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Patterns of intensive and conflicting uses of water resources in transboundary river basins are resulting in significant ecological and economic damage, reduced livelihoods for the poor, and increased political tensions among downstream States. These impacts become exacerbated with increasing climatic variability.

Whereas some GEF IW projects actively factor climate change in the development of TDAs and integrate adaptive actions in the SAP, some consider it a peripheral concern. There has been a lack of consensus on: a) the importance of mainstreaming climate change, b) the methodology or strategy to integrate climate change in project execution and outputs, c) the availability of resource personnel in the region, and d) the best practices to develop awareness among project partners on the importance of this issue.

Under the objective “Catalyze Multi-State Cooperation to Balance Conflicting Water Uses in Transboundary Surface and Groundwater Basins while Considering Climatic Variability and Change”, GEF-5 is supporting further development and implementation of regional policies and measures identified in agreed SAPs, which through collaborative action would promote sustainable functioning of already existing joint legal and institutional frameworks or help establish new ones.

GEF assistance to States includes development and enforcement of national policy, legislative and institutional reforms as well as demonstrating innovative measures/approaches to water quantity and quality concerns. The projected impact will enable States to negotiate treaties and better balance conflicting uses of surface and ground water for hydropower, irrigation-food security, drinking water, and support of fisheries for protein in the face of multiple stresses, including climatic variability and change.

Numerous initiatives and financing mechanisms aimed at assisting countries with climate change adaptation have been rolled out or are in various stages of development. Important areas of work in the field of climate change adaptation include understanding climate change, its impacts, and the vulnerability of a country and its population to the adverse impacts of climate change. Efforts also concentrate on developing specific adaptation measures, with a focus on the ones that correspond to countries’ “most urgent and immediate needs,” as detailed in national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs).

Increasingly, countries are coming to realize that, in the long term, climate change adaptation needs to be supported by an integrated, cross-cutting policy approach—in other words, mainstreamed into national development planning. At the same time, adaptation results will have to be evaluated and actions adjusted continuously on the basis of what has been learned.


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