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The international water and climate coalition has been launched

Whereas water resources are strongly affected by environmental degradation, climate change and human activities, an original coalition is aiming to better orchestrate policies at the international scale and speed up the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals relating to water, via a multi-actor approach. IFGR is associated with this initiative coordinated by the World Meteorological Organisation.


Standing together

This coalition was presented at a high-level event at the General Assembly of the United Nations on 18 March. The opening speech expressed the same sense of urgency regarding the ambition, the resources to be implemented in terms of adaptation to climate change, and the intensification of actions to go faster. In particular it was recalled that more than half the world’s population will be faced with water shortages by 2050, and that today more than 2 billion people still have no access to water or drainage. The main impacts of climate change are hydrological. Mr Emomaliji Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, is one of the leaders of this new coalition. He bore witness to his country’s situation: in the last century, Tajikistan had more than 14,500 glaciers, covering 8% of the country. A thousand of them have completed thawed and the global volume has fallen by a third.

This trend can obviously have very dramatic consequences in the medium and long terms. What is more, climate change has intensified the frequency of natural hydrological and meteorological phenomena like mudslides, floods, droughts, landslides and avalanches. Every year, natural disasters seriously destabilise the economy and the environment of Tajikistan, and undermine the efforts made to achieve sustainable development. I would like to emphasise that these challenges are representative of what other central Asian countries are facing”, he explained.

The first goal of the Coalition is therefore to set up an integrated global programme on water and the climate to strengthen adaptation and resilience by better harmonisation between sectoral public policies (water, the prevention of natural disasters, the climate, water supply and food security, etc.). The second challenge is to fill the gap in information on available water resources for different uses and natural risks linked to water. 60% of the member countries of the World Meteorological Organisation declare a reduction of hydrological monitoring capacities and thus decision-aid resources in the sectors of water, food and energy. Only about 40% of the countries of the world have early flood and drought warning systems.

That is why the WMO has taken the reins of the coalition that groups 12 UN organisations.


Rallying partners around the world

In addition to the founding UN organisations and the 15 leaders that form a representative panel, the coalition is aiming at a wide public of stakeholders: scientific organisations, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, member States and civil society. It aims to combine political advances and concrete action, with in particular a market place activity to encourage new actions, seeking partnerships, and a platform for exchanging news and views.

IFGR is participating in this initiative in the framework of its long-term partnership with the WMO.


Further information on Water and Climate Coalition


Two additional hints for reading


  1. The United Nations World Water Development Report: Valuing Water 

It  identifies the resources to know and evaluate the value of water better. This Report was published for the World Water Day

  1. A practical guide to revive natural spaces

This practical and synthetic guide published by the UNEP is aimed at encouraging the restoration of eight types of key ecosystem: forests, agricultural land, prairies and savannahs, rivers and lakes, oceans and coasts, cities, peat bogs and mountains, and is addressed at everyone, from private individuals to community groups, companies and governments.  Join the initiative #GenerationRestoration!

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