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Time to Adapt -

Climate Change and the European Water Dimension

Vulnerability - Impacts – Adaptation

12 - 14 February 2007, Berlin



Conference Results

Key messages (70 KB)

Conclusions (354 KB)

Symposium Report

 

About this conference

Climate change is widely recognised, and commitments to prevent and minimise its causes and to mitigate its adverse effects were agreed upon by many countries. The EU and its Member States have implemented strategies to achieve the objectives for reducing greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol and are driving forces in the negotiations for more ambitious reduction targets. However, even if these commitments are fully implemented, it must be assumed that significant changes in climate conditions will occur, impacting on water resources and water systems in Europe. Scientific evidence suggests that climate change will result for example in more frequent and severe extreme events (floods and droughts) and that it will have long term effects on the availability of water in different regions in Europe as well as on the quality of water and water related ecosystems. Water management needs to take these effects into account, and long term strategies for water dependent economic sectors need to be designed with a view to their vulnerability and their options for adaptation.
As part of the German EU presidency’s activities, the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety will host an international symposium titled “Time to Adapt - Climate Change and the European Water Dimension“ from 12 to 14 February 2007 in Berlin. The initiative is strongly supported by the relevant services of the European Commission, who are currently preparing a Green Paper on adaptation strategies. In September 2006, the European Commission (DG Research, DG Environment, and Joint Research Centre) organised a workshop (http://ec.europa.eu/research/environment/newsanddoc/other_pubs_en.htm) in Brussels which discussed climate change impacts on the water cycle and promoted dialogue between scientists and policy-makers.
The Symposium aims to provide a platform for representatives from governments, science and research, stakeholder groups and non-governmental organisations to discuss the likely impacts of climate change on water management and water dependent sectors such as agriculture, energy, inland navigation and tourism, as well as options for adaptation, and to strengthen the political profile of these issues. The results of the Symposium will be summarised in a set of conclusions and recommendations which will be brought to the attention of responsible Ministers during the German EU-Presidency in the first half of the year 2007.

Preparing the Conference

Preparation of the international Symposium involved consultation with scientific groups and major stakeholders, as well as close cooperation with the European Commission. An international Steering Group was set up to advise the convenors in all organisational and content-related matters in the course of conference preparations. The Steering Group comprises representatives from governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations, and ensures that specific regional and sectoral views and experiences are considered during the preparation phase.
In order to provide a sound basis for discussion, a research project is carried out by Ecologic and the Potsdam-Institute for the Federal Environment Agency and the Environment Ministry which evaluates and presents the current state of research on water-related climate change impacts in Europe, and which compiles information on adaptation options and adaptation initiatives in the EU Member States. Project work was co-ordinated with the European Environment Agency’s activities, and the recently published EEA report “Climate change and water adaptation issues” (http://reports.eea.europa.eu/technical_report_2007_2/en) contains contributions by Ecologic. A detailed report by Ecologic and the Potsdam-Institute will published towards the end of 2007.

 


This conference is organised by Ecologic

in co-operation with the

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.


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