Integrating water into national climate plans

World Water Event calls attention to the importance  of integrating water into national climate plans

Water, as an underlying resource for key economic sectors, needs to be carefully considered when countries review their actions to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. As countries are currently in the process of revising their national climate plans or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Agreement, the integration of water and its interactions with other sectors can be better reflected.

The event “Enhancing the NDCs: An Opportunity for Addressing Water Interactions”, which was recently co-organised by Cap-Net, UNDP, Global Water Partnership, AGWA, SIWI, the Water Governance Facility and the WRI, as part of the  World Water Week offered practitioners an opportunity to learn about this important consideration.

The conversation

Two countries - Peru and Somalia - shared their experiences regarding the integration of water in NDCs. This was followed by a short presentation providing tips and resources for water and climate coordination, including highlights about climate-water interactions and cross-sectoral interdependencies; challenges and success factors from implementing NDCs and National Adaptation Plans; and tips for accessing finance for water & climate work.

The interview with Ms. Cristina Rodriguez, Director of Adaptation, Ministry of Environment (MINAM), Peru has brought light to key aspects of the integration of water in the NDCs.

Integrating water in their NDCs requires a holistic approach. For instance, Perú has promoted 23 sub-national level dialogues on the topic of hydrographic basins  enabling conditions of water adaptation measures that resulted in a  better alignment of national with subnational priorities to improve the NDCs. The manual for the incorporation of risk management in the context of climate change in public investment projects related to water for irrigation that has been published recently is a good illustration of an integrated and coherent approach to incorporate water in the NCDs. For Peru, adaptation is the priority to ensure sustainable development benefits.

Dr Ali Warsame (Lead NDC Expert), Somalia Directorate of Environment and Climate Change under the Office of the Prime Minister shared the national experience of bringing water into the NDC processes.

In Somalia, NDCs Enhancement is aligned with development plans and across federal and subnational levels. For instance, the National Development Plan 2020-2024 declares water sector a high priority, including the development of Somalia's water resource infrastructure, and in particular watering points for livestock across the regions; watershed management, rainwater harvesting; transboundary water resource management.

In summary, the session has shown that:

  • Countries may deliver more effectively on their climate goals by managing opportunities and constraints related to water issues when enhancing their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC / Paris Agreement.
  • The water community is investing to help identify water-climate interactions and actionable plans for mitigation and adaptation.
  • Countries should be mindful that the NDC revision process offers an opportunity to plan for building back better in the context of a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Better coordination across ministries, as well as between different tiers of governance, is needed to ensure that cross-cutting issues are addressed in an integrated and coherent way throughout climate and development policies and plans in order to ensure that implementation does not exacerbate e.g. water stress or maladaptation.
  • Finance is critical for turning plans into reality, but the agenda priorities and focus of the action is determined by the policy process, e.g. processes of NDC enhancement.

The questions

The audience wanted to learn more. Here are the answers to some of the questions to the government representatives from Perú and Somalia about their efforts of enhancing their NDCs.

Could you please reflect on how/if Peru is incorporating considerations for Transboundary Water Management in its NDC?

The Framework Law on Climate Change stipulates that NDC’s are alined with national and Regional Climate Change Strategies and can be applied in transboundary basins to reduce disruption due to the climate-related risks.

To take one example, we launched an initiative entitled “Implementation of the Strategic Action Programmes and the National Strategic Action Plans for the Integrated Water Resources Management in the Puyango-Tumbes, Catamayo-Chira and Zarumilla Transboundary Aquifers and River Basins”. This initiative is developed by Ecuador and Peru, financed by the GEF and showed in its diagnosis the need to include adaptation and mitigation actions for the Second Phase. Currently, the design stage is being worked on through bi-national virtual workshops, in which enabling conditions and adaptation actions have been defined to guarantee future intervention projects.

Similarly, Peru is implementing a GEF project to improve water management in the Titicaca Lake which is located partially in Peru and Bolivia. Climate change is a variable to be studied in this project due to its influence and importance on transboundary basins decisions makings.

Eco-systems-based Lomas project - what is the anticipated impact of the rehabilitation of the watersheds in the hills on Lima’s water supply and the surrounding areas? Which groups/partners are implementing the conservation? Are those groups grassroots, or government?

The EbA Lomas project is implemented by the United Nations Program Development (UNDP), under the leadership of the Natural Protected Areas Service by the State (SERNANP), attached to the Ministry of the Environment (MINAM), and funded by the Global Fund for Environment (GEF).

Contacts for more details: Edith Fernández-Baca, project coordinator

Including climate risk in public investments - it would be interesting to learn more about the manual for irrigation and if you are planning on guidance for other water-related infrastructure projects?

At this moment, we are focused on more material related to irrigation water and training programs.  In the future, I want to start planning similar guidelines for energy, water consumption, and water multiuse projects.

Peru’s NDC includes measures for managing water demand and water efficiency - what are the anticipated benefits in terms of water availability, cost and emission reduction?

This information will be released in our National Finance Strategy under construction. General and qualitative calculations have been developed so far in the NDC.

How has Peru tackled the need to have a climate risk analysis of the water sector from the multi-sectoral and multi-level approach as the basis for updating/implementing its NDC?

By the end of 2018, through a Multisectoral Working Group, we have identified more than 150 concrete measures for adaptation and mitigation which are the base to fulfill the defined goals on our NDC and that are in process of adaptation by the different levels of government, the private sector and civil society. We implemented a participatory process called Dialoguemos or Dialogue in which we inform stakeholders about all progress in NDC´s as well as invite them to contribute in their design and implementation phase.

At the same time, we have worked on enacting a Framework Law on Climate Change and its Regulation. The Ministry of Environment is the national authority on climate change and permanently seeks to mobilize the greatest number of actors to accelerate the fulfillment of our goals and make visible what we do together in the implementation of adaptation and mitigation measures in the face of climate change.

In this context, the adaptation measures in water that represents our NDC in this area have been a result of a decision-making process that involved stakeholders such as The National Autority on Water, Ministries related to agriculture, energy and saniation, regional govenerments and the private sector.

Currently, the Peruvian climate change law and regulation is one of the only ones that has the intergenerational approach. How is the Government planning to incorporate, specifically youth, into the implementation and monitoring of the NDCs related to adaptation? Considering that youth represents 25% of the population?

As I mentioned before, our work within the Multisectoral Working Group lasted for 22 months, between 2017 and 2018, this included 13 ministries and the National Center for Strategic Planning, and the main goal was to develop road maps to implement 154 adaptation and mitigation measures.  In the implementation process it is important to note that we included the cross-cutting approaches of gender, intergenerational and interculturality.

Currently, we are updating the members of our National Commision on Climate Change in accordance with the new legal mandates. Two representatives from youth groups will be part of this commision where climate change actions will be recommended and followed-up.

The Lima Hills project is incredible. Which groups/partners are implementing the conservation? Are those groups grassroots, or government?

The EbA Lomas project is implemented by the United Nations Program Development (UNDP), under the leadership of the Natural Protected Areas Service by the State (SERNANP), attached to the Ministry of the Environment (MINAM), and funded by the Global Fund for Environment (GEF).

Contacts for more details: Edith Fernández-Baca, project coordinator

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