International Conference on Water and Climate

Dr. Tobias Schmitz attended the “International Conference on Water and Climate” on July 11th-12th, 2016, in Rabat, Morocco. This conference aimed to support the linkage between climate change and water issues, which had not been highlighted until the launch of the #ClimateIsWater campaign during COP21. Morocco organized this conference in preparation for COP22 (which will be held in Morocco), in order to take water seriously within the climate agenda. 

Data was an important topic of discussion; currently, data used for monitoring climate and water resources are separate. This conference identified the need to link the methodology and information output of climate and water resources data in order to effectively support decision-making. Knowledge brokers are needed to gather, organize, interpret, and relay information to translate scientific data into a useful resource. This provides significant opportunity for GIWEH, as it can provide both technical support (through data collection and organization) and capacity building (through knowledge translation).

Dr. Tobias Schmitz met with Mr. Mahboul and Ms. Laila Oualkacha from the Ministry of Water Affairs in Morocco, and discussed two particular areas for cooperation. As GIWEH is part of the organizational committee for the Citizens’ Forum within the 2018 World Water Forum, GIWEH would like to link the outcomes of COP22 to the Citizens’ Forum agenda.

Additionally, GIWEH is interested in partnering with Morocco and various Dutch organizations, such as Justdiggit, to launch a re-greening project in Morocco. Currently, Moroccan catchments are suffering from significant environmental degradation—leading to water losses and harmful deprivation cycles. The potential project would reverse the degradation, stop erosion, and encourage water to flow again using rainwater harvesting technologies.

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