Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Calling all climate change advocates: how to link up national activities with UNFCCC?

A couple of weeks ago, I attended Stockholm Water Week. One of the first sessions I participated in was the Water and Climate Coalition (WCC) meeting in which we discussed preparations for the UN climate change negotiation's next meeting (COP-17, November). I raised the question of how can we link up our advocacy work at the international level with what civil society organisations might be doing at the national level?

In FAN Global, we are keeping a keen and responsive eye on the UN climate change negotiations (UNFCCC) but negotiating positions in many global processes are defined at country level before international conferences even take place.

FAN members with good access to country level negotiators on climate change could play a crucial role in supporting work at the international level by lobbying in their respective countries.

This means FAN members and other civil society organisations (especially as broader CSO water networks) with good access to country level negotiators on climate change could play a crucial role in supporting this work by lobbying at the national level for more attention for the sector. At the moment there are only six countries championing water in the climate change negotiations.

Are you involved in advocating on climate change at the national level? Please share your thought by commenting below!

You will be interested to hear that the Water and Climate Coalition is developing a toolbox to support CSO engagement in national dialogues with decision makers and we will share this with you as soon as it becomes available. I'm sure it will be a very valuable document. 

In preparation for FAN Global's involvement in COP16 last year, FAN carried out a survey among members in which Rosemary Enie, Cameroon Women Environment and Climate Action Network (WECAN), identified access to information about climate change as an important issue:

Nowadays … the problem is not the availability of information, but its reproduction, adaptation and dissemination to those who do not have access to it or do not understand. In addition, there are no resources to overcome this problem.

Find out more about our involvement in COP16, the last meeting in the UNFCCC process, by reading our event briefing and the following blogs:

FANMex participates in the Dialogue on Water and Climate in Latin America and the Caribbean

Tanveer's blog from COP16

Countries call for water to be addressed in the climate negotiations

COP16: FAN Mexico Coordinator Nathalie's first impressions

German Rocha, FAN South America Convenor, reports from COP16

Water & Climate Coalition at COP16

Water Scarcity due to climate change forced climate migrants

Due to global Climate Change and sea level raise (SLR) the southwest coastal region become most vulnerable in Bangladesh. Salinity increasing in the coastal land and agriculture is decreasing, drinking water sources damaging for salinity intrusion. Coastal flooding and other natural disaster increasing in the coastal region. Thus the southwest Bangladesh is going to be a most vulnerable. Recently cyclone SIDR (2007), AILA (2009) devastated the area and most of the infrastructure damaged including the sanitation facilities and drinking water sources. People are leaving this area for better livelihoods. But the national Government are not consider southwest most vulnerable. It is necessary to advocate with National Government and also global leaders to sensitize the issue. For that LEDARS with some like minded organization (like BAPA, BELA) moving together to save people of coastal region of Bangladesh. LEDARS is a NGO working on climate change and water issue since 2003. With the support of CARE Bangladesh RVCC project we started our grassroots initiatives in the most vulnerable area of the country. We are currently working in the community based adaptation in the south Bangladesh and also conducting advocacy work in regional and national level. We are the member of Climate Action Network-South Asia, Climate Change Adaptation Forum, Bangladesh, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Fresh Water Action Network-South Asia, and some other climate change network and platform. I have been attained the COP 15, in Copenhagen, Denmark and present a documentary there. Recently we are implementing 4 climate change related project in Bangladesh. The iMatter March is a global youth platform in the world. As part of that global campaign we are doing some demonstration in national level. As part of that global campaign we organized a Climate March in Dhaka at 11 June 2011. We also organized a Human chain in front of National Press Club in Dhaka. National level NGO like BAPA, BELA, TIB and social and environmental leaders attain there and show solidarity with our ten demands. We are also conducting some workshop to building capacity of the civil society members and local and national Government Officials in Bangladesh with the support of Bangladesh Center for Advance Studies-BCAS and CAP Net.

Water scarcity challenge in DRC

Really water scarcity is now challenging in DRC because water is reducing with bad impact as poverty, diseases and death. Although efforts from NGO the solution is far, for us, our main strategy could be involving project beneficiaries, especially poor people and indigenous on all WASH project stages. An accent could be given on sensitization of people on trees planting around the rivers for watershed protection, ponds and lakes. Local teams of people comprising local leaders, women and youth representatives, farmers, religious and teachers will be formed in each provinces/district of DRC to advocate on WASH at local and national level and to manage WASH (supported by Government) programme with role: implementing boreholes, sensitization of people and assuming maintenance. Brief, the National government should:

  • Provide plus of 15% of it budget for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for subsides, equipments and visits
  • Create structure of building local team each six months on WASH innovations
  • Organise assessment and follow up each six months on the implemented projects
  • Encourage initiatives (NGO and private agencies) working on WASH by reducing taxes and other fees or building capacities of their personnel
  • Establish discussions on WASH among partners and beneficiaries covered by Medias
  • Help to protect environment by planting trees, fixing dustbins in public places and creating structure for recycling waste.

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