Source-to-sea management presented as a solution to the climate crisis at the 2020 Race to Zero Dialogues

News Feb 03, 2021

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) was invited to lead Water Day at the UNFCCC Race to Zero Dialogues on 12 November 2020 which featured more than 30 of the world’s most influential thinkers on water and climate. From SIWI the Action Platform for Source to Sea Management was presented as an innovative solution to the climate crisis with commitments to harness the potential of water for global climate action.

SIWI’s Ruth Mathews, Senior Manager and Coordinator of the Action Platform for source-to-sea Management further stressed that the issue of climate change is arising from various sources and actions, not least from plastic pollution and marine litter that arises from many different springs and is carried from land into the ocean via rivers and other waterways. In parallel there is also the challenge of nutrient pollution coming from untreated wastewater and agricultural run-offs. Ms. Mathews urged the need for a coordinated agenda across stakeholders and sectors in order to tackle the effects of climate change on our oceans.

The 2019 IPCCC Report on the ocean and cryosphere specifically highlights fragmented governance systems as a key challenge to addressing the climate crisis. Ms. Mathews presented the source-to-sea approach to management which breaks down the silos of fragmented governance and decision-making whilst addressing issues of climate change as one solution to tackle the climate crisis.

The source-to-sea approach to management focuses on taking a system view of issues such as climate change, marine litter, and nutrient pollution. The foundation of the source-to-sea approach is recognition that land, freshwater, coastal and marine systems are interconnected such that activities in one part of the source-to-sea system can have effects both upstream and downstream. It also highlights that many issues require cross-sectoral coordination, with no one sector being able to deliver the full solution.

“This is where we can join hands. A key solution to climate change is to take a holistic view of the problem and to test the solutions against the backdrop of the interconnectedness of social, economic and environmental systems” stated Ms. Mathews.

The recording of the session can be accessed here. To read more about the source-to-sea management approach please visit our website.

SIWI was given the privilege to be the leading organization of Water day at the UNFCCC Race to Zero Dialogues were several water dialogues were hosted from different organizations with the vision of a zero-carbon, resilient future through water. Featured from SIWI was the Source to Sea Action Platform and the TIARA program from the SIWI Africa Regional Centre as innovative solutions to the climate crisis.