Summary report, 16–17 April 2009

Dialogue on Climate Change Adaptation for Land and Water Management

The concluding Dialogue on Climate Change Adaptation for Land and Water Management was held at the UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from 16-17 April, 2009. The event was co-hosted by UNEP and the Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark, Ulla Tørnæs. More than 100 participants representing governments, NGOs, UN agencies and development organizations participated in the conference.

The Dialogue addressed the need to: tackle existing problems in land and water management to build resilience to climate change; strengthen institutions for land and water management; and increase financing targeted towards the most vulnerable people.

The pre-session meeting of senior officers was held on Thursday, 16 April. This event consisted of an introduction to the Dialogue Process, reports from the regional workshops in Hanoi, Viet Nam and Bamako, Mali, and discussion of the draft Nairobi Statement. The Nairobi Conference took place on Friday. Participants were presented with the revised draft Nairobi Statement and heard presentations by ministers and representatives of international and regional institutions. They then adopted the Nairobi Statement consisting of six guiding principles on climate change adaptation in land and water management, which synthesized the substantive output from the Dialogue.


Climate change is considered to be one of the most serious threats to sustainable development, with adverse impacts expected on the environment, human health, food security, economic activity, natural resources and physical infrastructure.

Rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns and more extreme weather events are increasingly affecting economic sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and tourism. While these impacts on the water and land sector are of concern for all countries, they are particularly worrisome for developing countries, especially the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), who are more dependent on climate-sensitive economic activities and local ecological resources, and are more limited in their financial, institutional and human capacity to respond.

Water and land management are among the areas most critically affected by climate change. They are also of fundamental importance to poverty reduction and the livelihoods of vulnerable families and communities. This is why water and land are the central elements of the climate change dialogue process.

ADAPTATION: This is a cross-cutting theme under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is referred to in different articles. In particular, Convention Article 4.1 states that parties shall “formulate, implement, publish and regularly update national and, where appropriate, regional programmes containing measures to … facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change,” and “cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change.” Convention Article 4.4 states that developed country parties shall “assist the developing country parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting the costs of adaptation to those adverse effects.”

Following consideration of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Ninth Conference of the Parties (COP 9), held in Milan in December 2003, initiated a discussion on adaptation. At that time, the COP requested the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) initiate work on scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change (decision 10/CP.9).

Parties reached a milestone in 2004 at COP 10 with decision 1/CP.10, known as the Buenos Aires Programme of Work on Adaptation and Response Measures. The programme of work was later elaborated on at a workshop in Bonn in October 2005. COP 10 set up two complementary tracks for adaptation: the development of a structured five-year programme of work on the scientific, technical and socioeconomic aspects of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change under SBSTA, which was adopted at COP 11, and the improvement of information and methodologies, implementation of concrete adaptation activities, technology transfer and capacity building under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation.

In Nairobi in November 2006, COP 12 renamed the SBSTA five-year work programme to the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change. The work programme aims to: assist countries, in particular developing countries, including the LDCs and Small Island Developing States, to improve their understanding and assessment of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation; and assist countries in making informed decisions on practical adaptation actions and measures to respond to climate change on a sound, scientific, technical and socioeconomic basis, taking into account current and future climate change and variability.

The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report and key finding from Working Group II on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability indicates that hundreds of millions of people will be exposed to increased water stress, that many millions more people will be exposed to flooding every year, and that access to food in many African countries will be severely compromised. Furthermore, the report states that adaptation will be necessary but that many impacts can be avoided, reduced or delayed by mitigation.

At COP 13, held in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007, a roadmap for a post-2012 climate regime was agreed, comprising the Bali Action Plan, with adaptation as one of the four building blocks (along with mitigation, finance and technology). Delegates further developed details and modalities of the Adaptation Fund at COP 14, held in Poznań in December 2008. A new agreement is expected to be concluded at Copenhagen in December 2009. 

THE DIALOGUE PROCESS: The Dialogue Process was launched by Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark, at the inaugural conference in Copenhagen on 13 November 2008. The Dialogue Process is responding to the need for more information about adaptation, called for by the Bali Action Plan and NWP. It aims to identify guiding principles, which can promote sustainable development while responding to the impacts of climate change. The guiding principles should serve two specific objectives: to provide input to negotiations leading up to the UNFCCC COP 15 and to provide guidance to stakeholders involved in developing strategies for adaptation in land and water resources management beyond COP 15.

