Water Resilience in Africa Front and Center at COP22
Marrakech, 09/11/2016 (MAP) – Ministers in charge of water from several African countries took part in a side event organised in the Moroccan pavilion during which they stressed the pertinence of putting water issues at the top of the COP22 agenda in light of the drastic impact of climate change on water resources.
For Morocco’s Minister Delegate in Charge of Water, Charafat Afilal, underlined that climate change takes a toll on the water cycle impacting the ecosystems of societies and hindering the achievement of sustainable development goals in Africa.
She highlighted Morocco’s international advocacy for global action to counter the devastating impacts of climate change on the water sector, saying that the momentum witnessed in terms of enhancing water resilience has been strengthened at COP21 and further consolidated during the International Conference on Water and Climate, which adopted the Rabat Call: “Water for Africa.”
For his part, Honorary President of the World Water Council, Loic Fauchon, commended the efforts spearheaded by HM King Mohammed VI enabling water to be considered as a main climate change challenge at COP22.
“In Marrakech, it is the first time in COP’s history that water is put at the top of the agenda,” he said.
For Mr. Fauchon, adapting the water sector to climate change requires a three-pronged approach smartly combining finance, governance and knowledge and recommended the inclusion in the “Blue Book on Water and Climate” of the solutions that will be developed in COP22.
The side event was also an occasion for the ministers in charge of water of Burkina Faso and Chad to shed light on the challenges facing their respective countries in fighting climate change effects on water.
In this respect, Chad’s Minister Sidick Abdelkerim Haggar deplored that lake Chad has been shrinking at a dramatic rate as a result of severe droughts causing rural flight and threatening the lives of about 30 million people who depend on its water.
Other participants saw a link between water scarcity inflicted by climate change and geopolitical conflicts resulting from the disagreements over managing water scarcity in some shared rivers.
This side evident is part of the activities of the second day of the Moroccan Pavilion on the theme of Water and Resilience.
Throughout COP22, other themes will be explored including migration, resilience and health; industry and coast; transport and innovation, territories and oceans, heritage and security, gender and health and finance and energy.