Reframing water projects for increased climate change resilience and impact mitigation
Global Water Partnership Central America
Non-governmental organization (NGO)
According to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an increase of 0.5 °C in temperature would generate a change in the intensity of heat waves and the frequency of rainfall. This would have a direct impact on livelihoods, mainly on subsistence, as well as on the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, since climate change is a transversal element that conditions the fulfillment of the Objectives.
Although discouraging, this panorama confirms the need to carry out assertive actions to mitigate and adapt to current and future climate challenges. If the same trend of current emissions is maintained, the projected impacts by 2040 will be inevitable, causing extreme weather phenomena in all regions of the world.
This scenario, which sounds inevitable, indicates a race against time to define technical and political solutions that adapt to the conditions of each country, based on a sustainable development that involves the full participation of multiple actors in the territory, mainly those sectors who have been historically marginalized.
This new model for development will require important paradigm shifts in relation to the planning and implementation of adaptation measures in the different economic and social sectors, going from fragmented traditional approaches to comprehensive solutions with a joint management approach for disaster risk mitigation.
Within the current approaches, models based on ecosystems are gaining strength, which integrate the sustainable management of natural resources, as well as the integrated management of water resources as adaptation strategies to the effects of climate change, directly contributing to a more effective use of available financing, considering the cost of action versus inaction, and the investment required for mitigation of impacts versus adaptation, mainly in developing countries.
In this context, 30 Latin American countries have linked Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as a fundamental element for adaptation and risk management within their climate commitments. This is particularly important for Central America, where according to the Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index (2018), four of the countries in the region are among the fifteen with the highest climate risk globally.
IWRM has been important in advancing agreement and coordination between different sectors and actors, positioning itself as a planning and action approach that allows countries to improve their capacities to face the impacts of climate change - considering that most of these are manifested through water - and contribute to a development that is resilient to the effects of climate change.
The opportunity that IWRM represents to contribute to climate action has allowed GWP to assist institutions and focal points at the national level in the processes of preparing projects and water initiatives that will allow the implementation of climate action instruments, through the strengthening of capacities, the formulation of management strategies and the design of proposals for the leverage of financial resources
The increasing linkage of Integrated Water Resources Management in climate instruments such as Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans, strengthens the development of articulated proposals that maximize the potential for access to financing necessary for climate risk mitigation and sustainable water resource management.
Supporting countries in the analysis of their regulatory framework, that is, policies in their different forms of regulatory expression: laws, plans, programs, climate change and water projects at the national level, is one of the actions included in GWP Water and Climate Strategy. These instruments consider gender mainstreaming that facilitates the participation of women in climate action and public policies, so that they have greater capacities to participate, be included and lead decision-making processes related to climate change and resource management.
Programmatic support allows countries to determine actions to identify and address the main economic, political, ecological, and cultural causes that generate vulnerability, with special attention to extreme hydrometeorological events such as droughts and floods. Through GWP's technical assistance, countries will be supported to generate project initiatives framed within these prioritized actions, while strengthening institutional capacities at the national level.
Water projects and initiatives for climate resilience involve a high degree of intersectorality, under a holistic approach that considers the integration of the needs and the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda objectives, including poverty eradication, food security, energy, among others.
- Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD)
- Ministries of Environment / Country Focal Points
SDGS & Targets
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services
By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water
By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated
Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality
Change in water-use efficiency over time
Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources
By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate
Degree of integrated water resources management
Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation
Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time
Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan
Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management
Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population
Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster risk reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030
Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies
Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
Number of countries with nationally determined contributions, long-term strategies, national adaptation plans and adaptation communications, as reported to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Total greenhouse gas emissions per year
Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
Extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development are mainstreamed in (a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher education; and (d) student assessment
Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible
Amounts provided and mobilized in United States dollars per year in relation to the continued existing collective mobilization goal of the $100 billion commitment through to 2025
Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities
Number of least developed countries and small island developing States with nationally determined contributions, long-term strategies, national adaptation plans and adaptation communications, as reported to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
(a) Index of coastal eutrophication; and (b) plastic debris density
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Number of countries using ecosystem-based approaches to managing marine areas
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
Degree of implementation of international instruments aiming to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Sustainable fisheries as a proportion of GDP in small island developing States, least developed countries and all countries
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Degree of application of a legal/regulatory/policy/institutional framework which recognizes and protects access rights for small‐scale fisheries
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of "The future we want"
Number of countries making progress in ratifying, accepting and implementing through legal, policy and institutional frameworks, ocean-related instruments that implement international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed
Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products
By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species
By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
(a) Number of countries that have established national targets in accordance with or similar to Aichi Biodiversity Target 2 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 in their national biodiversity strategy and action plans and the progress reported towards these targets; and (b) integration of biodiversity into national accounting and reporting systems, defined as implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting
Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
(a) Official development assistance on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and (b) revenue generated and finance mobilized from biodiversity-relevant economic instruments
Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation
Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities
SDG 14 targets covered
Deliverables & Timeline
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- Latin America and the Caribbean
Civil society organizations, youth representatives, academia, multilateral organizations