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Ss22 Governance Of Shared Waters: Adaptation To Climate Change

Author(s): Special Session at IWRA World Water Congress XV – Edinburgh, 25-29 May 2015
Congress: 2015
Author(s): Juan Carlos Sanchez

Juan Carlos Sanchez
Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science, University of Dundee

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 15: Water law,

Name of organisation / session coordinator incl contact details (phone/e-mail/twitter) Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science, University of Dundee (Juan Carlos Sanchez;; together with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), School of Law of the Texas A&M University, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), and ClientEarth Title and description of session (short summary suitable for promotional purposes including, participating key messages) Governance of shared waters: adaptation to climate change In recent years, a need has emerged to better understand the best legal and institutional frameworks for adapting to climate change, in particular, from a water governance and ecosystems perspective. As a theme that is multi-linear, multi-level and cross-sectorial in nature, adaptive water governance is highly complex and begs many questions. For example, at the local level ecosystem-based adaptation continues to develop as a very cost-effective and promising approach to climate change. Nevertheless, how does such adaptation relate to higher administrative levels? At the national level, how do we overcome piece-meal laws and regulations, which can have an adverse effect for regulating the environment in a holistic manner? At the basin level, vertical and horizontal cooperation continues to be a challenge as few basin agreements have been concluded in recent years. And finally, at the global level under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), international efforts are increasingly prioritising assistance to vulnerable countries in adapting to climate change. What does this imply for ecosystem-based adaptation and water governance more generally? This session will be directed toward finding practical legal answers to these complex questions. Related Congress theme/sub-theme* - Water law at the national and international levels - Global challenges for water perspective Objectives and expected outcomes: To better understand, from a legal and policy perspective, what are the challenges and opportunities for ecosystem-based adaptation under current water and climate change adaptation governance frameworks. Audience targeted (sector/s) and anticipated size ('00s): 100-150 academics, civil society organisations, government officials (water, environment, energy, foreign affairs), international organisations, private sector (water users/ consultants). Preferred day/time***: no preference as long as there is co-ordination with other special sessions related to the aforementioned sub-themes Content of modules (max 2), type and duration; and Names of speakers/facilitators A. Governance and Adaptation: a 'global to local' review focused on challenges and opportunities for the water sector Panel discussion (short introductory remarks by the chair and each panellist; followed by rounds of audience questions) -- 90 minutes Chair: Dr Alejandro Iza, IUCN - Adaptation at the global level: From Lima to Paris - Dr Francesco Sindico, University of Strathclyde - Adaptation and Transboundary Waters: Lessons learned from a regional coordination mechanism - Nick Bonvoison, Secretary to UNECE Water Convention - River-basin agreements and coordination of adaptation measures: experiences from the Mekong Delta - Le Thi Huong, VNMC - Water and Climate at the national level: the Scottish context - Prof. John Rowan -- University of Dundee - Concluding remarks, Dr Owen McIntyre, University College-Cork - Questions and Answers B. How should the two global water conventions link with other water-related instruments, institutions and initiatives operating at the global level? Keynote presentation followed by a legal debate -- 70 minutes Chair: Mr. Juan Carlos Sanchez, University of Dundee - Keynote presentation (20 mins): How can water-related multilateral environmental agreements support adaptation to climate change -- an evolution of an 'ecosystem approach' principles? Prof. Gabriel Eckstein Facilitated group exercise -- Legal Debate (40 mins): Facilitator: David Duncan, OOSKAnews Participants: Stefano Burchi, International Association of Water Law Ms Zaki Shubber, UNESCO-IHE Ms. Ruby Moynihan, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Mr. Josh Roberts, ClientEarth Professor Patricia Wouters, Xiamen Academy of International Law Each international lawyer will have 3 minutes to make an initial statement based on the key note presentation, and will be followed up by provocative questions from the facilitator and the audience. Concluding remarks, Dr. Alistair Rieu-Clarke (10 minutes) C. Book launch/reception: (0 minutes) Abstract submitted?: No Equipment required: Standard -- projector, microphones, roundtables All of the above Display material/posters to be used: Tables at the back of the room to display relevant materials, ie., policy briefs and the publication 'Governance of Shared Waters: Adaptation to Climate Change'

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