Last week, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) hosted a high-level dialogue for stakeholders from the Sri Lankan and Maldivian government, private sector, banks, academia and civil society. The Joint Climate Change Dialogues are a series of events organized by the Netherlands embassy focused on preparing policy discussions in upcoming international conferences. These first dialogues served as a platform ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties, better known as COP 27.
The Joint Climate Change Dialogues brought together a diverse group of national and international experts to discuss the detrimental effects of climate change in Sri Lanka on water availability, agriculture, food security and supply chains. As one of the organizers, Dr. Simon Langan, Country Manager and Director IWMI stressed the importance of these collaborations: “Considering Sri Lanka’s need for climate change adaption, increasing awareness and networking among stakeholders, education in general, and capacity strengthening concerning climate change is vital.”
The Netherlands embassy not only funds the dialogues but also co-designed format and content with IWMI which allowed for lively discussions on how to confront the risks and vulnerabilities of agriculture, food security and infrastructure in Sri Lanka as result of climate change concerning. Sri Lanka has witnessed increasing climate hazards such as droughts, floods and cyclones.
“The Netherlands has a long history of dealing with water and climate change as well,” said the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Bonnie Horbach, in her opening address. “Solving our climate challenges domestically is not sufficient anymore. We need to build global alliances to tackle the issue of climate change and we aim to support those countries, like Sri Lanka, that are committed to mitigating and adapting climate change.”
The dialogue further identified innovations, particularly in green financing and capacity strengthening to address the risks and vulnerabilities and identified options for different sectors and actors to access international green finance and other financial facilities.
The next Joint Climate Change Dialogues will be focus on UN2023 water conference to facilitate discussions on Sri Lanka’s engagement in global challenges related to water, climate change, access to international climate finance.
The Netherlands Embassy sponsored the dialogue to strengthen Sri Lanka’s vital contribution at upcoming global events such as COP 27 in Egypt and the 2023 UN Water Conference.
The UN Water Conference will take place in New York next year and is co-hosted by the Netherlands and Tajikistan. Main objective of the Water Conference is to review progress on the Water Action Decade and accelerate actions on water-related climate actions with like-minded and equally committed partners.