Dr Hemant Ojha, Principal Advisor of IFSD, served as a panelist for the Australian Water Partnership webinar held on 23 Feb 2021. The webinar was titled Managing the impacts of climate change on water security.  

The webinar aimed to explore the impacts of climate change on water security across the Pacific countries while also providing an opportunity to share AWP’s strategic plan for the next four years in the region. This provided a unique opportunity to further help AWP partners to identify future work and collaboration opportunities around the complex problems in the high climate risk Pacific region.  

Dr Ojha set the scene for the webinar. His presentation focused on four important elements – language of risk, climate impacts, current and emerging responses, and insights for moving forward. He tackled a number of questions such as what climate change impact is, how it is impacting Pacific region’s water and security, what sort of responses are emerging, and what can we learn from the past to move to the future.  

Other panelists were Dr Kate Duggan from Griffin NRM, Rhonda Robinson from DCRP – Pacific Community, Rory Hunter from AWP, and Dr Wade Hadwen from Griffith University. They all brought unique and insightful observations related to climate change impacts along with the gaps and lessons in addressing it.  

Overall, the webinar highlighted the major problem regarding the lack of proper coordination in the region and the imperative to work collaboratively for effective outcomes, with good understanding of the local context in terms of the climate, the geography, and the society. 

A key way forward highlighted in the Webinar was targeting agents of change in different contexts. As said by Dr Ojha in the Q&A session:  

“So, in all of this, what I am trying to say here is the agents of change, not just at the organisational level but also at the individual level. Sometimes within civil society there may be few individuals who are really committed and who have the capability to drive change, so it’s really important to engage with them beyond organisations.” 

For more information about this webinar, please visit AWP page here:  https://waterpartnership.org.au/event/awp-webinar-managing-the-impacts-of-climate-change-on-water-security/