GWP Contributes to Climate Change Dialogue Process in Run-up to COP15

Posted: 2009-11-17

The Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa recently organised a workshop in Mombasa with a team of environmental experts and civil society members from the region to develop climate change adaptation strategies.

The Mombasa meeting was preparing for the gathering in Nairobi 16-17 April at UNEP concluding the Dialogue Process on Climate Change Adaptation for Land and Water Management where a strategy was formulated.

The Mombasa meeting agreed on a sixth element to the joint declaration’s five principles that are being prepared for the Climate Change conference in Copenhagen COP15 at the end of 2009. The declaration focuses on climate change adaptation as a complement to mitigation. The GWP facilitated Mombasa meeting added an element about enhancing the importance of partnerships to the declaration of Land and Water Management for Adaptation to Climate Change.

The Declaration has been prepared through the Climate Change Dialogue Process launched by the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation at the inaugural Conference in Copenhagen on 13 November 2008 and is responding to the needs for more information about adaptation. It aims to identify guiding principles which can promote sustainable development while responding to the impacts of climate change. The guiding principles should provide input to the negotiations leading up to COP15 and provide guidance to stakeholders involved in developing strategies for adaptation in land and water resources management beyond COP15. The Global Water Partnership has been active in all the meetings of the Dialogue Process and have contributed to the final result of the declaration.

The Dialogue Process started in January 2009 with a regional workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam – about regional priorities and challenges in Southeast Asia regarding adaptation and water management. The second dialogue was organised in Bamako, Mali in February – focussing on climate change adaptation in Africa. The final dialogue was organised in Nairobi, Kenya 16-17 April where Reba Paul, Executive Secretary of GWP Bangladesh presented the outcomes from the Hanoi workshop. GWP Eastern Africa coordinator Simon Thuo gave an overview of the sixth element on partnerships, elaborated at the Mombasa meeting, and which was included in the final Nairobi statement.

The outcome of the Nairobi meeting is the Nairobi Statement on Land and Water Management for Adaptation to Climate Change, developed through the Dialogue Process, where the fundamental importance of land and water linkages are recognized. The Statement, released on April 17 2009, is a direct response to the Bali Actions plan for cooperative action on adaptation. The guiding principles for Adaptation to Climate Change refer to the following:

• Sustainable development: Adaptation must be addressed in a broader development context, recognizing climate change as an added challenge to reducing poverty, hunger, diseases and environmental degradation.

• Resilience: Building resilience to ongoing and future climate change calls for adaptation to start now by addressing existing problems in land and water management.

• Governance: Strengthening institutions for land and water management is crucial for effective adaptation and should build on the principles of participation of civil society, gender equality, subsidiarity and decentralisation.

• Information: Information and knowledge for local adaptation must be improved and must be considered a public good to be shared at all levels.

• Economics and Financing: The cost of inaction, and the economic and social benefits of adaptation actions, calls for increased and innovative investment and financing.

Implementing these Guiding Principles will be strengthened through the establishment of partnerships that enable the combining of strengths, mandates and institutional capacities. Forging partnerships and working through networks will create the diversity and creativity necessary to support land and water management for adaptation to climate change.

Read more about the Dialogue Process 

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