Initiative to Address Water Security and Climate Impacts Announced at COP27

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by KnowESG

In collaboration with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Egypt's COP27 Presidency created AWARe (Action on Water Adaptation or Resilience), an initiative that will support inclusive cooperation to solve water-related challenges and solutions across climate change adaptation.

AWARe aspires to contribute to a successful outcome at the 2023 UN Conference on Water by bringing together the Water and Climate Coalition, the Adaptation Action Coalition, and the Marrakesh Partnership Climate Action Pathway Water.

COP27 President Sameh Shoukry said:

"Increasing water demand from a growing population and variable supply does not make for sound economics. Water management must be a major focus of our discussions and actions as we try to devise and implement adaptation solutions.

"Water is life and is vital to sustaining lives and livelihoods. Through the AWARe initiative, we are bringing together stakeholders to alleviate the challenges faced by the world's vulnerable communities and ecosystems."

The goal of the initiative, which is being done in close cooperation with the African Union (AU) and the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW), among other partners, is to help the planet and people find transitional adaptation solutions.

AWARe will focus on three action priorities: reducing water loss around the world and improving water supply; proposing and helping to implement mutually agreed policies and methods for cooperative water-related adaptation action and its co-benefits; and promoting cooperation and links between water and climate action to reach Agenda 2030, especially SDG 6.

During the opening session of COP27's Thematic Day for Water, Hani Sewilam, Egypt's Minister of Water Systems and Irrigation, Ambassador Ayman Amin Tharwat, Egypt's Deputy Director for the Department of Climate, Environment, and Sustainable Development, and Elena Manaenkova, WMO's Deputy Secretary General, all spoke about AWARe.

Minister Hani Sewilam said:

"The Global Water Crisis is affecting billions of people worldwide. The AWARe initiative will catalyse inclusive cooperation to address water as a key to climate change adaptation and its co-benefits, as well as enhanced resilience."

Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary General of World Meteorological Institute, said:

"Seventy-four per cent of all natural disasters are water-related, we still need to do a lot more to help societies, we must have effective disaster management strategies that protect communities and limit climate-related hazards."

The AWARe initiative promotes measures to decouple economic growth from freshwater use and degradation; develop national utilization plans, adaptation and mitigation strategies and protect and restore freshwater ecosystems; seek cooperative analysis of river basin scale adaptation and mitigation options and risk of mal-adaptation and support mutually agreed policy solutions to advance a 'do-no-harm' approach.

It aims to promote sustainable waste-water management, sanitation policies and strategies, and water-wise energy routes, as well as improve early warning systems for extreme weather events.

It will also try to connect water resource policy with national climate action so that the long-term effects of climate change on water resources and demand can be taken into account and so that preparedness and adaptation measures can be supported.

Egypt will host the Pan-African Centre for Water Climate Adaptation, which will be the main delivery mechanism and focus on the most important activities and actions, such as finance, technology, and building capacity.

Source: Business Standard

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