COP16: Dialogues for Water and Climate Change

Highlighting the Role of Water in Climate Change Adaptation

December 1st, 2010. Cancun, Mexico. This morning the Dialogs for Water and Climate Change were inaugurated in Cancun, Mexico, by a high panel of representatives, among them Dr. Letitia A. Obeng, Chair of GWP.

The participation of Dr. Obeng came after a speech by Dr. Julia Bucknall, Manager of the World Bank's central unit for Water, known as the Water Anchor, and the Bank’s representative on the GWP Steering Committee. Dr. Obeng highlighted the importance of water, and especially integrated water management, as a strategic approach to the climate change adaptation.

That message was supported by Mr. Tim Kasten from UNEP and UN-Water’s representative who said, “climate change adaptation is mainly about water, and the participation in the event is a recognition of the important role water plays.” GWP is a partner of UN-Water.

The Dialogs were opened by Mr. José Luis Luege Tamargo, General Director of CONAGUA. He said that 24 national and international institutions were collaborating with the Dialogs, among them GWP, and noted the importance of holding the event in conjunction with the 16th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16).

“CONAGUA is very happy because this the first time that water is incorporated in the Ministerial Conclusions,” said Luege. He is convinced that no strategy to adaptation will be achieved without the inclusion of water playing a central role in climate change. He said that all the climate change effects will be through water, and that the problems associated with extreme weather conditions, water supply, among others, will be part of the discussions during COP 16.

The General Water Director of Mexico mentioned that during this year more than 600 communities in Mexico were declared to be in a state of emergency because of weather conditions. “June this year was the rainiest month reported since a climate change report has been done in the country,” he said.

All opening ceremony speakers agreed that the water theme should be central in the discussion on climate change.

Posted: 2010-12-02

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