From 19-21 January 2009, a Regional Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation was held in Hanoi, Viet Nam. The workshop focused on the regional priorities and challenges in Southeast Asia regarding adaptation in land and water management. Key messages emerging from the meeting were the need for: a comprehensive approach within an integrated framework that takes into consideration the drivers of change; focusing on resilience by introducing appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures; focusing on the development of knowledge and information on climate impacts, vulnerability and good practices; ensuring the economic viability of adaptation actions and prioritizing financial resources towards the most vulnerable; and shaping the future international climate change regime.

The second regional workshop was held in Bamako, Mali from 24-25 February 2009, with a focus on climate change adaptation in Africa. Workshop participants discussed the need for adaptation on an urgent basis and the means by which adaptation could be achieved with respect to land and water resource management. After taking into consideration priority adaptation issues and actions for sub-Saharan Africa, specific messages emerged: adaptation in the development context; governance and strengthening institutions; knowledge and capacity development; and financing.



On Thursday morning, 16 April, Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP, welcomed participants to the meeting. He underscored the linkages between water and land to livelihoods and national economies in the context of vulnerability to changing climates. He noted that the Dialogue aims to shape the future of the international climate change regime with regard to adaptation, land and water issues, and requires people to look beyond water provisioning and land tenure issues. Thiaw outlined UNEP’s climate change adaptation strategies, which focus on: resilience of ecosystems; climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction; capacity building; and knowledge management.

Geert Andersen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark, emphasized the need to tackle the challenges of climate change and development concurrently, adding that land and water are central to this. Reiterating the Danish government’s commitment to bringing the needs of less developed countries to the forefront, he highlighted an agreement between his government and the African Ministerial Conference on Environment on regional action plans that will feed into the broader climate change agenda. Andersen stressed the need to come up with viable adaptation strategies, observing that the Dialogue Process is a response to the call from decision makers for more information on climate change in relation to land and water. He expressed hope that agreement would be reached on the Nairobi Statement to pave way for the implementation process.

Birgitte Markussen, Danish International Development Agency, outlined the Strategic Policy Dialogue Process, which she said is a direct response to the Bali Action Plan. She said the objectives of the Dialogue are to enhance international cooperation leading up to UNFCCC COP 15 in Copenhagen, and to begin the process of implementation. She noted that many experiences have been shared through the workshops in Hanoi and Bamako and through the Dialogue’s interactive website, emphasizing that all this information will be disseminated to decision-makers. She noted that since the Dialogue consisted of a cross section of stakeholders, flexibility and compromise would be paramount for agreement on the Nairobi Statement. 

DISCUSSION: During the discussion, representatives from Mali and Nigeria questioned how the Dialogue Process would be integrated into other ongoing climate change processes and initiatives, particularly with a view to formulating a common African position during COP15. Responding to this, Andersen emphasized that it was necessary to strengthen the worldwide conscience of what needs to be done and that the dialogue was aimed at achieving this. On a united African position, he said the Nairobi Statement could provide inspiration for formulating common African, Asian or Latin American positions. 

Burkina Faso raised the issue of capacity building in the context of elaborating and implementing National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). Uganda highlighted the lack of capacity of some LDCs to finalize NAPAs, pointing out that only Bhutan had reached the stage of implementing its NAPA. He said the Dialogue should focus on how to enhance the NAPA process in terms of land and water issues and concentrate on ensuring effective integration of climate change and NAPAs into key sectors like water and land. On financing, he underscored adequacy and accessibility and also emphasized the need for technological development to build resilience to climate change. Tanzania expressed hope that the Dialogue would integrate views from regional and country-level processes. Egypt suggested creating a steering committee that would be responsible for evaluating the needs of individual countries and making recommendations on actions to take on a country specific basis. The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) called for principles concerning the use of land and water for more vulnerable groups. Bangladesh noted its vulnerability to climate change and highlighted the country’s adaptation measures. Niger expressed concern regarding the lack of funding for adaptation in many parts of Africa.

