High-level online event: Enhancing water security for better resilience to climate threats

3 min read
Kajal Mandol collects water from PSF, pond sand filter, at South Dacope, Khulna, Bangladesh, March 2018.
Image: WaterAid/ Abir Abdullah

About 90% of extreme weather events are related to water, through droughts, floods or storms. Natural disasters can often damage or contaminate water sources, affecting the overall availability of water. There is also robust evidence that climate change resilience is improved by better water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems and services.

However, significant barriers hinder access to climate finance for water-related interventions and, at present, only 1% of climate finance is invested in providing and protecting WASH services for vulnerable communities.

EU programming for 2021-2027 will focus on a green recovery, human development, and peace and stability. Protecting freshwater ecosystems, ensuring a sustainable and integrated management of water resources, and strengthening the provision of WASH services will be critical to achieving these EU objectives in the long-term.

Organised in partnership with the French Presidency of the European Union, this conference will explore and identify opportunities to strengthen resilience to climate change and enable investments in climate-resilient WASH interventions, in the context of broader global challenges. It will build on lessons from the EU-AU summit and the World Water Forum, and help prepare for Stockholm+50, COP27, and the UN 2023 Water Conference.


15.00 - 15.25: High-level public opening

  • Marie Orléa Vina, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Madagascar
  • Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director-General of the Directorate-General for International Partnerships, European Commission
  • Cyrille Pierre, Deputy Director General, Directorate General for Globalisation, Culture, Education and International Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France
  • Dr Tania H Rödiger-Vorwerk, Deputy Director General for Global Health, Resilience and Equality of Opportunity, BMZ
  • Anna Nilsdotter, Chief Executive, WaterAid Sweden
  • San Bilal, Head of the Economic Transformation and Trade Programme, European Centre for Development Policy Management (moderator)

15.25 - 15.40: Technical briefs on the effects of climate change on water security and how WASH helps build climate resilience

  • Dr Ainun Nishat, water resource and climate change specialist, and professor emeritus of BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Dr Juliet Willetts, Research Director and Professor for the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney.
  • Sandra Métayer, Coordinator, Coalition Eau

15.40 - 16.30: Private roundtables*

  • WASH-related climate adaptation programmes: What’s already there? What works? What can we do better?
    Moderated by Jose Gesti, Senior Water and Climate Consultant, Sanitation and Water for All
    Contributors to include: the World Resources Institute, DG International partnerships (EC), AFD, WaterAid Niger, and more
  • An enabling environment for climate-resilient WASH programmes: What are the barriers and how can they be addressed?
    Moderated by Kathryn Pharr, Senior Policy Advisor for International Climate Action, WaterAid
    Contributors to include: the Global Water Partnership, European Investment Bank, AFD, WaterAid Rwanda, SYSTEMIQ, WaterAid Zambia, OECD, and more.
  • Multi-sectoral approaches for successful water and climate programmes: how can we build on synergies between the water, climate, agriculture, industry and health sectors?
    Moderated by Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, the Netherlands
    Contributors to include: the International Water Management Institute, the European External Action Service, representatives from the governments of Hungary and Slovenia, Diageo, WWF, and more

16.30 - 16.50: Sharing workshop conclusions* and forming consensus on five to seven action points to be followed up by policymakers, donors and other participants

16.50 - 17.00: High-level conclusion

  • Mahbub Hassan Saleh, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the EU
  • Anders Nordström, Ambassador for Global Health, Sweden
  • Anna Nilsdotter, Chief Executive, WaterAid Sweden

*The roundtables and conclusions workshop are invite-only. Other participants are invited to stay tuned to the live feed for the public high-level conclusion session.

The public sections of this event can be accessed in the original language here and with interpretation here.

Please email [email protected] for an official invitation and registration link to the private roundtables.

Top image: Kajal Mandol collects water from a pond sand filter in Khulna, Bangladesh, March 2018.