On the Mekong Delta, the massive river system in Southeast Asia, we see a prime example of how import water and water management are for sustainable development and climate change. This has to do, for one, with the human right to access to clean drinking water, as well as with agriculture, which now accounts for around 70 percent of global water consumption. In India, this share is as high as 90 percent. Water management along large rivers, especially in light of climate change, is an urgent challenge that developing countries must confront. FAIReconomics discussed water management and climate diplomacy in the Mekong Delta with Sabine Blumstein, a Project Manager at adelphi, an independent think tank and leading advisory body for climate, environment, and development issues.
In the Middle East, the consequences of climate change are already a reality of life. The region is one of the most water-stressed areas in the world, the average temperature is rising faster than elsewhere, and a massive reduction in rainfall is also expected for the coming years. Adding to the conflicts and quarrels – ranging from the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to Syria and Iraq as well as to rivalries between Iran and the Gulf states – access to and use of natural resources act as yet another crisis amplifier in the region: water is as important here as land ownership and as precious as access to oil.
With water resources under increasing pressure, transboundary water management and cooperation are becoming more and more important in shared river basins and should correspondingly step up on the diplomatic agenda. The paper “Water connects” outlines the available options and provides the scientific underpinning for future-oriented narratives and desirable action in water diplomacy.
The Mekong River is vital, serving >66 million people. Sabine Blumstein shares 3 reasons for more climate diplomacy.
On 1 December 2016, adelphi researchers and the former Minister of Environment of Peru, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, discussed the challenges and opportunities of a low-carbon transition during the closing event of the ECC Exhibition at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP).
Since the Uri army base attack on 18 September 2016, in which 17 Indian soldiers were killed (called the “deadliest attack on the security forces in Kashmir in two decades”), relations between India and Pakistan have been at an all-time low. While India has provided ample evidence to establish the origin of the attack as Pakistan, the latter continues to be in denial. India has been on a diplomatic and political offensive ever since – attempting to isolate Pakistan globally, carrying out surgical strikes against “launch pads” for terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC) and re-examining some of the existing bilateral treaties, one of them being the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).
In a totally different but connected case, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been forced to keep on hold a big project meant to reduce the risk of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) in northern Pakistan, which also includes disputed territory of Gilgit-Baltistan – mainly due to objections raised by India.
Large-scale efforts are being undertaken to address the challenges of improving energy access and of climate change adaptation. Author Dr. Vigya Sharma argues that too little thought is given to identifying links between the two, and that tackling poverty and impacts from climate change in an integrated way stregthens our chances of achieving both objectives.
How to deal with the impact of climate change on peace and stability? What are the key climate-fragility risks to development in Africa and how can integrated policy responses be designed and implemented? Two side events at COP22 discussed entry points for addressing climate-security risks on the ground.
Last month, our author Dr Vigya Sharma visited Colombo to speak at the 5th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum. In her report, she highlights some takeaways from the conference to which more than 1,000 representatives from across science, policy, national to local governments, multilateral donor agencies and various arms of the United Nations came together.