Preconference Forum on Climate and Water Dialogue
On 19 June 2018, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office, in cooperation with the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) organized a preconference forum on Climate and Water Dialogue. The event is conducted in the framework of the High Level International Conference on the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” (20 - 22, June 2018).
The Forum brought together about 90 participants, including government officials, representatives of academia from five Central Asian States and Afghanistan, international organizations, development agencies, civil society and youth.
SRSG Natalia Gherman opened the Forum underlining the importance of addressing climate change and environmental degradation in an urgent manner to be able to effectively mitigate its implications for the Central Asian region.
Achieving and maintaining water security is increasingly challenging under current climatic variability and projected climate change, especially in vulnerable areas such as mountainous and arid regions. Global climate change is accelerating glacier melting processes in many regions worldwide, which will have significant effects on the large regional populations. Besides, lack of monitoring and modelling, as well as limited data on key cryospheric and hydrological processes make accurate estimates of climate change impacts extremely challenging. Therefore, there is a need to identify pathways to integrate the science-based understanding of climate impacts on water security into mitigation and adaptation policies, and enhance water and climate dialogue at various levels.
This event supported the water decade’s process through various partner presentations and discussions, to highlight frontiers, opportunities and gaps in research, as well as policy impact on larger populations. It brought together researchers, practitioners, policy and decision makers, and partners from Central Asia and worldwide, working in the water sector to share knowledge, best practices and ideas for a sustainable water resources management under the impacts of climate change and in line with the Water Decade. The participants engaged in crucial discussions on water security in contribution to the Sustainable Development Goal ( SDG) 6 and sustainable future more broadly, including but not limited to the strengthening the linkages with the SDG 13 and SDG 11.5. The event also focused on recommendations on how to better achieve stronger partnerships and actions to address water-related issues, by enhanced cooperation.
The Forum’s programme consisted of sessions of various formats: official statements, panel sessions, as well as roundtable discussion, focusing on the cryosphere/water/hazards/communities/partnerships in a changing climate, addressing SDG 6. The event facilitated open dialogue and exchange of ideas between relevant stakeholders.