From COP27 to UN 2023 Global Water Conference and beyond

A graphic illustration that captures the vision for UN 2023 Water conference

Insights from COP27: Part three 


The discussions and outputs from COP27 will continue as the globe plans to meet again at COP28 in Dubai to make further progress and set the agenda for higher ambition.  Parallel to this ongoing work is the focus of the water sector on developing the Water Action Agenda through the UN 2023 Water Conference.  Tajikistan and the Netherlands will co-host this event in March 2023.  It is the second conference of its kind ever, and the first after almost 50 years, to discuss global water challenges and solutions.


Putting water and adaptation at the heart of the development agenda is the only way to create jobs, sustainable growth and a prosperous future for all.


Climate mitigation cannot succeed without water. Having access to water is critical for all the transformations needed to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions.


Climate strategies can be more effective through integrated approaches that recognize and address the systematic and connected nature between water and climate change mitigation. Today’s major challenges, for example water, climate, energy and food, must be addressed jointly. There are important integrated approaches that can be used (for example IWRM, Source-to-sea management, and the landscape approach).


Climate solutions that work with nature and based on circular economy approaches, can provide multiple benefits, including healthy ecosystems, livelihoods, energy generation, greenhouse gas sequestration, and protection from the impacts of global warming. Nature-based solutions work to improve water supply and ensure clean water, while contributing to mitigation through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


There is a big potential in improved wastewater treatment and sanitation services since this can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving the lives of people living in poverty.



Key recommendations for the UN 2023 Global Water Conference


The following recommendations were presented at the end Resolution Day in the Water Pavilion based on learning from each thematic day at the Water Pavilion.

  1. Recognise that water needs to be at the forefront of climate change adaptation and mitigation, and its critical interaction with energy, food security and the environment is paramount - understanding all the intersections is vital to address climate change.
  2. Recognise the COP27 cover decision calling for transformative approaches to enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience, and reducing social inequities and vulnerabilities to climate change.
  3. Commit to advancing holistic, inclusive water solutions from both the public and private sectors.
  4. Support Parties in the formulation of the Goal on Adaptation at COP28 through the development of water related resilience indicators, prioritizing the protection and restoration of freshwater-dependent ecosystems.
  5. Expand capacity building networks and programs – such as the Resilient Cities Network, the UNFCCC Adaptation Academy, and the Water Resilience Coalition – to co-create inclusive, resilient futures for all.
  6. Advance scientific understanding, research, and implementation of systemic approaches to water management – incorporating land, oceans, energy, food systems, human health and wellbeing – with local communities at the centre.
  7. Break the siloes. We urgently need to address institutional fragmentation and put in place regulations and policies that are coherent and appropriate with regards to a Nexus approach.
  8. Ensure Nature-based solutions are centered in the Water Action Plan coming out of the UN2023 Water Conference, supported by champions in multiple governments and entities.
  9. Put Water and Climate on the agenda of the UN Security Council.
  10. Ensure the entirety of SDG6 is included in the “Water and Climate” theme of the UN 2023 Water Conference.
  11. Focus on more political consensus and advocacy for COP28, including more visibility and influence in the negotiations.



Resources launched or highlighted at the COP-27 Water Pavilion


Water for Women: Knowledge and Practice Gaps in Climate Resilient Inclusive WASH

Water for Women: A climate change and inclusive WASH online course

Water for Women: Accelerating adaptation finance for climate resilient WASH in Asia and the Pacific

The State of Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture report for the Near East and North Africa region The State of Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture in the Near East and North Africa region ( 

Climate Risk-based Decision Analysis (CRIDA) manual Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA): collaborative water resources planning for an uncertain future - UNESCO Digital Library

Nature based solutions to emerging water challenges in the Asia Pacific region CTCN_Brief_AsiaPacific.pdf (

Climate Change Adaptation and Integrated Water Resource Management  Cap-Net-CCA-and-IWRM.pdf

Net Zero: The Race we All Win xylem-net-zero-paper-10.07.22-final.pdf (


A gif featuring many Water for Women products


Now in its fifth year and extended until 2024, Water for Women brings depth of experience from 20 WASH projects and 13 research initiatives in 15 countries across South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Water for Women is bringing the voices and learning of the Asia Pacific region to COP27 to highlight how equitable WASH is a building block for a climate-resilient future.

Since 2018, Water for Women has directly benefited over 3 million people across 15 Asia-Pacific countries – including more than 1.3 million women and girls, 1.3 million men and boys, 73,000 people with disability, and those attending the more than 700 schools and healthcare facilities now with improved access to WASH.

Water for Women participated at COP27 as part of Australia – water partners for development, a collaboration with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Water Partnership.

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