COP27 Presidency launches key initiative Action on Water Adaptation and Resilience to Address Water Security in the Face of Climate Change
The day’s program focuses on current and emerging challenges related to water security
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, November 15, 2022 – The World Health Organization has announced that by 2025, half of the world’s population will live in areas affected by water scarcity, and water-related issues are fundamentally linked to climate change. The COP27 Water Day provided a forum to address this issue, focusing on the sustainable management of water resources.
The day started with the launch of the AWARe initiative in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The initiative will promote policy efforts, practical action, knowledge sharing and capacity building on the ground to put adaptive water management systems at the heart of the climate change adaptation agenda, creating an African Water Hub.
Success stories from Africa were presented, highlighting how water systems have successfully adapted to severe climate change. These included smart irrigation, flood protection and rainfall harvesting. Participants examined how best to exceed these achievements and increase their resilience in the short term to face worsening climate conditions. Among the points of discussion were public-private partnerships, sustainable financing and greater community involvement.
COP27 President HE Sameh Shoukry said: “With water consumption increasing every year and 70% of the world’s freshwater being used for agriculture, according to the World Bank, the stress of climate change is being felt more and more. Climate change is already limiting people’s access to water around the world, as droughts, floods and wildfires linked to rising temperatures affect water supplies. The monitoring and management of river basin ecosystems is increasingly important, and initiatives such as AWARe will enable transformative collaboration across the continent.
During the day, sessions highlighted the path to adaptation and climate-resilient agriculture. These included:
Decoupling freshwater use and water security, exploring the potential of systems and technologies to build resilience to promote water security
River basin-scale adaptation and its co-benefits and risk of mal-adaptation looked at mobilizing global efforts to improve water management, increasing collaborative efforts in water adaptation and non-adaptation challenges.
Floods and droughts focused on the need to protect people with early warning systems to save lives and livelihoods.
Water Mitigation looked at how best to conserve water resources in the face of climate pressures and ensure access to safe drinking water.
The focus on water at COP27 brought together a diverse range of policymakers, scientists, researchers, civil society and government who shared ideas and success stories related to addressing water scarcity.
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