Freshwater has been recognized as a priority on the Climate Change Global Agenda and adaptation measures are being implemented in various parts of the world. At the session "Do not reinvent the wheel: Making the most of no-regret adaptation measures", this Tuesday (21), representatives from Brazil, Canada, China, the United States and Bulgaria highlighted the importance of qualified information and public participation for the success of initiatives.

During the session of the 8th World Water Forum, experiences were presented on adapting to climate change in the countries and discussed how to define crisis response models to increase the capacity to cope with extreme events.  

Ana Paula Fioreze, Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Critical Events at the National Water Agency (ANA), presented tools to adapt to climate change developed by ANA to deal with extreme weather events, such as studies to reduce the degree of uncertainty, flood vulnerability map for all of Brazil, drought monitoring in the northeast, among other examples.

"We are investing in Situation Rooms, initiatives of the National Water Agency and the states, to equip them and prepare them to monitor extreme events, mainly floods. Those are spaces where experts in water, climate, civil defense, in other word those who monitor, predict and respond to the population so that people are better prepared to face disasters, "said Ana Paula.

The Canadian Marc-André Demers, representative of the UN agency for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and the Network of Basin Organizations of Quebec, Canada, highlighted the importance of public participation and the involvement of local communities in preventing and responding to extreme weather events.

"The most successful measures of adaptation often come from local initiatives and mobilizations. Communities also create a way to share solutions in a social learning process. It is important that communities may be part of the solution, providing time, energy and ideas for the development of resilience and adaptation plans, "he said.

Will Veatch, hydrologist in the New Orleans district and from United States USACE, cited measures taken after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “Resilience and adaptation to climate change are extremely important. We have developed a program for this. We have changed our strategy to make room for the Mississippi River to resume its natural processes. There are various types of benefits, like having more space for cultural and sports activities by the river".

The topic of Nature-Based Solutions was brought by Martin Malvy, chairman of the Adour-Garonne Basin Committee in France. "Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is essential. We are seeking to include the concept of Nature-Based Solutions in national and local strategies. This means investing more in eco-engineering, green infrastructure, ecological rehabilitation of ecosystems, "he said.

According to the United Nations Water Resources Development Report of 2018, the degradation of ecosystems is one of the main causes of the increasing challenges related to water. About 30% of the world's land still is forest covered. At least two-thirds of that area is in a state of degradation. The population currently affected by deforestation and / or desertification and droughts is estimated at 1.8 billion people. "Nature-Based Solutions offer essential means to go beyond conventional approaches," the document shows.