Delivering adaptation through water

Briefing papers
November 2012
Merylyn Hedger

This briefing paper explores delivery of climate change adaptation through the water sector.

Climate change is undermining development efforts and we face unavoidable impacts. If we fail to get a grip on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts could rise to uncontrollable and dangerous levels. Floods and droughts will be more frequent and severe, storms will increase and sea levels will rise.

The common thread is water. Managing water better is central to the world’s development and adaptation challenges, including food security, energy production, poverty reduction, economic growth, and human health. Water is the key to adaptation, as carbon is the key to mitigation.

Key Messages:

  • populations already exposed to water- related hazards are significant and likely to increase.
  • Current water knowledge must be used to inform adaptation implementation now.
  • An enabling environment for improved water management should be provided from financial structures, institutional arrangements and policy processes within the Conferences of the UNFCCC.
  • Water should be termed a thematic work area under the Nairobi Work Programme, and a Water HelpDesk facility should be established.
  • A water window should be created under the Green Climate Fund in order to fund the work on water within the Nairobi Work Programme.

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