Water and Ocean Governance


Photo: Rina Saeed Khan/UNDP

The earth’s climate and water cycle are inextricably linked. While climate models may differ in the scale, timing and location of different climate change impacts, all agree that alterations to the earth’s hydrological cycle, including the distribution, frequency and intensity of precipitation and river flows, will be among the most significant impacts of climate change on natural and human systems. Similarly, with surface warming driven by climate change, both horizontal (currents) and vertical (upwelling) ocean circulation patterns are changing with associated impacts on ocean productivity, fisheries and livelihoods. In parallel, a higher CO2 atmosphere is inexorably acidifying the oceans with substantial threats to carbonate fixing plankton, the base of much of the marine food chain and the associated fisheries which humanity depends on for almost twenty percent of its protein supply.

UNDP’s Water and Ocean Governance Programme contributes to Green LECRDS through a number of its programs and projects. At the local level, UNDP supports climate resilient water supply and sanitation access through programs like Every Drop Matters, Community Water Initiative and the Small Grants Programme. At the national level, UNDP is assisting over 40 countries in the preparation and implementation of national Integrated Water Resources Management Plans which incorporate measures to build climate resilience into water resources management. UNDP Cap-Net helps build country capacity for climate resilient integrated water resources management through over 20 networks in 5 regions. UNDP’s MDG GoAL-WaSH programme is helping over a dozen countries make climate resilient progress on the water supply and sanitation MDGs through improved sector governance. Lastly, at the regional level, UNDP/GEF International Waters portfolio helps groups of countries to sustainably manage large scale transboundary marine and freshwater ecosystems through support to strategic multi-country planning processes which incorporate climate resilience.