Stockholm sends a message to Copenhagen on water | WWF
Stockholm sends a message to Copenhagen on water

Posted on 21 August 2009

Negotiators working towards a global agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in December are to be told that “water is a key medium through which climate change impacts will be felt” and that “a strong and fair agreement on future global commitments on climate change measures—both mitigation and adaptation—is crucial in order to secure future water resource availability”.
Stockholm, Sweden: Negotiators working towards a global agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in December are to be told that “water is a key medium through which climate change impacts will be felt” and that “a strong and fair agreement on future global commitments on climate change measures—both mitigation and adaptation—is crucial in order to secure future water resource availability”.

WWF, which played a key role in the discussions leading to the Stockholm Statement as a key outcome of World Water Week, strongly endorsed the message which was greeted with a unanimous show of hands by delegates when presented by convenor the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

The statement identifies integrating land, water and forest management as the key to successful climate change adaptation and said that “ecosystem protection and sustainability is fundamental to adaptation and human development”.

Presenting the results of the discussions, WWF head of Freshwater Adaptation Dr John Matthews said that “water is not simply a sector, it is what we are made of”.

“Decisions about water infrastructure and management that we will live with for decades are being made now, all too often under policies and by institutions that were built on an assumption of a stable climate and have yet to adapt themselves,” Dr Matthews said.

“Adaptation measures now going forward in the negotiations are dangerously disconnected from what we are learning about successful climate adaptation and building climate resilience in the field.”

“This Stockholm Statement is important in linking the need for effective mitigation measures through which we can minimise the extent of climate change and core adaptation priorities that can minimise the impacts of climate.”

Dr Matthews said most elements of good adaptation practice were already known but more effort needed to be devoted to the assessment of regional, economic and social vulnerability to climate change impacts, and managing risk for extreme events. There was a need also to reduce the uncertainty in climate projections.
Man's bare feet walking in the water
© Chris Martin BAHR / WWF