In the “Connecting Water and Climate” panel, held this Monday afternoon (19th), within the programming of the 8th World Water Forum taking place in Brasilia until March 23, and in which the Renova Foundation actively participates, the National Determined Contribution (NDC) was discussed. It concerns the commitment by each country to the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), for investment in actions to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.
According to preliminary NDC findings, more than 90 percent of countries with climate change adaptation unit recognize water in their commitments, which shows its significance and the demand for it to be addressed in a systematic and strategic way, both as a potential risk and a solution vector.
The session, which was part of the High-Level Panel series of the event, included the participation of Ministers of Water and Environment, such as Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes, from Portugal; Gugile Nkwinti, from South Africa; and Antonio Canas Calderon, from El Salvador; as well as academic experts and representatives of funds linked to the theme, such as Dogan Altinbilek, vice president of the World Water Council, and Monica Scatasta, Head of Environment, Climate and Social Policy at the European Investment Bank.
First, ministers presented the actions on water protection in their countries, exploring ideas on how to best integrate the water issue into global frameworks. Portugal, for example, has invested around 10 billion euros in the sector and has already obtained significant results, but questioned: “Why don’t we have a COP (Conference of the Parties) for Water?” recognizing the importance of the subject and international cooperation for integrated water resources management.
South Africa has stressed that one of its biggest problems is wastage: 37% of all water produced is thrown away. Furthermore, the representative of the country shared the idea that water monitoring is of vital importance to support fact-based planning and science.
At another point during the panel, the debate explored concrete actions to ensure the priority of water in climate negotiations, aimed at COP 24 (the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change) and was attended by representatives of the Green Climate Fund, the European Investment Bank, the NDC, and Professor Luiz Carlos Molion, a researcher at the Federal University of Alagoas.
The group found that there are many water-related projects for both mitigation (energy) and adaptation – about one-third of all adaptation projects focus on water. However, the indicators are still very limited, which makes project proponents end up changing the subject to achieve better results. Following this line, it is necessary to define better indicators for water resilience. The creation of a global and continental working group that could focus on addressing these obstacles, as well as an international water database over time, was one of the ideas that emerged from the discussion.
Water sharing is the central theme of the 8th World Water Forum, which takes place from March 18 through 23 at the Ulysses Guimaraes Convention Center and the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia. The Renova Foundation actively participates in the event, taking part in roundtables discussions on management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems, recovery of river basins and sustainable solutions to restore terrestrial and river ecosystems.
Follow our coverage of the event on the event page.