Blog: A picture is worth a thousand words. So how much is a video worth?

By Claire Warmenbol. That question came to mind when I watched the video of our WISE-UP project, recently broadcast on Deutsche Welle TV. It shows what the project does, no, it brings to life what the project does…in just over 6 minutes.

Volta Basin, West Africa

And this is not a straightforward project in terms of communications. The title alone might leave you scratching your head a bit: ‘WISE-UP to Climate – Water Infrastructure Solutions from Ecosystem Services underpinning climate resilient policies and programmes’. The project is a collaborative partnership with resource scientists, engineers, computer modellers, economists, policy advisers, and water and climate change specialists. Did I say challenging? That was an understatement.

But in comes Deutsche Welle (DW) and more specifically their Global Ideas programme people. Grit and Ruth from DW knew they were onto something, their series focus on “best practice” models that inspire and fascinate. And WISE-UP is just that.

WISE-UP to Climate will aim to demonstrate that nature provides solutions. It is working in two river basins, the Tana River in Kenya and the Volta in West Africa. WISE-UP will develop knowledge on how to use both natural infrastructure, like wetlands, floodplains, and watersheds, and engineered infrastructure, such as dams, levees, and dikes, in a way that helps countries adapt to climate change. Whilst brokering dialogue among all those concerned, this knowledge will facilitate the agreement of trade-offs and demonstrate sustainable solutions for poverty reduction, biodiversity conservation, climate resilience, and economic growth.

As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said back in September 2010 “allowing our natural infrastructure to decline is like throwing money out of the window. Maintaining and restoring it can provide economic gains worth trillions of dollars each year.” WISE-UP to climate provides a unique approach for this, to integrate ecosystems as infrastructure and linking their performance to adaptation responses, and help secure future economies and livelihoods. 

And whilst you may get a clearer idea of what WISE-UP is all about, this blog clocks in at over 300 words. Perhaps I should have just drawn a picture? 

Or even better, watch the video online: WISE-UP video on Deutsche Welle TV


Blog written by Claire Warmenbol, Communications Officer of the IUCN Global Water Programme:

WISE-UP website:

The project is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)

Work area: 
Climate Change
Global Policy
Environmental Law
East and Southern Africa
West and Central Africa
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