Blog: INBO – a partner to develop capacity on climate adaptation in the basins of lakes, rivers and aquifers

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The International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) has developed a strong engagement in the past few years in the field of climate adaptation in the basins of lakes, rivers and aquifers.

Since 2006, INBO is a steering committee member of the Intergovernmental Task Force on Water and Climate, established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The taskforce implements a pilot projects programme and regularly publishes guidance materials (i.e. ‘Water and Climate Change Adaptation in Transboundary Basins: Lessons Learned and Good Practices’, 2015).

Under this framework, INBO and UNECE jointly manage the Global Platform for exchanging experience on water and adaptation to climate change in transboundary basins since 2010. More than 15 transboundary basin organizations have joined the platform, which promotes best practices between peers on how to design and implement good adaptation policies (basin adaptation plans and strategies, monitoring networks, Water Information Systems –WIS, etc.) in the form of peer-to-peer matchmaking and annual workshops.

In 2015, in view of the 21st Conference of the parties of the UN Climate Convention (UNFCCC’s COP21), INBO launched the Paris Pact on water and adaptation to climate change in the basins of lakes, rivers and aquifers. This document synthesizes principles and actions that need to be implemented for adaptation in basins. It has been signed by 360 signatory organizations from 94 countries which have also submitted projects with the objective of sharing good practices internationally, strengthening knowledge, and enhancing the mobilization of donors and governments for this priority issue of basin adaptation. The Paris Pact ‘Alliance’ is now managed jointly by INBO and UNECE.

In recognition of its leading role in the field, INBO was successively appointed by the UNFCCC Secretariat as organizer of the basin adaptation session of the high-level water day of COP21 and as facilitator of the official ‘Water Day’ of COP22 in Marrakech (Morocco) on November 9th 2016.During COP22, INBO launched the ‘Global Alliances for Water and Climate’ (GAfWaC) with a wide range of high-level partners (UNESCO, ICLEI, CEO Water Mandate, etc.). The joint initiative gathers the four Alliances launched in COP21 on climate adaptation and mitigation actions in the water sector: the Paris Pact Alliance, the Business Alliance for Water And Climate Change (BAfWaC), the Alliance of Megacities for Water and Climate and the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance. Their goals are to identify and support new actions, to exchange lessons learnt and best practices of efficient existing actions, and to mobilize stakeholders to secure a place for water in climate summits, negotiations and financial mechanisms and actions.

Since 2016 and COP22, INBO is in charge of the Secretariat of GAfWaC. In this capacity, INBO launched in COP22 and manages since then the Incubation Platform of the Global Alliances for Water and Climate: the GAWCIP.

GAWCIP bridges the existing gap between project holders and donors in the following way:

  • Donors of climate finance are looking for projects that they could select and fund, but they often express a lack of quality projects. This is either because the proposals fail to present how the technical content of the suggested activities is of interest to climate change adaptation and mitigation, or because the proposal fails to comply with financial requirements and does not include a robust financial plan.
  • Project holders do not know through which channels they can access climate funds, and when they do, however valuable their projects are, they often lack the knowledge or capacity to comply with complex technical and financial requirements.

In coordination with donors of the climate finance, GAWCIP provides technical assistance to project holders, to help them build their proposals and reach access to funding. In 2017, 6 projects were incubated:

  1. Development of the national water information system (SNIEau) for climate change adaptation (Burkina Faso),
  2. Transboundary basin-wide adaptation strategy Sava river basin (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia),
  3. Diama dam’s monitoring system for natural resources and adaptation measures (Senegal river basin),
  4. Capacity Building for the Rehabilitation of the Zarqa River Project (Jordan),
  5. Investment plan for the reinforcement of the efficiency of Fez urban and industrial wastewater treatment for a better resilience to climate change (Morocco),
  6. Web-based Peer Learning and Collective Action Platform (worldwide).

Picture: Training workshop that INBO, UNECE and other partners organized on how to prepare bankable projects for financing climate change adaptation in transboundary basins (Dakar, Senegal, 21-23 June 2017)

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