Annamarie: How can developed nations help secure water security in developing nations?

I’m Annamarie Martin, a third year Environmental Studies major from Yale-NUS College. My project for this conference will explore water security, and more specifically how developed nations can help promote water security in developing nations.
I currently plan on attending side conferences that tackle the issue of water security and scarcity from a variety of angles — how water can help achieve climate neutrality, the role that private sectors play, financing mechanisms.

My strategy would be to attend a good mix of conferences, either directly or tangentially related to my topic. There are 3 key conferences I plan to attend, amongst others:

1. Water and climate: how to increase engagement of private actors
a. This conference will be very useful to my exploration of water security solutions. I have been exploring and doing extensive research on Singapore’s position as a global Hydrohub. Due to its heavy investments in the development of niche water technology, Singapore should hold a lot of export potential in water technologies, especially to developing nations. This conference will thus inform me on the possible strategies and ways in which private actors and firms can boost water security around the region.

2. A tropical country response to climate change with integrated water resources management
a. This conference explores how Sri Lanka can adapt to climate change with proper water resource management. It would be interesting to gain an additional perspective to IWRM in a neighbouring tropical country, which can provide useful lessons that can be applied to Singapore as well.

3. Enhancing ocean and climate change observing in developing nations using Low-cost technologies and training
a. This conference will inform me on the possibilities and potential that exists for technology to be transferred to developing nations, given the common barrier of high financial costs of technology.

Apart from attending conferences, I will be visiting exhibit booths as well. These include “Why there is a need of international climate finance in view to meet the need of resilience infrastructure and water crisis for CVCs” as well as “Water-related adaptation and mitigation investments – information systems, institutions & governance, infrastructure – that build climate resilience of economies, livelihoods, and ecosystems through improved water security.” While at conferences I will mainly be listening in, taking notes and synthesising the different kinds of information received, I will use the exhibits to talk to people who have been involved in the research, and connect with others who have similar interests.

The Paris climate agreements made the enhancement of adaptive capacities and climate change resilience a global goal, which is a first — this is particularly relevant to water. Water is often the main medium in which climate change reflects its clearest and most direct impact on our livelihoods. In light of the recent IPCC report warning us of the effects of global temperature increase beyond 1.5 degrees celcius, it is especially relevant for this COP to address how communities plan on being resilient to potential effects that may arise from flooding, water quality changes, agricultural changes etc. I will be looking out for discussions and references made to this agreement on resilience, and whether resilience and adaptive concepts are being incorporated into water management strategies and water policy.

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