REPORT FROM THE REGIONAL WORKSHOPS: Reba Paul, Executive Secretary, GWP, South Asia, presented the outcomes from the regional workshop in Hanoi, Viet Nam. She said the workshop was attended by 60 people and was aimed at increasing resilience to climate change. Highlighting key messages, she discussed the need for: a comprehensive and integrated bottom-up approach; a focus on resilience, while recognizing the uncertainties associated with climate change; the development of adequate knowledge and information sharing; and financial resources to be prioritized. Paul said participants also suggested that in the context of adaptation, “one size does not fit all,” and that adaptation strategies also need to focus on the agriculture sector. Participants also called for: assessing the safety of existing infrastructure, such as hydro-power reservoirs; prioritizing the operationalization of the Adaptation Fund; and enhancing of the role of women in implementing adaptation measures.

Cissé Souleymane, Ministry of Environment and Sanitation, Mali, reported on the Bamako Workshop, which he said had identified priorities and regional challenges regarding land and water in Africa. He said participants proposed that development measures should focus on meeting the needs of the poor and upholding the principles of aid effectiveness. Participants also discussed: issues relating to implementing NAPAs; transboundary financing for infrastructure to reduce vulnerability; and the need to revitalize agriculture, adopt sustainable land practices and practice integrated water management.

On governance and institutions, participants at the workshop identified the need to strengthen capacity building and institutional architecture at all levels; and uphold the principle of subsidiarity. On adaptation programmes, participants suggested that gender considerations be incorporated, noting that scientific knowledge is vital when identifying and implementing actions to strengthen resilience to climate change. Forging a common African position during COP 15 was also emphasized as well as strengthening the capacity to communicate information to decision makers. Appropriate financial mechanisms to sufficiently generate resources as well as new market mechanism for development were also discussed.

DISCUSSION: During the discussion, Zambia emphasized the need for governments to allocate appropriate financial resources for environmental management, while taking into account that the current global economic crisis will prevent some developed countries from fulfilling their financial obligations. On governance, the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africans (AWEPA), underscored capacity building for strengthening parliamentary institutions to ensure that policies have the appropriate legal framework. In the context of avoiding duplication, Ghana drew attention to the TerrAfrica initiative on sustainable land management being implemented by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

Benin enquired about the status of the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol, and Uganda asked how the Dialogue Process could enhance the implementation of existing UNFCCC decisions as well as facilitate negotiations at COP 15. Andersen responded that the guiding principles could serve as a checklist when new programmes are established and suggested that, after COP 15, the principles should be further refined in the context of implementation. Clausen clarified that the Dialogue Process has two parts: the substantive element and that of raising political awareness, noting that awareness of adaptation issues still lags behind mitigation. Tanzania responded to the questions relating to the Adaptation Fund, saying that the institutional architecture to ensure access to funds is now in place and the issue of direct access is being addressed by the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB). He also clarified that issues relating to the legal capacity of the AFB have been finalized and countries could now apply to host the board. On the monetization of certified emission reduction credits, he said the process begun early this year, and depending on the markets, money could be dispensed as early as June 2009.

UNFCCC asked whether the Dialogue Process had taken into consideration follow up actions after COP 15, in the context of implementation. Andersen responded that the guidelines could be used in bilateral programmes and after COP 15 they could serve as framework for something more substantial. Sweden suggested that the Dialogue focus on either developing guidelines or providing input to COP 15, in order to streamline the discussion. Algeria said the Nairobi Statement should take account of the ongoing UNFCCC negotiations.

INTRODUCTION TO THE DRAFT NAIROBI STATEMENT: Tim Kasten, UNEP, introduced the draft Nairobi Statement on Adaptation to Climate Change for Land and Water Management, which seeks to provide input to the negotiations leading up to COP 15 and provide tangible guidance to stakeholders involved in developing and implementing strategies for adaptation in land and water resources management beyond COP 15. Participants considered the draft Statement, which consists of, an introduction; five principles on development, resilience, governance, information, economics and financing; a section on recommendations for action; and follow up.

