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Knowledge Forum on Water Security and Climate Change

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To guarantee long-term water security, the water resources community continues its efforts to identify appropriate and timely adaptation measures in a continuously changing environment. Scientific gaps remain a challenge, the main ones being:

  • incomplete understanding of hydrological processes and its interaction with atmosphere, biosphere and human society;
  • lack of appropriate techniques for data integration and assimilation;
  • scaling and heterogeneity issues;
  • capabilities to predict hydrological processes and their interactions and feedbacks with socio-ecological systems;
  • uncertainty estimation, communication, and incorporation into adaptive resource management decision-making.

It is also crucial to facilitate knowledge transfer to policy and decision makers, thus ensuring that decisions are made based on the best available knowledge.

To address these water-security challenges, UNESCO initiated a project on “Addressing water security: climate impacts and adaptation responses in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)” or, in short, the water security project, which was implemented from 2014 until 2021. It was a follow-up project of the two previous projects funded by the Flanders UNESCO Trust Fund (FUST), namely “Managing Water Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions of Latin America and Caribbean” (MWAR-LAC) and “The impact of glacier retreat in the Andes: International Multidisciplinary Network for Adaptation Strategies”.

The aim of the water security project activities was to develop adaptation strategies in order to contribute to achieving water security which is impacted by global change. Particular focus was placed on vulnerable regions such as mountains dry lands and arid and semi-arid regions. The project was implemented within the Eighth Phase of IHP (IHP-VIII) “Water security: responses to local, regional and global challenges” (2014-2021).