Capitalise on the existing ACP Inter-governmental forums
  • Benefit from CCCCC's Multinational Implementing Entity status