Tanzania and Benin sought clarification as to whether the Dialogue principles would be consistent with the Bali Action Plan. On governance, the represenative from Tanzania said the principle should be clearly defined to avoid bringing state sovereignty into question. He highlighted the need to include indigenous knowledge under the principle on information. Under economics and financing, he proposed the creation of a mechanism that would allow transparency, expediency and reliability in financing. On the proposed recommendations for actions, he reiterated the need to improve disaster management and suggested the addition of insurance. On improving governance, he emphasized the need to clarify that governance issues are nation-specific. World Food Programme (WFP) suggested adding language on risk reduction and risk mitigation as well as the need for vulnerability analysis and monitoring within the Information Principle.

In response, Tim Kasten, agreed that the Governance Principle needs to be treated cautiously. Torkil Jønch Clausen, Adviser to the Dialogue, reminded participants that the principles came out of discussions from the workshops in Hanoi and Bamako, conceding that there is a need to describe the link between the Dialogue principles and those contained within the Bali Action Plan in the Nairobi Statement.

A representative of the Mekong River Commission stressed the need to include local communities in awareness raising activities as well as the importance of engaging the private sector on the economics and financing principle. A representative from AWEPA highlighted her organization’s success in raising awareness on climate change among parliamentarians and policy makers, noting that efforts are underway to package information targeting different stakeholders. Burkina Faso proposed making reference to women and young people and the importance of identifying indicators for the follow-up to the Dialogue. IUCN stressed the need to form networks at the national and regional levels to collectively address the issue of climate change.

On the resilience principle, Uganda, Nepal and the FAO noted the lack of reference to land tenure systems and land use planning, especially land degradation.

Under good governance, Nepal noted the need for reference to climate change policy development and implementation. Ghana noted the need to highlight transboundary issues in African regions.

UNFCCC proposed changing “principles” to “key messages” because the principles were too general. The World Meteorological Organization highlighted that capacity building has not been brought out clearly and should be specified under action items.

Simon Thuo, GWP Eastern Africa, gave an overview of a workshop on Climate Change and Water Adaptation, which was held from 5-7 April in Mombasa where 47 representatives of key organizations from 12 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa met to: review progress made in the Land and Water Management Initiative for Climate Adaptation; formulate their proposal to the concluding Dialogue Process in Nairobi, and discuss actions up to and beyond COP 15 in Copenhagen. He said the five draft guiding principles were analyzed with participants agreeing that they could guide the adaptation strategy for climate change. Participants at the workshop then proposed a sixth principle, partnership, which takes into account the strategies that already exist within different organizations.

On the way forward, Andersen proposed that the Nairobi Statement should consist of two parts: key messages and preliminary recommendations for actions, which would be further refined to reflect the post- COP 15 process. GWP preferred to maintain reference to principles and Algeria suggested using “major orientations” or “focus” instead of principles. Benin proposed including an explanation that the Nairobi Statement has been a process within which the principles have been developed. The meeting was adjourned at 5:47pm and the draft Nairobi Statement was revised overnight, incorporating input from participants.


On Friday 17 April, Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, welcomed participants, pointing to the latest scientific evidence demonstrating that the world is already experiencing some of the worst-case scenarios predicted by the IPCC, and in some instances is even moving beyond these. He noted that adaptation is now emerging as serious component of the overall response to climate change after being the “poor cousin” to mitigation for far too long. Steiner highlighted the need for a systems approach to define adaptation responses and the potential of the green economy to respond to climate change. Steiner concluded by describing the Dialogue Process as a “promising opportunity to recalibrate the horizon against which Copenhagen must deliver.”

Ramadhan Kajembe, Assistant Minister, Environment and Mineral Resources, Kenya, said the guiding principles correlate to Kenya’s development strategy, “Vision 2030.” Kajembe lamented the lack of sufficient resources, capacity and appropriate technology for the implementation of climate change adaptation measures. Noting that Kenya is a water-stressed country, he said the country is witnessing an increase of resource-based conflicts and urged countries to take concrete steps towards addressing the impacts of climate change.

Rhoda Tumusiime, Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, the African Union (AU), discussed African Union Commission’s intention to coordinate the formulation of Africa’s Common Position in Copenhagen, noting that the Dialogue would facilitate the AU’s preparations for COP 15. Pointing out that Africa should view its carbon sinks as a comparative advantage, she called for regional cooperation in order to best address climate change.

