Projected future scenarios of intensifying impacts of climate change entail a great urgency for intensified adaptation efforts to help humans and nature cope with the adverse climate impacts. While a systematic global stocktake of these activities across relevant sectors is vital for raising the visibility of adaptation as well as enhancing understanding of adaptation needs and actions, the national capacity to prepare adaptation-relevant information remains restricted.
As the water sector is one of the key areas in climate adaptation, the Thai-German Climate Programme-Water (TGCP-Water) has been supporting Thailand’s Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) and water-related agencies in developing the ‘Adaptation Project Checklist’ which helps identify projects that qualify as adaptation in the water sector.
“Once integrated into water management processes, the tool will contribute to national and international reporting of climate adaptation by the water sector in line with Thailand’s National Adaptation Plan and the recently finalised agreements under the Enhanced Transparency Framework of the Paris Agreement.”, said Mr. Heinrich Gudenus, Project Director of TGCP-Water.
The ‘Checklist’, which has been thoroughly developed and tested since 2020, is now ready to be handed over to ONWR. The tool will enable Thailand’s water agencies to classify water management projects into three categories: 1) an adaptation project, 2) a project contributing to adaptation, or 3) a conventional water management project.
The results can be displayed in various ways to attract and respond to policymakers’ diverse interests. These include display per the total budget of adaptation projects; the number of adaptation projects implemented by organisation; locations of adaptation projects classified by administrative areas, watersheds, or areas in up-, mid-, and down-stream.
Among the qualification criteria for assessment, the key ones include the identification of past and future climate risks, the mitigation of climate risks through the project, and the use of climate risk information as well as the exposure of human, economic, or environmental assets. While the tool makes use of existing data from various sources, it has revealed gaps in availability of data which require collection in the future.
Since the tool delivers information on the climate change adaptation relevance of water projects, ONWR intends to make use of the results as criteria for selection and prioritisation when planning and budgeting water sector projects.
ONWR also plans to integrate the tool into the ‘Thai Water Plan’, a newly launched digitally based project and budget planning system that is set to be applied by all water-related agencies. This will contribute to Thailand’s water resources management that takes into account climate adaptation in the future.