Water must be included in climate talks, scientists say

Posted: 21 August 2009

The participants of the 2009 World Water Week in Stockholm today unanimously said that water must be included in the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen this December.

The message was greeted with a unanimous show of hands by delegates when presented by convenor the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

The statement said that integrating land, water and forest management was the key to successful climate change adaptation and that "ecosystem protection and sustainability is fundamental to adaptation and human development".

Commenting on the statement, Anders Berntell, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute said: "Water is a fundamental element in economies, communities, and public health. We know that it is the medium through which climate change manifests its most serious effects. To be effective, climate negotiations must factor in the impact and importance of water for the world and, indeed, human well-being."

Ger Bergkamp, Director General, World Water Council said: "Water is key to development and the first medium through which climate change will be felt. Therefore, the global agreement that will follow the Kyoto Protocol must have clear targets and strategies for prioritising water in the adaptation to climate change. "

Dr. John Matthews, WWF Head of Freshwater Adaptation: "Especially with water - which is how most people will feel the impacts of climate change - we have to make climate change adaptation work. All WWF's experience says that adaptation works best when it is ecosystem based."

Henk van Schaik, Programme Coordinator International, Cooperative Programme on Water and Climate added: "Adaptation to climate change in the water sector is crucial for sustainable development. Both climate and water experts should join forces building a framework for improved support to societal needs - beyond the COP-15 in Copenhagen."