Speech | The role of good water governance in resilience
“Cutting across all these perspectives is the need to respect and incorporate local knowledge.”
Cutting across all these perspectives is the need to respect and incorporate local knowledge. Stakeholders at all levels must recognise that actors that live in the contexts affected by climate change always have the best knowledge about the environmental changes occurring there, and therefore, there must be room for flexibility in the exact ways in which we build climate resilience.
In this regard, the form of deciding which information is relevant, on which we base water resilience and water governance projects, is equally important to address. In other words, those traditionally not heard, like women, youth, and indigenous populations, hold specific knowledge that needs to be included for understanding the situation in a comprehensive manner. Likewise, if their experiences and insights are not listened to, projects for building climate change resilience will not be as efficient as they could be, due to that a big part of the knowledge puzzle is missing. Therefore, forums like the ones held here in Dushanbe prior to the conference, where “unconventional” perspectives are raised, are essential when building climate resilience.
The water community has a crucial role to play in implementing and accelerating progress on climate action, as climate change essentially expresses itself through changes in the hydrological cycle and we already got good practices from water governance to leverage. We need to claim the role of the leading expert that we are, and by that make a vital contribution to ensuring a more climate-resilient world.