COP27 puts focus on 1/2 of world population that will live under water stress by 2025: COP27 presidency

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Nov 2022

Drawing attention to the half of the world’s population that is estimated to live under water stress by 2025, the Egyptian presidency of COP27 launched Monday the Action for Water Adaptation and Resilience (AWARe) initiative to bolster water security in the face of climate change.

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Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hani Sewilam announces the launch of the AWARe initiative (Photo: Egyptian presidency of COP27 )

 

The launch of the initiative, in partnership with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), kicked off the climate conference’s Water Day.

The day aimed to draw attention to existing and emerging challenges related to water security as well as provide a forum to address sustainable water management by bringing together diverse voices including policymakers, scientists, researchers, civil society and governments.

Water issues are intrinsically linked to climate change, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The AWARe initiative will foster political efforts, practical action, knowledge sharing and field capacity development to place adaptive water management systems at the heart of the climate change adaptation agenda, establishing a pan-African hub for water.

During the launch ceremony, success stories from Africa were presented, highlighting how water systems have been successfully adapted in the face of severe climate change. These include smart irrigation, flood protection and rainfall harvesting.

Attendees examined how best to go beyond these accomplishments and scale their resilience in the short term to face worsening climatic conditions. Among points of discussion were public private partnerships, sustainable financing and increased community engagement.

COP27 President Sameh Shoukry said: “With water use increasing every year and 70 percent of the world’s freshwater used for agriculture, according to the World Bank, the stresses of climate change are felt more and more. Climate change is already limiting people’s access to water globally, as droughts, floods, and wildfires linked to warming temperatures impact supply.”

“Monitoring and managing river basin ecosystems is becoming increasingly vital and initiatives like AWARe will provide for transformational collaboration across the continent,” he added

In addition to the Egyptian initiative, the days events also included sessions exploring how to develop climate resilient agriculture, mitigate the harm from floods and droughts through early warning systems and preserve water resources, especially drinking water.

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