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The untold story of water in climate adaptation. II. 15 countries speak

Research reports

Written by Nathaniel Mason, Roger Calow, Adriana Quevedo, Leo Roberts, Charlene Watson

Countries recognise that addressing the impacts of climate change means working on water – but are they on the right track? Looking to the next round of nationally determined contributions in 2020 and beyond, are countries on the path to building resilience and achieving their development goals through water resources management?  

The Paris Agreement, as well as Agenda 2030 and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, have set a compelling direction. But they have also created massive new complexities for national policy-makers and their development partners. Everyone involved in this work on the ground is looking for 'connectors' – to coordinate systematically and create win–win solutions. Water is a crucial connector: the need to use, allocate and manage it – whether it’s too little, too much or too dirty – flows through the Paris, Sendai and Agenda 2030 commitments.

This report, a collaboration with the Global Water Partnership, assesses 15 countries to discover their ambitions and, importantly, their actions for building climate resilience and advancing sustainable development via water. It covers Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chile, China, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mauritania, North Macedonia, Tunisia and Ukraine.

While the analysis points to gaps and missed opportunities, there are successes on which to build. Scaling these up will happen only if the different communities – climate, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and water – work together more frequently and more effectively than ever before.

Nathaniel Mason, Roger Calow, Adriana Quevedo, Leo Roberts, Charlene Watson, Merylyn Hedger, Anjali Lohani, Ralph Philip, Frederik Pischke, Alex Simalabwi and Monika Weber-Fahr