Submitted by Olivia Allen | published 21st Feb 2023 | last updated 6th Jun 2023
Recording of Positioning water-climate adaptation for the UN Water Action Agenda
collaboration and change management in the water sector
Wednesday, 15 March, 2023 - 14:00 to 15:30 (Europe/Amsterdam)

About the event:

March 15, 2023 14:00 Central European time, 1.5 hr on Zoom  (16:00 Central Africa time, 19:00 Bangladesh Time/ 9:00 Eastern Standard time)

Register here


The achievement of the water goal, SDG6, is undoubtedly essential for the success of all sustainable development goals1. However, the world is halfway through the Water Action Decade, and there has been little progress in achieving SDG6 and other closely related goals2. Beyond the issues of reaching SDG6, climate change is exacerbating the pressure on water resources and leading to extreme water events. 

The last eight years have been the warmest on record3, with variable and extreme effects such as increased aridity in some areas and unprecedented precipitation in others. The Horn of Africa has experienced reduced rainfall, resulting in persistent droughts and food crises affecting an estimated 18 million people4. It is estimated that 74% of all disasters5 and 60% of climate adaptation measures are related to water6, demonstrating a clear link between water and climate. However, national policies, projects, and financing often disjointedly address these topics.

The UN 2023 Water Conference, co-hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands, will occur 22nd-24th March. The themes include Cooperation, Climate, Resilience and Environment, Development, Health, and Water Action Decade. The conference serves as a Midterm Review of the UN Action Decade on Water and Sanitation, SDG6, and it presents a crucial opportunity to mobilize governments to accelerate water-climate adaptation as a strategy for reaching SDG6 and other closely linked goals, such as health, development, climate, and strong institution, through the Water Action Agenda.


To better align water and climate adaptation efforts on the ground, the Global Center on Adaptation established the Water Adaptation Community. The Water Adaptation Community connects and supports practitioners and researchers, especially those associated with coasts, islands, and deltas. The goal is to foster peer learning for common challenges in the adaptation of water-resource and water-climate projects –from change management and policies to financing and implementation, reaching beyond the water sector. 

In the lead-up to the UN 2023 Water Conference, the Water Adaptation Community hosted a series of webinars to share knowledge of water adaptation across landscapes and sub-sectors, showcasing examples of mainstream water adaptation, and the cascading benefits of water adaptation projects.  Building on this community-sourced knowledge the Water Adaptation Community has collated a Water Adaptation Advocacy Package to support policymakers at the UN 2023 Water conference. This package includes knowledge briefs, graphic illustrations, and short videos focused on mainstreaming water adaptation, and identifying hotspots in the sector, and in specific regions and landscapes.

Learn more and join the Water Adaptation Community: https://communities.adaptationportal.gca.org/

Join the conversation on social media before and during the conference with #Adapt4WaterAction


Presented by the Water Adaptation Community the webinar is designed to inform and support those engaging with the UN 2023 Water Conference in person or online. It will educate participants on 1. what is needed, in practice, for getting from plan to implementation of adaptive water projects and 2. draw connections on how such projects support the progress and security of many other SDGs as a case for accelerating adaptation uptake across the water sector.

Key Objectives

  • Demonstrate, with global examples from the municipal to transboundary level, how water adaptation connects to all SDGs and all UN 2023 Water Conference themes.
  • Share knowledge on strategies and tactics for implementing water adaptation projects and raise awareness of such projects.
  • Provide case studies, frameworks and resources to support participants in advocating for countries to commit to water adaptation policies, financing and on-the-ground project, via their voluntary commitments in the Water Action Agenda.  


After formal opening remarks, the presentation will begin with framing good water governance via OECD Water Governance Initiative. Next will be presentations from water adaptation project leaders from Bangladesh and multiple countries in Africa working at the regional and municipal level, a case from GCA’s Water Adaptation Accelerator will be presented, followed by sharing the Water Adaptation Community’s UN Water Advocacy package. 

The International Panel on Deltas and Coasts (IPDC) will close the program by pointing to the way forward and calling upon leaders of islands, deltas and coasts to join them. The new initiative initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management focuses on solutions that increase water security, adaptive capacity and sustainability by linking policy, finance, and scientific knowledge at the national and international levels. With GCA as a supporting partner, the IPDC will aim to support deltas, coastal areas and islands in their efforts to cope and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Following these presentations and remarks, there will be a moderated panel discussion and additional Q&A involving participants via chat.

Framing questions: 

  • What successful practices and case studies of transformative water adaptation demonstrate the importance of this work in achieving progress towards the SDGs? 
  • What kind of international commitments to the Water Action Agenda would drive rapid global water adaptation or lead to other significant improvements in the mainstreaming of water adaptation?
  • Building on the momentum of the UN 2023 Water Conference, what key messages, knowledge, and/or calls to action or gaps need to be prioritized, including by the IPDC, in the coming months to keep water adaptation on the international agenda leading up to COP28?


  • Mrs. Joanna Eyquem, Managing Director of Climate-Resilient Infrastructure at the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation

Opening Remarks:

  • Mr. Henk Ovink, UN Special Envoy for Water – Water Adaptation and UN 2023 Water Conference

Presentation of Advocacy Package:


  • Mr. Sheikh Abdur Rahman, Mayor of Mongla Bangladesh, Transformative Coastal Adaptatio
  • Ms. Juliette Lassman, Policy Analyst, Water Governance and Circular Economy in Cities, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Ms. Bernadette Adjei, Chief Legal Officer, Water Resources Commission of Ghana  
  • Mr. Feisal Rahman, Senior Water Climate Adaptation Specialist, Global Center on Adaptation, the Water Adaptation Accelerator
  • Mr. Jos Timmerman, Transboundary Water Expert, Waterframes 

The Way Forward

  • Mr. Martien Beek, Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Linking policy, finance, and scientific knowledge the launch of IPDC

For questions contact Olivia Allen (Water Adaptation Community Facilitator)  olivia.allen@gca.org  


  1. United Nations Statistics Division. (2018). Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation. In United Nations, The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 (pp. 43-48). Retrieved from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2018/goal-06/
  2. United Nations. (2023). Concept paper: United Nations 2023 Water Conference. Retrieved from https://sdgs.un.org/sites/default/files/2023-01/23-00148%20Concept%20paper%20UNWC_ID5_Website.pdf
  3. World Meteorological Organization. (2021, January 15). Past Eight Years Confirmed as the Warmest on Record. WMO Press Release No. 1281. Retrieved from https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/past-eight-years-confirmed-be-eight-warmest-record
  4. World Economic Forum. (2022, July 21). Africa: 19 million People Face Drought and Food Starvation. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/07/africa-drought-food-starvation/
  5. United Nations Water. (n.d.). Water and disasters. Retrieved from https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/water-and-disasters/