French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environment; French Water Partnership and UNESCO International Hydrological Programme
Alliance for Global Water Adaptation
How do we connect relevant science - climate science, hydrology, ecology - with water resources managers to develop effective management and climate change adaptation strategies? Are the gaps between science and management primarily about communicating new perspectives, or does climate adaptation science suggest we need new decision-making processes?
This one-hour side event will begin to bridge these gaps by establishing a science-policy interface between scientists, policymakers, and resource managers so as to facilitate a sustained dialogue among them, along the line of UN processes and mechanisms, and in the context of global and climate changes. This side event will invite decision makers, researchers, and water managers to present their perspectives and experiences in a lively panel-audience discussion focusing on how to move beyond climate uncertainties and into a new era of science-based resilient water management.
Photo Credit: Laurent Mignaux METL-MEDDE
Moderator: Anil Mishra, UNESCO-IHP
12:45 Opening Comments and Welcoming Speeches. Dr. Blanca Jiménez-Cisneros, UNESCO-IHP, and Mr. Philippe Guettier, FWP, France
12:50 Connecting Science and Water Management. Mr. Philippe Dupont, ONEMA, France
12:55 Enhancing the Interface between Science and Policy to Meet Water Security Challenges. Ms. Maria Betti, EC JRC
13:00 Coping with Uncertainties Related to Climate Change and Develop Adaptation Practices at the River Basin Level. Ms. Sonja Koeppel, UNECE
13:05 Building Trust Regarding Adaptation Strategies for Water Users. Mr. John Matthews, AGWA
13:10 Global Framework for Climate Services. Mr. Bruce Stewart, WMO
13:15 Incentives, Diversification and Optionality: An Economic Perspective on Managing Climate Risk and Uncertainty. Ms. Kathleen Dominique, OECD
13:40 Closing Remarks. Prof. Soontak Soontak Lee, Co-Chair of the International Steering Committee, 7th World Water Forum
Building on the work undertaken during the 6th World Water Forum and the international initiative co-led by the French Water Partnership and UNESCO IHP, this one hour side event looked at how to move beyond uncertainties related to global climate changes when managing water resources. It focused on how to provide water resources managers with relevant scientific information as a means to develop effective management and climate change adaptation strategies.
It acknowledged that the complexity, variability and uncertainty linked to climate change information make it particularly difficult to take it into account when managing water resources.
This side event presented different science policy interfaces such as AGWA, ONEMA, the work undertaken by the Joint Research Centre of the European Union, the UNECE or the Global Framework of Climate Services to illustrate practices and draw recommendations.
One of the focuses of science policy interfaces presented has been to work at improving the scientific knowledge and filling the gaps around uncertainties (scenarios, research, models) so as to further help policy makers to take action. Science-policy interfaces such as the Global Framework for Climate Services have been particularly interesting for improving the dialogue and feedback between researchers, developers and users of the services.
Panellists argued that improving the scientific knowledge meant also looking further into human sciences or economics which are also relevant in providing key recommendations for water managers and policy makers.
All panellists agreed that the relevance of science-policy interfaces lies in acknowledging the needs of water managers and policy makers so that scientific research can provide tools that answer these needs.
This bottom-up approach is extremely important for allowing the implementation of effective adaptation strategies.
The following recommendations were highlighted by panellists:
Prof. Soontak Lee, Co-Chair of the International Steering Committee of the 7th World Water Forum concluded the side event by explaining that recommendations and cases of science-policy interfaces presented during this event will feed in the work of the 7th World Water Forum on climate change adaptation.