In 2015, the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA) and the International Office for Water (IOWater) jointly published two books entitled :
- "Water and Climate Change Adaptation in Transboundary Basins : Lessons Learned and Good Practices", in the UN collection (INBO, UNECE),
- "Management and Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems in River and Lake Basins" (INBO, GWP, ONEMA, IOWater), in the collection of handbooks on Water Management.
Both publications, distributed free of charge and initially published in English for the World Water Forum in Korea, have been translated into French on the occasion of the COP21 in Paris and then will be translated into other languages.
They continue previous publications of the various partners involved, including the "Handbook on Integrated Water Resources Management in Basins" (2009), the "Handbook for Integrated Water Resources Management in Transboundary Basins of Rivers, Lakes and Aquifers" (2012), the "Guidance on Water and Adaptation to Climate Change" (2010) or the "Report on experiences of Transboundary Basin Organizations in Africa" (2014).
Water and Adaptation to climate change in transbouncary basins
In spite of local uncertainties about the intensity and variability of climate change, the frequency of extreme events that result from it, and about its impacts on water resources, it is urgent to initiate now adaptation measures in river basin management, including transboundary basins. Thus, the drafting of multi-year Management Plans for the Basins of national and transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers, is becoming a priority and should incorporate these adaptation measures.
In transboundary basins, strong cooperation between riparian countries is needed, and this requires attention to be paid at all levels and in all sectors. For the adaptation plan to have solid bases, the participation of all stakeholders is essential, crossing the multiple physical, political and institutional borders, and opening it up to all sectors with water-related activities.
Some basin organizations around the world have already taken action to adapt to climate change. It is now crucial to be able to benefit from their experience and to promote exchanges among all institutions concerned by climate change adaptation.
To facilitate this exchange, this publication mobilized about sixty experts from international organizations (WMO, GWP, AGWA,...) and transboundary and national basin organizations worldwide.
This publication identifies the field experiments made and aims to provide practical advice through 58 case studies and 63 "lessons learned" about how to prepare and implement a strong, realistic and operational medium-to-long-term plan for adapting to climate change in the basins.
Management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems in river and lake basins
Freshwater resources are increasingly used, wasted and polluted ; aquatic ecosystems are threatened and sometimes destroyed. In addition to their great heritage value for landscapes and biodiversity, aquatic ecosystems provide significant services in regulating water resources and flows and in the self-purification of pollution. Wetlands improve water quality by trapping sediment, filtering pollutants and absorbing nutrients. They also play a key role in flood control and drought prevention.
However, human activities, where they do not merely destroy these environments, often disrupt biotopes, cause pollution and fragment the longitudinal flow of many rivers over the world.
It is now recognized that aquatic environments play the role of "green infrastructure", which is as essential to proper water resources management as a traditional artificial infrastructure.
Examples of good practice and effective natural developments can be identified in many countries.
Today, significant progress is more than ever needed to move from theory to practice and take practical measures to preserve and restore aquatic ecosystems, by using, in particular, these successful examples coming from the field and identified in various national or transboundary basins.
This handbook identifies 45 examples of field achievements and aims to give practical advice through 25 "lessons learned" about how to use a realistic, effective and operational "green infrastructure", to restore, protect and develop aquatic ecosystems, especially in the context of Basin Management Plans including measures for adaptation to the climate change impacts on water resources.