Good news, the mission of Water and Climate Coalition (WCC) is achieved to great extent as sounds of water splash were heard clear and loud by the world community at Moon Palace Hotel Cancun on Saturday. The WCC, of which FAN is an active member, deserves thumps up and applause, as they worked hard days and night and lobby numerous country delegates to convince them to come up with a proposition at the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice of the UNFCCC.
Six countries called for water to be put on the climate agenda. They highlighted the fact that climate change stands to have a significant impact on water resources, and stressed the need for further discussions on how this issue can be addressed within the climate framework.
Ecuador and Sudan took initiative for this call in their statements, which was supported by Syria, Chile, El Salvador and Sierra Leone. These countries proposed that water should be put on the agenda for the next meeting of the body which provides scientific and technical advice to the climate convention, the SBSTA.
Climate change is actually WATER CHANGE. “Therefore these countries said that water should be addressed more prominently at the climate change negotiations. Climate change impacts will primarily be felt through water, and the way we manage our water will be critical to our resilience. This issue has long been neglected at the intergovernmental level and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss it at greater length in the future” reported Outreach magazine of Stakeholders Forum.
Water is a recognized human right and climate change has posed serious threats to poor countries in the form of too much water (floods) or too little water (drought).
Today on on December 6th a press conference was organized by the Water and Climate Coalition (WCC), an alliance of twelve international organisations and research centres which works to raise the profile of water issues in the context of the climate negotiations. Hannah Stoddart of Stakeholders Forum said that water has previously been more or less absent from the discussions at the climate negotiations. The fact that several countries formally addressed this issue today is a big breakthrough. The WCC has been proposing the establishment of a work programme on water under the Convention, which would develop policy guidelines, provide advice to the climate change funds and promote action on water related issues at a country level. Karin Lexen of the Water and Climate Coalition and the Stockholm International Water Institute explained “Climate change will have a drastic impact on the world’s water resources. An increased global temperature will lead to changes in the water cycle that will affect people’s livelihoods and development opportunities. Millions more people will face water scarcity, and will have to deal with water hazards including floods, droughts and glacier-melt”.
Natalie Seguin of Freshwater Action Network said “to help communities and countries deal with climate change challenges, water should be integrated in the climate convention processes not as a sector but as a cross cutting natural resource. It’s crucial to strengthen water aspects on adaptation processes but also understand the relations with mitigation.