Seven ways to get water on the climate agenda
1. Create a grassroots movement
There is a need for a grassroots movement to strengthen the case for water in the climate debate. This grassroots movement for water exists, but could be stronger. In many countries local NGOs, water committees and youth associations have worked on raising awareness. In France, local water parliaments work together to tackle water and climate change issues. These initiatives could be further shown in other countries. Heloise Chicou, deputy director and climate program officer, French Water Partnership, Paris.
2. Get communities involved
Community involvement starts with recognizing that community members are key stakeholders in the water debate. We need to seek their opinion from the planning of programmes, to their implementation. We shouldn’t turn to them only when everything has already been decided from the office. Community involvement can be costly, particularly in terms of the time invested, but it is a necessity. James Williams Kisekka, project officer and consultant, Aidenvironment and Rain Foundation, Kampala, Uganda.
3. Secure funding for developing countries
Funding is a key issue for developing countries, who need it to develop their water and climate-related projects. Development banks have a role to play, but so do other innovative types of financing. For instance, a local authority from a developed country can help another local authority in a developing country to build sustainable technologies such as micro irrigation measures. Heloise Chicou, deputy director and climate program officer, French Water Partnership, Paris.
4. Use digital technologies to share experiences
Water professionals can use digital platforms to share best practice, access information and to engage in project or action-related planning and discussion. At the World Economic Forum we are working to get all our networks onto digital platforms to share and connect. Dominic Waughray, head of public-private partnerships and member of the managing committee at the World Economic Forum, Geneva.
5. Build successful alliances
A successful alliance is one that recognizes the strength of each member and allows them to tackle the part of the issue that they are best suited to address. For example the scientific community has great data and analysis that everyone can use, but they need to simplify knowledge and implications to get stakeholders on the same page. And we all need to leave our egos behind. Vidal Garza Cantú, director at the Femsa Foundation, Monterrey, Mexico.
6. Influence decision-makers and politicians
We must understand the political landscape. The best technical fix in the world will never be implemented if it results in the decision-makers losing office or power. We need to think about what is driving the decision-maker and whether is it possible to appeal to it. Deciding who to target is also critical. We often spend time trying to influence water ministries when we should be talking to the treasury. Louise Whiting, senior policy analyst at WaterAid, London.
7. Keep up the good work – and constantly strive to improve
We should keep up the good work advocating for water, but we must also constantly strive to improve. Scaleup success stories and share lessons learned, as well as ideas and inspiration. World Water Week was a great stepping stone towards New York and Paris later this year. Let’s continue the momentum. Therese SjömanderMagnusson, director of transboundary water management at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Stockholm, Sweden.
Source: Fundacion Femsa