Tørnæs introduced a short video entitled, “The Climate Change Challenge,” which was then screened. Explaining the focus on land and water, she said it captures the essential elements of adaptation to climate change and poverty alleviation and places adaptation right at the center of the development process. She emphasized the need for support for poor countries in their adaptation efforts, the development of strategies for adaptation, specifically in the areas of land and water management to ensure that full advantage is taken of opportunities to address adaptation to climate change during COP 15. Tørnæs expressed her commitment to: presenting the Nairobi Statement and principles during a number of high-level meetings in the run-up to COP 15; ensuring that the Nairobi Statement and Nairobi principles are integrated into Danish development cooperation beyond COP 15; and striving to ensure that Denmark allocates additional financial resources to land and water management in order to meet climate change challenges.

PRESENTATION OF THE NAIROBI STATEMENT: Simon Thuo, GWP, read out the revised Nairobi Statement and gave an overview of the sixth principle on partnerships which had been included in the final Nairobi Statement.

MINISTERIAL PRESENTATIONS: This session consisted of presentations by ministers on the Nairobi Statement and the way forward to COP 15 and beyond. Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Ghana, discussed her country’s vulnerability to climate change. She noted that sound planning for efficient management of land is more urgent than ever, because of increasing population, urbanization and the growing demands on land.

Antung Deddy Radiansyah, Assistant Deputy Minister, Indonesia, highlighted his country’s national action plan on climate change, the establishment of a Climate Change Council and the commitment to contributing to the global action on climate change mitigation.

Alice Kandia, Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Kenya, underlined the importance of factoring climate change into land and water policies since water policies were enacted before climate change was evident. Kandia emphasized that land management for water conservation provides opportunities for optimizing benefits to communities, highlighting the protection of forests and on-farm tree growing to protect water catchment areas.

Justin Sossou Adanmayi, Minister of Environment and Nature Conservation, Benin, welcomed the Nairobi Statement and reiterated his country’s commitment to implementing the actions proposed therein. He stated that although the political will to implement its actions is strong, funding is still required for projects and capacity building in relevant sectors to expedite the implementation process.

Salifou Sawadogo, Minister of Environment and Water, Burkina Faso, highlighted his country’s dependence on agriculture. He further noted that more than 30 million people in Africa face famine due to the increasing scarcity of water and rapid desertification. He highlighted measures his country is taking to adapt to climate change, noting that West Africa, in partnership with the Global Environment Facility, is embarking on a programme on joint land management and sustainable land use. He stressed the need to better manage groundwater, strengthen rapid response for food security on the continent, as well as explore synergies between the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the UNFCCC.

Bishnu Paudel, Minister for Water Resources, Nepal, highlighted that the potential for the management of water resources and fertile land in Nepal will be instrumental in alleviating poverty and achieving the MDGs. He noted that extreme effects of climate change are being experienced in Nepal, stressing the need for an integrated approach to address climate change.

Batilda Burian, Minister of State for Environment, Tanzania, drew attention to the impacts of climate change in Tanzania in the land, water and energy sectors. Commending the Danish government for creating space for the Dialogue process, she said the process complements the ongoing efforts of formulating a new regime to address climate change post- COP 15.

Stating that adaptation and mitigation are two sides to the same coin, Maria Mutagamba, Minister for Water and Environment, Uganda, lauded the Danish government’s efforts to address adaptation, which she said had been sidelined in the past. On Uganda’s efforts concerning adaptation, she highlighted the country’s priority activities as, inter alia,afforestation, rain water harvesting, bulk-water transfers, wetlands protection, watershed management and soil conservation. She underscored the importance of the Nairobi Statement and the guiding principles, yet noted that since the principles would not be legally binding, they should be renamed the ‘Nairobi Voluntary Guiding Principles’.

Tørnæs thanked participants for their support for the Nairobi Statement and the guiding principles, as well as for their ‘ownership of the process.’

INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATION PRESENTATIONS: Representatives from international and regional organizations made presentations on the Nairobi Statement and the way forward to COP 15 and beyond. Stanley Kimereh, FAO, called for cooperation among the three Rio Conventions and elaborated the role the organization could play in knowledge sharing. Mike Muller, GWP, emphasized the need for better water resource management to enhance resilience, noting that the organization would work to build capacity on this. Jo-Ellen Parry, IISD, highlighted ecosystems restoration and land and water management as part of the solution for addressing climate change, as well as the expansion of the market mechanisms currently being negotiated under the Kyoto Protocol and sharing lessons through projects.

