Using water management, ecosystems and empowerment to build climate change resilience

16 December 2009 | News story

Drought, floods, storms, melting glaciers and sea-level rise all feature in headlines and fears about the expected impacts of climate change. All concern water. Living with climate change will mean coping with impacts on water.

Drought, floods, storms, melting glaciers and sea-level rise all feature in headlines and fears about the expected impacts of climate change. All concern water. Living with climate change will mean coping with impacts on water.
In the face of dwindling water resources in the Komadugu Yobe Basin (KYB), Nigeria, significant challenges and competition for available water resources lead to the creation of an IUCN Water and Nature Initiative (WANI) project in the region. WANI worked with the Federal Government and six Nigerian states towards the restoration and sustainable management of the Komadugu Yobe river in the Lake Chad basin. With an initial endowment of $13 million, a Trust Fund was set up to implement a Catchment Management Plan for the river. This action plan is set to increase equity in water allocation, efficient water use, and restoration of flows in the river.
Implementation of this action plan has increased climate change resilience amongst local communities and businesses, benefiting livelihoods based on floodplain agriculture, fishing and livestock herding. It will also enhance the process of restoring flows from the basin into Lake Chad. President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria has commended IUCN and all those involved for their “remarkable collaborative efforts being put together to improve the lives of well over 4 million people whose livelihoods solely depend upon the land and water resources of the basin. There will be no need for war over natural resources if they are managed well.”
In addition to supporting the basin’s ecosystem management, IUCN and partners worked on the improvement of KYB governance. A sub-basin of Lake Chad in north-eastern Nigeria and south-eastern Niger, regular consultation and exchange of data on transboundary activities between Niger and Nigeria’s basin states is vital. IUCN and partners negotiated a Water Charter to cooperate on implementation and improvement of water governance in the KYB. Working with local communities in multi-stakeholder dialogues in the KYB region also allowed to tap into the wealth of available traditional knowledge of the river’s flow and change. Given a voice, water users shared their knowledge and experience with scientists and economists, leading to a new Water Audit which took stock of available data and local information.

For more information, please contact: Daniel.yawson@iucn.org
Project website: www.kyb-project.net


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.