Water on the Table at CoP-18 High-Level Side Event
Doha, Qatar, 4 December 2012 – “We must have a Sustainable Development Goal on climate adaptive water resources management strategies,” said the World Water Council President Benedito Braga today. It was during the high-level side event - Sustainable Solutions for Climate Action Food Security in Dry Lands under a Changing Climate - at the COP-18 that the President gave a speech to the distinguished audience including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban-Ki moon, the President of COP-18, H.E. Mr Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the Chairman of Qatar National Food Security Programme H.E. Mr Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, and the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, Ms. Christiana Figueres. At the event, President Braga evoked the WWC’s proposal for creating a Pact for Water Security. Due to climate variability and change, implementation of this Pact, launched at UN Headquarters in New York last month, will require consideration of more resilient hydraulic infrastructure and more efficient water management systems. This will necessitate adaptive water management, including management tools both on the supply and the demand side. For example, the Platform of Solutions presented at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, proposes a range of solutions related to adaptation of water management for food security including the case of dry lands. He said that the Council will work with interested governments and organisations towards their implementation. Giving his closing remarks, President Braga recommended that the “climate negotiators turn their attention to water issues not only for the reason that water connects climate change to all the natural and social cycles, but also for the simple reason to bring fresh impetus to the current climate talks. […] people do not care about abstract legal arguments advocated in sophisticated intergovernmental talks; however, they do care a lot about the water security of their family,” he said. President Braga thereafter participated in a panel with Ms Kyte from the World Bank, Mr Steiner from UNEP, Mr Jarraud from WMO, Ms Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil, Ms Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Republic of South Africa and Mr Keke, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Nauru. The participants shared their experience, highlighted best practices and identified further needs for implementation of climate action within the framework of sustainable development.