Steven Omamo, WFP, expressed the his organization’s continued commitment to: respond to emergencies to enable people to recover and develop; provide information on vulnerability analysis, needs assessments and risk transfer; and build resilience by addressing existing problems and scaling up community projects to reduce vulnerability.

Avinash Tyagi, WMO, highlighted the upcoming World Climate Conference scheduled to take place from 31 August – 4 September 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland. John Matthews, WWF, discussed a two-tiered approach to adaptation, which involves small-scale projects and developing strategies to function at national, regional and international levels. Mark Smith, IUCN, pointed to the consensus reached at the fifth World Water Forum that water should be at the center of climate change management, emphasizing the political commitment required to follow through on this. Emphasizing that delivering messages to COP 15 would not be enough, he underlined the need for concrete actions for implementation.

Hanne Bach, Mekong River Commission, highlighted her organizations activities in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Thailand observing that the guiding principles are already being implemented in South Asia.

Henrietta Ndombe, NBI, said the guiding principles constitute the foundation of the NBI. Highlighting the challenges faced due to climate change, she stressed that everyone has a role to play in the management of different resources in climate change adaptation.

Eric Odada, UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation said that climate change adaptation should be “sold as an opportunity and not a remedial measure.” He lauded the efforts being made to address land and water issues under the same umbrella, and encouraged ministers to replicate this in other sectors in order to create a harmonized approach in dealing with climate change.

Walter Knausenberger, USAID, described the synergy between land and housing as “progressive,” noting the need to include the interests of those living in arid and semi-arid areas. He also suggested that the guiding principles should champion the role of grasslands and rangelands in carbon sequestration.

ADOPTION OF THE NAIROBI STATEMENT: Salifou Sawadogo, Minister of Environment and Water, Burkina Faso said that while the Dialogue was useful, it must bring about the necessary response, which could make a great contribution to lives of people across the world.

Batilda Burian, Minister of State for Environment, Tanzania, observed that the Nairobi Statement had been welcomed and endorsed, and highlighted the need to continue to develop preliminary recommendations for action that take into account all views expressed. Highlighting that the Nairobi Statement was the right way forward in meeting practical and strategic challenges, she then invited the participants to adopt the Nairobi Statement which they subsequently did.

Outcome: The Nairobi Statement on Land and Water Management for Adaptation to Climate Change consists of a background section that provides the context and rationale for the Dialogue Process, which recognizes the fundamental importance of land and water linkages. It states that the Dialogue is a direct response to the Bali Action Plan’s call for cooperative action on adaptation, up to and beyond 2012, and further states that the process has aimed to identify principles and recommendations for action on land and water management that can promote sustainable development, while responding to the impacts of climate change.

The Guiding Principles for Adaptation to Climate Change refer to sustainable development, resilience, governance, information, economics and financing and partnerships. On sustainable development, the consideration of adaptation in the broader development context is emphasized, recognizing climate change as an added challenge to reducing poverty, hunger, disease and environmental degradation. The promotion of synergies with the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is also highlighted, including the role of women.

The principle on resilience states that its necessary for adaptation to strategies to be implemented immediately and address existing problems in land and water management, and that no-regrets investments are needed for both hard and soft adaptation measures, including increased water use efficiency and water storage capacity.

The principle on governance underscores the need to strengthen institutions for land and water management for effective adaptation, building on the principles of participation of the civil society, gender equality, subsidiarity, and decentralization.

The principle on information calls for the improvement of information and knowledge for local adaptation. It also states that this information must be considered as a public good to be shared at all levels. On economics and financing, the principle states that the cost of inaction and the economic and social benefits of adaptation action calls for increased and innovative investments and financing. It further calls for a substantial increase in investment and financing, targeted towards the most vulnerable groups to enhance capacity for adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

The principle on partnerships notes that implementation will be strengthened through the establishment of partnerships that enable strengths, mandates and institutional capacities to be combined. It also states that forging partnerships and working through networks will create the diversity and creativity necessary to support land and water management for adaptation to climate change.

