Daejeon, Republic of Korea, May 23 – GGGI took part in K-Water’s International Drought Forum today, attended by government officials, scientists and representatives of international organizations in Daejeon City to discuss the impacts of climate change on water scarcity and the implications for developing countries at the 2019 International Drought Forum.
Jointly organized by the Korea Water Resources Corp., or K-water, the Korean Ministry of Environment and Asia Water Council, the forum touched upon a range of issues related to water security, including the implications of climate change. GGGI’s Laila Kasuri was invited as a speaker where she discussed the importance of managing climate change impacts such as drought to support green growth.
Climate change can increase the odds of worsening drought in many of the developing countries in the world, in the decades ahead. Certain regions will see increased heat, changing rainfall patterns and less snow pack contributing to drought conditions. Even in regions that may not see changes in precipitation, warmer temperatures can increase water demands and evaporation, putting greater stress on water supplies.
Hence, drought management becomes necessary to achieve green growth objectives because drought can threaten everything from economic growth and agricultural productivity to human well-being and political stability. Globally, droughts can lead to famines and increase food prices thus placing an impact on food security. In countries already facing food insecurity, cost spikes can lead to social unrest, migration and famine. Droughts are also relevant for urban planning which must create cities that are safer and stronger in the face of droughts, but will also make them more inclusive and prosperous. Effective drought management will thus require building resilience in both built infrastructure and natural systems, and using water more resourcefully through better allocation decisions and greater efficiency.
As an organization committed to green growth, GGGI’s water sector will play a key role in supporting governments to develop policies that promote sustainable water management, and design projects that ensure resilience to climate change. This means that water management will be more than just a hedge against future damages from drought (or floods), but it should be a pillar of good growth and development. This will require an approach that looks at policies and investments in climate resilience which will also generate growth and development benefits.