Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into water resources Day 2 -What do we need to know and do to support mainstreaming?

Reflections on Day 1: Participants reviewed learnings on water-related SDGs, climate change impacts, national priorities and the policy and legal framework. They recapped on learnings about risk mapping and relevant climate information sources and accessing climate information, as well as the impacts of climate phenomena on ecosystems and human well-being. > Review Day 1

Scenario-building and vulnerability assessments for decision-making

Agnes Balota presented on vulnerability and risk assessments, examining the concepts of vulnerability and risk, and identified factors contributing to risk and vulnerability in a system as a first step to a systematic approach to climate change adaptation. The IPCC AR5 focuses on risks and uses the following definition: [Risk is the] probability of occurrence of hazardous events or trends multiplied by the impacts if these events or trends occur.' IPCC AR5 p. 1048.

'There is no universally accepted relationship between ‘risk’ and ‘vulnerability to climate change’ available. Risk and vulnerability to climate change results from interaction of three components: hazards, exposure and vulnerability.' Agnes Balota, GIZ

Group Work: Vulnerability and Risk Assessment

Country groups were invited to (1) Take stock of current situation in their systems of interest, and (2) Deal with the future. Country groups listed climatic changes already experienced, such as changing precipitation patterns, temperature extremes, etc., considered how the systems are sensitive to climate variability, assessed the vulnerability based on sensitivity and coping and adaptive capacity, defined the risk and rated the need for action.

Assessing climate risk and vulnerability in the context of water resource management in country groups

Focus on Terai Irrigation Systems of Nepal. As an example, the session reviewed the targets and indicators for Nepal SDGs 2014-2013. A target by 2030 is to double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous groups, pastorialists, and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land.

The session demonstrated key benefits of vulnerability and risk assessment, namely to:

  • Provide a basis for integrating adaptation into development efforts
  • Recognise climate risks and the need for adaptation within relevant policies, programmes and projects
  • Help to identify what or who is most vulnerable, where they are located, what risks they face and the need for action
  • Improve understanding of specific risks and vulnerabilities in different localities,
  • Provide the opportunity for awareness raising and capacity building
  • Provide evidence of the linkages between climate and development
  • Serve as a baseline analysis to monitor how risks may be influenced by a changing climate over time
Presenting on climate risks and the need for adaptation within national policies, programmes and projects

Stakeholder participation: Institutional arrangements and partnerships

Rohini Kohli presented on Institutions for National Adaptation Planning, demonstrating how clear institutional arrangements for NAPs are essential from the outset. Many institutions or stakeholders need to be involved. There are inevitably barriers that institutions commonly face in delivering NAP outcomes. The question remains on how countries are addressing these barriers. NAP-relevant institutions/stakeholders include; cabinet/senate/parliament, lead agencies, Departments and ministries, key sectors (such as Planning, Finance, Local Government), National coordinating committee and technical groups. Finally, Rohini reviewed the institutional challenges and barriers for NAPs, including fragmented national mandates on climate change, uncertainty over financial resources, and skewed availability of technical knowledge to handle climate change.

'Coordination is the most fundamental service that institutions can provide for NAPs. It is vitally important to consider your key stakeholders both by sector and level of government - national to local.' Rohini Kohli, UNDP

Seung Hee Kim, Environmental Advisor, UNDP, presented on Institutional Arrangements and Water Governance. The main drivers of water-related threats are domestic water demand, use of agricultural and industrial water and urbanization, and climate change - which is causing change in frequencies of droughts and floods. Additional threats come from pollution and contamination by sewage, agricultural and industrial run-off, and the depletion of aquifers caused by over consumption as a result of population growth. He reviewed SDG 6, to ensure availability and sustainability of water and sanitation for all. There are many interlinkages between Water Goal 6 and other SDGs. He reviewed water governance, legal frameworks for water management,and considered how to reduce water-related climate change risks, while increasing synergies for water-climate nexus. He considered water governance, including urban and transboundary waters.

'Only 0.007 percent of the planet's water is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people. There is a global water crisis. Global water demand is projected to increase by 55%. Over 40% of the world’s population is projected to be living in river basins experiencing severe water stress by 2050.' Seung Hee Kim, UNDP

Bryan Hopkins, UNITAR, presented an exercise on stakeholder engagement. Groups identified a typical adaptation project to analyse and completed a stakeholder identification table on a flipchart sheet. They draw a stakeholder influence-importance map, and placed stakeholders in the appropriate quadrant. Finally, each group drew a stakeholder influence diagram.

Beau Damen, FAO, presented on 'Understanding the food-water-energy nexus in the context of NAPs'. The presentation defined the water-energy-food nexus in Asia and used the NAP as a framework to tackle the nexus issues. The nexus is about complex interactions and inter-sectoral inter-dependencies. Water is used for agricultural production – up to 90% of overall withdrawals in many countries Water is used in almost every aspect of energy production, making energy the second largest withdrawer of water after agriculture globally. At the same time, food production consumes about 30% of total energy consumed globally (including supply chains). Food-water-energy nexus arises due to the interconnectedness of natural and human systems. The session explored nexus trade-offs and synergies - including hydropower - and the challenges of appraising options and addressing risks using various tools and data services. A group work exercise focused on addressing nexus issues and how climate change impacts related sectors.

'The rapid pace of development in Asia presents a number of challenges and opportunities for the agriculture sectors from the nexus perspective. Resolving nexus issues requires intersectoral collaboration to assess options and prioritise actions to address trade-offs and realise synergies.' Beau Damen, FAO
'One of the main challenges the agricultural sector in Asia-Pacific is facing is to increase productivity in order to keep pace with the demands of growing populations. Agriculture is using more and more resources. The share of water available to agriculture to produce the food we eat is expected to decline by 40% by 2050.' Beau Damen, FAO

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