World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Climate Change is about Water, but Missing from Agenda

Climate Change is about Water, but Missing from Agenda

The world's economic growth and social welfare depend on the sustainable management of the world's water resources in the context of climate change, according to a statement issued by the Global Water Partnership (GWP). The statement was delivered by GWP Chair Dr. Letita A Obeng to the high level session of the world climate change conference on Friday, December 10, 2010.

"When world leaders speak about climate, they invariably speak of water - of floods, droughts and failed harvests - and express their alarm. They are right to do so: because climate change is primarily about water," the statement says. The statement calls on the 193 countries that participate in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to make sustainable water resources management and disaster risk management an integral part of the global response to climate change.

The statement responds to the objections by climate negotiators that sectoral issues complicate negotiations by arguing that water resources management is not a sector, but a "cross-cutting concern for the achievement of mitigation objectives around forestry, agriculture, and energy, many of which rely on [water's] availability." The statement continues, "The water supply and sanitation sector, agriculture or any other sector should not be singled out for sectoral discussion. But the world's water resources and their management should be singled out because the potential impact of climate change on society will, in many cases, be transmitted through the medium of water."

"Failure to recognize the role of sustainable water management in adapting to climate change could prove disastrous to people's livelihoods and economic development," said Dr. Obeng in comments delivered earlier in the week. The GWP statement outlines the potential consequences of inaction including insufficient water to support economic growth and the world's food supply.

"GWP's delegation came to Cancun to highlight the seamless link among water resources management, climate change, and sustainable development," said Dr. Obeng, noting that GWP's statement reflected the views of similar agencies. GWP is a network of more than 2,300 partner organizations, works in nearly 80 countries, and has observer status to the UNFCCC as an intergovernmental organization.

"We have to remember that the ones most vulnerable to the impact of climate change are those in lower income countries, indigenous groups, and those in extreme poverty," said Dr. Obeng. "World leaders need to understand that investments in sustainable water resources management will deliver important benefits to vulnerable populations today, while strengthening resilience to longer-term climate risks.

More information about GWP participation in COP 16.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Binoy Kampmark: Europe Dries Up
Scenes and pictures have been circulating of broken earth, lacking moisture, cracked and yearning. But these are not from traditional drought-stricken parts of the planet, where the animal carcass assumes near totemic power... More>>

UN: Bachelet Alarmed By Number Of Palestinian Children Killed In Latest Escalation

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet today expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year, including in intense hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza last weekend... More>>

Save The Children: One Year Under Taliban Rule, Girls Are More Isolated, Hungry, Sad: New Report
One year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, an economic crisis, crippling drought and new restrictions have shattered girls’ lives, excluding them from society and leaving them hungry...

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>

Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>