A new climate change and water governance project is launched at COP16 in Cancun. Strengthening local and national capacities to better manage water and ecosystems will be the project focus in adapting to climate change.
“The Water Governance for Adaptation project represents an opportunity for the Mesoamerica region to provide inputs for creating institutional infrastructure and strengthening civil society in decision-making over water and transboundary river issues” says Rocío Córdoba, IUCN Mesoamerica Water Coordinator.
Dr. Alejandro Iza, Director of the IUCN Environmental Law Center, predicts this project not only has the capacity of generating reforms in water governance, but also in developing local level capacities where the norms, policies and adaptation strategies will be implemented.
Water is a basic necessity but also a resource most affected by the impacts of climate change. From a sustainable development perspective, countries’ actions to guarantee sufficient water quality and quantity, helps local communities reduce their vulnerability to climate change. This can be through less severe floods, better drought-response capacities, and improved protection from extreme weather events.
The project includes two guidelines for action: one on decision takers at the national level, and one for local and community leaders. The first is based on knowledge and capacity building towards promoting sound decisions on the use of water and ecosystems. The second focuses on strengthening and empowering local stakeholders.
The project will implement adaptation measures based on ecosystems adaptation against climate change for the watersheds of the Lempa, Paz, Sixaola, Coatán and Cahoacán rivers.
Components of the proposed actions deal with maintenance and restoration of water springs, aquifer recharge, rain harvesting, sustainable soil management, reforestation and awareness-raising campaigns.
The project is financed by the International Climate Initiative and executed by IUCN with the assistance of key local stakeholders in the region.
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