Of course, water resources management is not the subject of discussion among the negotiators who have been trying, for years, to hammer out a binding treaty agreeable to 193 nations of the UNFCC. It never will be.
But in a demonstration of effective and long-term lobbying efforts, six countries called for water to be put on the climate change agenda, thanks to the work of the Water and Climate Coalition of which GWP is a close working partner.
And I was surprised when the UNFCCC invited GWP to make a statement to the high level session on the closing day. Afterward, some country delegations approached the GWP to learn more.
So while water resources management isn’t yet on the negotiators’ agenda, it is beginning to get attention on the periphery. GWP is working intensely behind the scenes to raise water’s profile. The next big test will be in June 2011 where water, it is hoped, will be on the agenda of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). And we’ll keep working to make sure water resources management (WRM) is considered an adaptation activity under the Nairobi Work Programme.
Ultimately, regardless of what happens at the COPs, GWP wants to support countries to develop comprehensive programs on adaptation (with strong WRM components) with a special focus on the Least Developed Countries, Africa, and Small Island Developing States. Having said that, we want to continue to use the UNFCCC process as a platform to communicate our work on climate change and build partnerships with funders so that WRM gets the financial resources it needs to protect the economic, social, and environmental welfare of the planet.
As to when we should pop open the champagne, stay tuned.