International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Climate change - Is it an International Waters transboundary problem?

From the Examples of transboundary and shared environmental problems shown previously, it is clear that climate change is absent as a transboundary environmental problem. There are a number of possible explanations for this, including:

  • Until recently, climate change has been seen as beyond the scope of IW project intervention and consequently any single TDA/SAP process.
  • Climate change has been recognised as an external driver of many of the above problems – something that cannot be changed in the short to medium term (although its impacts can be mitigated against or adapted to).
  • There is a perceived or real lack of research or monitoring data on the subject, particularly at the water system level and particularly in freshwater and groundwater systems.

However, many of the transboundary problems identified in most TDA’s are reinforced (both positively or negatively) by climate change. Consequently, whether climate change is considered as a transboundary problem or not, its effects (in terms of cause and impact) need to be well understood to ensure that future interventions are both resilient and adaptive.

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