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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

White paper: Water for Climate Healing - A New Water Paradigm

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic (

    The White Paper describes the water cycle and the methodology of cooperation in restoring global water cycles, adopting and implementing effective measures at local, regional and national levels by restoring small water cycles on continents. The New Water Paradigm shift provides a global systemic solution to water climate healing and its central role in the Earth's climate system. Keeping rainwater in the land and renewal of water retention capacity of soil and landscape worldwide renew small water cycles flow and moisture, water resources, increase carbon sequestration, decrease temperatures, create new jobs, and mitigate climate risks, such as floods, droughts and sea level rise.

    Citizens, local stakeholders and public administration should actively participate on the maintenance and improvement of soil and landscape ecosystem services in the context of climate change by implementing soil adaptation and management measures along with the integrated utilization of rainwater. The recovery of the global water cycle and its balance begins with the renewal of small water cycles on continents. 

    The key solution is not only to stop the drying of continents and the rise of ocean levels, but also to return water back to countries and continents by water cycles. It will restore soil and landscape ecosystem services using rainwater retention principles to renew the landscape's small water cycles to reduce floods, droughts and natural disasters. Paradoxically, in current water management we focus on a large water cycle and visible water in which water is replaced on average once every 3 months, in a small water cycle every 8 days with multiple benefits of plant water vapour, soil water infiltration and biotic pump. 

    In holistic concept WEFE NEXUS, when we speak about Water, we mean Earth's water cycles being modified by humans, by Energy we discuss distribution of solar energy as well. Renewable energy resources all depend on sun and water cycle. Energy cycles of transformation and distribution of solar energy in the troposphere and landscape surface are not integrated enough into regional, national, and global decision-making on climate change mitigation and land use management policies. The water cycle's stability depends on land use, the soil's health and moisture content, rain, and vegetation.

    Expected Impact

    Key indicators of soil health and climate stability include: water retention capacity of soil and landscape structures; agrochemical parameters of the soil; the proportion of vegetation cover of the soil; soil erosion and soil sealing rate; the content of organic material in the soil; land use sensible heat impact. These indicators need to be evaluated on an annual basis, as well as their trends.


    1. To recognize the fundamental importance of water in the Earth's climate system and the profound impact of land use and land changes on transforming the temperature conditions, hydrology, and biodiversity.

    2. To recognize that each plot of land, each square meter or acre of land impacts on the total area of the continents of 136 million km2 (excluding ice cover) in terms of climate stability and water circulation.

    3. To adopt Global Programme of Action for Land Rehydration and Restoration. Small water cycles and moisture recycling on land-will stabilize climate. The ecosystems will shut down unless we start restoring land up to scale. Conserving 30% of the land is important but insufficient to avert desertification in many regions. The individual UN Member States must reverse the tipping points through land restoration.

    4. To research and monitor land use and land changes (LULC) impacts on watershed hydrology and rainwater capture and as drivers of urban and agricultural heat islands contributing to climate change. 5. To support the introduction of global, national and sectoral financial solidarity mechanisms between firms, public administrations, citizens, and land users who can rehabilitate soil and climate.


    Water Holistic ICER - Independent Council for Ecosystem Restoration Biotic Greening Group Voices of Water for Climate

    Goal 2

    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

    Goal 2


    By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round


    Prevalence of undernourishment


    Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)


    By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons


    Prevalence of stunting (height for age <-2 standard deviation from the median of the World Health Organization (WHO) Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age


    Prevalence of malnutrition (weight for height >+2 or <-2 standard deviation from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age, by type (wasting and overweight)


    Prevalence of anaemia in women aged 15 to 49 years, by pregnancy status (percentage)


    By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment

    Volume of production per labour unit by classes of farming/pastoral/forestry enterprise size


    Average income of small-scale food producers, by sex and indigenous status


    By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality


    Proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture


    By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed


    Number of (a) plant and (b) animal genetic resources for food and agriculture secured in either medium- or long-term conservation facilities


    Proportion of local breeds classified as being at risk of extinction


    Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries

    The agriculture orientation index for government expenditures


    Total official flows (official development assistance plus other official flows) to the agriculture sector


    Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round


    Agricultural export subsidies


    Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility


    Indicator of food price anomalies

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6


    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


    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    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


    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time


    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

    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

    Goal 7

    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

    Goal 7


    By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services


    Proportion of population with access to electricity


    Proportion of population with primary reliance on clean fuels and technology


    By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

    Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption


    By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

    Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP


    By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology

    International financial flows to developing countries in support of clean energy research and development and renewable energy production, including in hybrid systems


    By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support


    Installed renewable energy-generating capacity in developing countries (in watts per capita)

    Goal 13

    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

    Goal 13


    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

    Goal 15

    Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

    Goal 15


    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

    Forest area as a proportion of total land area
    Proportion of important sites for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem type


    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

    Progress towards sustainable forest management


    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

    Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area


    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

    Coverage by protected areas of important sites for mountain biodiversity
    Mountain Green Cover Index


    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

    Red List Index


    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

    Number of countries that have adopted legislative, administrative and policy frameworks to ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits


    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

    Proportion of traded wildlife that was poached or illicitly trafficked


    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

    Proportion of countries adopting relevant national legislation and adequately resourcing the prevention or control of invasive alien 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


    (a) Official development assistance on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and (b) revenue generated and finance mobilized from biodiversity-relevant economic instruments


    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

    Proportion of traded wildlife that was poached or illicitly trafficked

    Gradual increase of the water retention capacity of the landscape's structures (landscape features, various small rainwater water retention holdings, restoration of surface water bodies, wetlands and river system, ecosystem use of rain water in urban areas, nature based solutions, anti-erosion measures in damaged parts of landscape, etc.) on every continent, in every country and region by up to 750 km³ altogether for repeated retention of rainwater during the year - summary target for global level. At the local level, the average need is to increase the water-holding capacity of soil and landscape structures by 50 m3 for each hectare of land, which is 100 m3 per inhabitant of the planet, every five years.

    The subsequent improvement in soil health will increase the soil's ability to retain rainwater by 1,500 km³ worldwide. This is a total increase in the water retention capacity of soil and landscape's structures by 2250 km³, which will be used at least 5 times a year, which means that stakeholders will effectively return 10% of the continental rains to small water cycles annually with many synergistic effects. 

    Increased support for recharging groundwater reserves (140 000 m3/s), in case of achieving the target global increase in the water-holding capacity of soil and landscape structures. 

    Support for evaporation of water from the landscape, reduction of overheating of the landscape (sensible heat flux reduced significantly each year 300 000 TWh) and increased biomass production, in case of achieving the target global increase in the water-holding capacity of soil and landscape structure.

    Financing (in USD)
    Funds from the sale of certificates to companies, public authorities, citizens to increase the water retention capacity to more than 750 km³ by 2035 at a global level with costs of approx. from USD 4 to USD 9 per m³ in areas outside urban zones.
    Staff / Technical expertise
    engineers, experts,coordinators and land users will participate widely to implement the water retention and other adaptation measures every year untill 2035
    No progress reports have been submitted. Please sign in and click here to submit one.
    Water for Climate Healing - White paper
    Action Network
    water logo
    Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic
    1. Europe
    Other beneficiaries

    Land owners and users. Residents of villages and towns, Municipalities, cities and regions, Ministries. Research and academic institutions.

    United States of America
    United States of America
    Contact Information