Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Coalition to address water issues in climate change

The Coalition for Water and Climate (Water and Climate Coalition, WCC) is a global coalition that seeks to place water management in the heart of policy responses to climate change. It seeks to combine the various actors in the water community and promote an integrated gradually and international policies on water and climate change.intergovernmental processes where water and climate are relevant.

The WCC is proposing the establishment of a water and climate change under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC for its acronym in English). In the roadmap developed for the Bonn meeting in August 2010 as part of the preparatory meetings for COP-16, and reviewed for the meeting of Tianjin in October 2010, the coalition has shown that water is crucial for adaptation and mitigation and has built the case for greater emphasis on water under the UNFCCC through a specific work program.

So far the water has not been mentioned significantly under the UNFCCC. The text of the convention refers to natural resources for adaptation, but neither the Bali Action Plan and the Copenhagen agreement makes explicit reference to water. The current text of the Ad-Hoc Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWC LCA for short) includes footnotes notes that emphasize the importance of water resources, however some important details are missing.

One challenge is that negotiations on the framework convention provides little room for more substantive discussions of water in relation to climate change. Although the Nairobi Work Programme on adaptation (NWP for short) offers an opportunity to discuss water issues in greater depth, the NWP approach currently does not include a sectoral approach. And neither refers to the inter-relationships that adaptation and mitigation measures are often expressed through the water.

Because water is both a sectoral and cross-issue, because the impacts of climate change are mainly collected through the water, and because many mitigation actions are sustainable if water resources are taken seriously into consideration, it is crucial that the role of water resources management in relation to climate change is more fully recognized and explored.

That is why a Work Program on Water (AWP) under the UNFCCC provide space for more substantive discussions on strategies for integrating water and climate, then to make recommendations to the Conference of the Parties (COP) accordingly. It is proposed that this work program is established under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technology Council (SBSTA) to make recommendations to the COP on principles related to water and climate change, and initiate projects and programs that build skills and promote adaptive water management. The potential scope and objectives of such a program must be determined by the parties. Some suggestions of targets presented to Water and Climate Coalition included:

  • Contribute to "linking the agendas of water and climate."
  • Promoting discussion on the role of water management for adaptation and mitigation to climate change, make recommendations and provide guidance and advice to the COP for adoption as decisions.
  • Assess complementarities between the provisions of UNFCCC and those of other legal instruments such as the Convention on the Law of the uses of international watercourses for purposes other than navigation, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Ramsar and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, in relation to the impact of climate change on water resources.
  • Evaluate the importance of access to these legal instruments in order to link the agendas of climate and water more efficiently.
  • Facilitate the integration of water management strategies for climate adaptation and integration of climate change into strategies for water management.
  • Organize capacity building workshops and exchange of knowledge to build resilience to climate change through integrated water resources management.
  • Organize capacity building workshops and exchange of knowledge on how to consider mitigating actions in the context of integrated water resources management.
  • Provide guidance and advice to integrate the National Action Plans for Adaptation (NAPA English) with the plans and processes for integrated management of water resources.
  • Initiate collaborative research on the impacts of climate change on future water availability.
  • Strengthen data collection and provision of information projected impacts of climate change on the water cycle.
  • Systematically, collect and report good examples of integrating climate change adaptation to integrated water resource management, and integration of mitigation action plans related to water with broader water resource management.