A Voice For Water At COP26

First-ever Water Pavilion In Blue Zone

21 Oct 2021 by The Water Diplomat
GLASGOW, United Kingdom

David Duncan, Publisher
David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews

Water must be at the core of effective climate action, but many countries are unaware of the powerful water-related solutions that exist. To remedy this, the global water community is speaking with one voice UNFCCC COP 26 Climate Change Conference over the next 2 weeks at the Blue Zone Water Pavilion.

The COP26 Water Pavilion is the result of an unprecedented collaboration among over 30 organisations, governments and companies in the water space. The aim is to deliver cutting edge, science-based advice to climate decision makers. Countries can also learn more about the central role that water plays in the climate crisis and the need for water to be at the very centre of climate solutions for mitigation and adaptation.

David Duncan, Publisher, The water Diplomat, a partner in the Water Pavilion, said "Well, it's one step at a time. While cash is a human currency, water is our planet's currency. We in the "water community" are seeing increasing, deserved recognition of this in the global climate change discourse. There will be lots of "blah blah" no doubt, but the Water Pavilion is a first,, a result of, and reward for hard work by many committed partners; Our slog will continue after the Scottish COP, let's get ready. Adapting an aphorism attributed to Bill Clinton advisor James Carville - IT'S THE WATER, STUPID!

Onwards and Upwards, see you at The Pavi!

Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), which leads the Water Pavilion explains,

"The climate crisis is primarily a water crisis. To a large extent, we experience global warming in the form of too much or too little water, as floods or droughts. But few countries are aware of how much they can gain from focusing more on water in their climate action, and that is what we want to change with the first-ever Water Pavilion.” 

The idea of the Water Pavilion at COP26 was born after COP25, when the climate debate was starting to shift direction and increasingly focus on water, landscapes and systems in addition to technical solutions. To seize this opportunity, SIWI has collaborated closely with the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), CDP, Global Water Partnership (GWP), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to ensure that water is prominent at COP 26.

The pavilion has two interfaces. It is physically present in the Blue Zone as a convening space for government representatives, observer organisations and the media attending the COP. At the same time, all events in the Pavilion will be live streamed, allowing people all over the world to virtually engage with the broadcast events. This hybrid approach means that event organisers, speakers and participants who are not present at the COP are included, making the programme more diverse than ever.

Nigel Topping, the UK High Level Champion for Climate Action at COP 26 says,

“The Water Pavilion is an innovative and radically inclusive space for bringing governments and non-state actors together, and as a hybrid pavilion, it makes this climate conference accessible to the global audience. I applaud this initiative’s contribution to raising the inclusion ambition of this COP.”

John Matthews, Executive Director of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) said water action enables climate action,“

"A  decade of intensive work on the ground globally has shown  that water action is essential to climate action - from controlling carbon emissions - to helping farmers and cities adjust to and prepare for new conditions. Water is the language of climate change, and water resilience is the language of climate action. The  signal from the water community to the world's leaders is that we're here in force. Water enables global, national, and local climate action, while water resilience is the key that unlocks the Paris Agreement and the climate actions our countries and communities need today to move away from fear and frustration to hope for our kids and for their enduring security, even prosperity. We hope the Water Pavilion can help COP26 succeed.”

Water Pavilion Core Partners

Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA); Arup; German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); CDP; CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS); Diageo; The Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom (FCDO); Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); Global Center on Adaptation (GCA); Government of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management; Global Water Partnership (GWP); International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); International Water Management Institute (IWMI); International Water Resources Association (IWRA); The water Diplomat; Republic of Tajikistan Ministry of Energy and Water Resources; Sanitation and Water for All (SWA); Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI); Scottish Government; The Nature Conservancy (TNC); The Resilience Shift; UN-Habitat Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA); United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR); United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE); UNESCO Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP); UNICEF; UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate in co-secretariat with Pacific Institute; Water UK; water.org ; WaterAid; Wetlands International; World Bank Group - Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP); World Meteorological Organization (WMO); World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

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