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Climate change is increasing the incidence, frequency and magnitude of natural disasters and exacerbating the vulnerability of many countries and communities. It is therefore essential to enhance resilience and the capacity to adapt to a changing climate, above all for the poor who are the most affected. Photo © C&S Northway

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Photo by: Deeuutee (Flickr)
Contact: Veronique Massenet, veronique.massenet@cop21.gouv.fr

Led by the International Network of Basins Organizations (INBO/RIOB), this initiative is a declaration of representatives of governments, national and international donors, national and trans-boundary basin organizations of rivers, lakes or aquifers, in different parts of the world. They commit to strengthen adaptation to climate change in the basins of rivers, lakes and aquifers. They recognize that adaptation actions should be undertaken without delay at the level of river, lake and aquifer basins, through a joint, participative, integrated and sustainable water resources management.

This initiative is designed to make countries mobilize their own basins organizations, in order to strengthen their anticipations and their adaptation actions. It will include a large mobilization of actors, donors, and networks disposed to help: there are currently more than 200 signatories (France, UNESCO, and Iowater, etc.). Implementation of projects will be followed up through reports on actions undertaken within existing networks, including the OECD Water Governance Initiative.


  1. Reinforce capacity development and knowledge:
  • establish basin-wide networks for monitoring and data exchange and water information systems, as a decision making support tool for adaptation measures;
  • develop an interface on the effects of climate change and water between decision-makers and research organizations on environmental and human sciences.
  1. Adapt basin management planning to climate change:
  • at the level of the basins, assess the impacts of climate change and the vulnerabilities and produce strategies for adapting water management to climate change;
  • develop management plans and actions programs to implement strategies and measures, and organize regular performance reviews based on suitable performance indicators;
  • develop a more efficient and sustainable use of water resources by better controlling the demand and increasing water availability;
  • enhance the services of water-related ecosystems through protection and restoration of wetlands, reforestation and other Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM), etc.
  1. Reinforce governance:
  • build the institutional capacities of basin organizations through existing networks and platforms (UNECE-INBO global network of pilot basins) and develop professional training;
  • support mechanisms for the involvement of the stakeholders in basin management, to strengthen participative governance and to improve consistency of adaptation policy of the water sector with adaptation policy of water-related sectors (agriculture, energy, etc.).
  1. Ensure adequate financing:
  • establish investment programs and sustainable financing mechanisms for the implementation of the action plans and programs.

Photo credit: Deeuutee (Flickr)

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