The follow-up section in the Statement calls for partners and participants to promote the Nairobi Guiding Principles to a world audience through relevant global and regional fora to create awareness, political will and financial support for urgent adaptation actions towards COP 15 and beyond.

The preliminary recommendations for action elaborate on the Guiding Principles and focus attention on the need for implementation. On adaptation in the broad development context, the recommended actions are, inter alia, realizing synergies between poverty reduction and adaptation, mitigation, and environmental protection; and prioritizing no-regret actions that provide social, economic and environmental benefits irrespective of future climatic scenarios.

The recommendations on building resilience include: revitalizing agriculture and water sectors by implementing existing ecosystem-based plans for sustainable land and water management; building on existing and accepted approaches to integrated land and water management; increasing water storage capacity through the use of appropriate infrastructure; and realising synergies between economic development, adaptation and mitigation.

The recommendations on improving governance include: the identification and implementation of policy changes for promoting synergies between adaptation, food security, poverty reduction and environmental protection; the improvement of linkages between institutions responsible for agriculture, forestry and water; the mobilisation and channelling of resources for supporting and enhancing climate change adaptation capacities for the poor; and the establishment of partnerships to enhance the incorporation of adaptation into development processes.

On improving and sharing knowledge and information, the recommendations call for, inter alia:making adaptation knowledge-based and context-specific by integrating both scientific and local knowledge; strengthening the capacity to generate and utilize context specific and real-time agro-and hydro-meteorological data and information; documenting best practices on land and water management; and identifying and promoting mechanisms for sharing data, information and best practices.

In order to address the economic and financial aspects, the recommendations propose: budgeting for adaptation activities at the sectoral level, with more funds being made available to local governments to ensure local initiatives; and the expansion of the scope of the Clean Development Mechanism and other emerging market mechanisms for sustainable development to include deforestation, agro-forestry and soil carbon sequestration practices.


Reiterating the objectives of the Dialogue Process, Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark, thanked participants for their valuable contributions, expressing satisfaction with the support received for the Nairobi Statement. She noted that a commitment to bringing the guiding principles forward would be crucial, as well as the task of translating politically defined positions into a legally binding agreement at COP 15.

Highlighting MDG 3, on promoting gender equality and empowering women, Tørnæs requested UNEP Executive Director Steiner to support women and gender equality from now up to and beyond 2012, stressing the need to improve the adaptive capacity of women. She then presented the MDG 3 torch to Steiner.

Steiner expressed commitment to lead by example and to make an explicit effort to incorporate gender issues in the programme. He expressed gratitude to the workshop participants as well as those who had taken part in previous meetings and thanked the Kingdom of Denmark for facilitating the Dialogue. The meeting closed at 3:14 pm.


THIRTIETH SESSION OF THE IPCC: This meeting will take place from 21-23 April 2009 in Antalya, Turkey. The 39th session of the IPCC Bureau will convene in the same location, on 20 April 2009. For more information, contact: IPCC Secretariat; tel: +41-22-730-8208; fax: +41-22-730-8025; e-mail:; Internet:

WATER LOSS 2009: This conference will be held from 25-29 April 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference is the fifth event in a series of IWA water loss reduction specialty conferences, which aims to discuss international best practices in water loss assessment, management, leakage reduction and control, and improve customer metering. For more information contact: Water Loss Task Force Chair Bambos Charalambous; e-mail:; Internet:

UNFCCC TECHNICAL WORKSHOP ON INCREASING ECONOMIC RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND REDUCING RELIANCE ON VULNERABLE ECONOMIC SECTORS THROUGH ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION: This workshop will convene from 28- 30 April 2009 in Cairo, Egypt. It is being convened under the Nairobi work programme on impacts and vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. For more information contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON WATER RESOURCES AND COASTAL MANAGEMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: This conference will take place from 4-6 May 2009 in Manado, Indonesia. The conference will share experiences in water resources and coastal development and management in relation to the impacts of climate change. For more information contact: Head Secretariat, tel: +62-21-722-4531; fax: +62-21-7279-2263; e-mail:; Internet:

SEVENTEENTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The seventeenth session of the Commission for Sustainable Development will convene from 4-15 May 2009 at the United Nations (UN) headquarters, New York, United States of America. This policy session will focus on agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification and Africa. For more information contact: DESA Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-8102; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Internet:

