Water: Centre of Climate Change

30 October 2009 | News story

The UNFCCC’s Climate Change Talks in Barcelona are the last stop before the key COP15 conference held in Copenhagen in December, where a post-2012 climate change agreement should be agreed upon.

In order to ensure a deal in December, critical discussions must take place on the form of the agreement, on emission cuts and sufficient financing for developing countries. IUCN is promoting nature-based solutions to climate change, through REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) and through recognising the role nature can play in increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability of people in the face of climate change. The services that nature provides for managing water are essential solutions for adapting to climate change.

Key issues
Coping with climate change means dealing with water, and nature has proven solutions. “The biggest dangers from climate change relate to water, whether because of drought, floods, storms, ice melting or sea-level rise” says Mark Smith, Head of IUCN Water Programme. “Intact and well-functioning river basins and coasts can help people cope with the impacts of climate change. They provide water storage, flood control and coastal defences. Investment in nature is a critical pillar in making farms, towns, cities and coastal communities resilient to climate change.”

Well-managed nature plays an important role in both climate change adaptation and mitigation. “Nature can offer solutions that are available to the rural poor in particular, that are cost-effective and sustainable” says IUCN Climate Change Coordinator, Ninni Ikkala. “The potential of forests in reducing emissions is well-known, whilst for example well-managed mangroves can reduce flood impacts in low-lying coastal areas and managing agricultural lands sustainably can ensure food production in a changing climate.”

Photos/Audio/Video material are available from: www.iucn.org/unfccc

Spokespersons
• Ninni Ikkala, IUCN’s Climate Change Coordinator, ninni.ikkala@iucn.org
• Claire Parker, Senior Climate Change Policy Consultant, claire.n.parker@btopenworld.com
• Mark Smith, Head of IUCN Water Programme, mark.smith@iucn.org

Events
November 3 - Water Day at Fira Congress Hotel convened by the Global Public Policy Network on Water Management http://gppn.stakeholderforum.org
November 3, 1115-1215 - Presentation at Fira Congress Hotel by Mark Smith, Head IUCN Water Programme, on “Climate change, water and ecosystems”
November 3, 1945-2115 – Presentation at Fira Congress Centre by Mark Smith, Head IUCN Water Programme, at the TNC side event on “Ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation: resilient nature – resilient people”.

Media team

• Pia Drzewinski, Media Relations Officer, tel +41 22 999 0336, email pia.drzewinski@iucn.org
• Borjana Pervan, Media Relations Officer, tel +41 22 999 0115, email borjana.pervan@iucn.org