THIRTY-FOURTH WEDC INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE - WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND MULTISECTORAL APPROACHES: This conference will take place from 18 - 22 May 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The focus of the conference is ’Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Sustainable Development and Multisectoral Approaches.’ The Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) International Conference is a global platform for practitioners, decision makers, academics and researchers who lead water and sanitation innovation in developing countries. For more information contact: Martine Morton; e-mail:; Internet:

UNEP CONFERENCE ON STRENGTHENING TRANSBOUNDARY FRESHWATER GOVERNANCE – THE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE: This conference will take place from 20-22 May 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand. The main aim of the conference is to identify challenges and opportunities in transboundary freshwater governance and define priority actions for improvement. For more information contact: Bakary Kante, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, tel: +254-20-762-4011, fax: +254-20-762-4300; e-mail:; Internet:

SPECIAL SESSION OF THE AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT (AMCEN): This meeting will take place from 25-27 May in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact: UNEP Regional Office for Africa; Ms. Angele Luh Sy, Information Officer, UNEP ROA; tel: +254-20-762 4292; email:; Internet:

THIRTIETH SESSIONS OF THE UNFCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES, AWG-LCA 6, AND AWG-KP 8: The 30th sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC – the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice – are scheduled to take place from 1-12 June 2009 in Bonn, Germany. At the same time, AWG-LCA 6 and AWG-KP 8 will also take place. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

NINETEENTH WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM ON AFRICA: The nineteenth World Economic Forum for Africa will convene from 10-12 June in Cape Town, South Africa. The theme of the Forum is “Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Africa.” Discussion will focus on the impact of the crisis on Africa’s traditional drivers of growth including foreign capital flows, demand for oil and commodities, and infrastructure development. For more information, contact: email:; Internet:

2009 WORLD WATER WEEK: The second World Water Week will be held from 16-22 August 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden. It will be hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The 2009 edition of this annual event will be organized around the theme: “Responding to Global Change: Accessing Water for the Common Good.” For more information contact: tel: +46 (0)8 522 139 60; fax: +46 (0)8 522 139 61; Internet:

WORLD CITY WATER FORUM 2009: Taking place from 18-21 August 2009 in Incheon, Korea, the Forum will act as a platform to discuss possible solutions to the water-related issues that are a result of water pollution, climate change and urban development. For more information contact: Secretariat of WCWF, tel: +82-32-850-5680; fax: +82-32-850-5689; e-mail:; Internet:

WORLD CLIMATE CONFERENCE 3: The third World Climate Conference will take place from 31 August- 4 September 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland. The First and Second World Climate Conferences, held in 1979 and 1990 respectively, resulted in major movement on climate change issues. The third conference will take as its theme “Better climate information for a better future,” and will focus on how humankind can benefit from the advances in climate prediction and knowledge. It will also serve as input to COP 15. For more information contact: Buruhani Nyenzi, WCC-3 Secretariat, WMO; tel: +41-22-730-8273; fax: +41-22-730-8042; e-mail:; Internet:

INFORMAL MEETINGS OF THE AWG-LCA and AWG-KP: Informal meetings of the AWG-LCA and the AWG-KP are scheduled to take place from 10-14 August 2009 in Bonn, Germany. Observers will be allowed. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

AWG-LCA 7 AND AWG-KP 9: The seventh meeting of the AWG-LCA and the ninth session of the AWG-KP are scheduled to take place from 28 September - 9 October 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

RESUMED AWG-LCA 7 AND AWG-KP 9: A resumed seventh session of the AWG-LCA and the ninth session of the AWG-KP are scheduled to take place from 2-6 November 2009 at a location to be announced. For more information contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

UNFCCC COP 15 AND KYOTO PROTOCOL COP/MOP 5: The fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and fifth meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are scheduled to take place from 7-18 December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. These meetings will coincide with the 31st meetings of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies. Under the “roadmap” agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007, COP 15 and COP/MOP 5 are expected to finalize an agreement on a framework for combating climate change post-2012 (when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends). For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

Further information


National governments
Negotiating blocs
African Union
Least Developed Countries
Small Island Developing States
Non-state coalitions