Today at the White House, Ambassador Hattie Babbitt, the Chair of the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) Steering Committee announced the Partnership’s commitments to the food systems resilience phase of the President’s Climate Data Initiative (CDI). Ambassador Babbitt joined with more than 30 public and private stakeholders including USWP members The Coca-Cola Company, the World Wildlife Fund and the U.S. Department of Agriculture at a roundtable hosted by Counselor to the President John Podesta and the President’s Science Advisor Dr. John Holdren.
On behalf of its 92 partners, the U.S. Water Partnership is committing the following in support of the Food Systems Resilience theme under the CDI to meet water related climate change challenges:
(1) Launch a web portal – named H2infO, and a Signature Initiative with the U.S. State Department for sharing free and open sourced data tools and resources related to drought preparedness and resilience on
September 2, 2014 during Stockholm World Water Week;
(2) Develop a virtual community of practice to share data, experiences, lessons and practices and leverage current actions to build solutions;
(3) Convene an in-person technical exchange of international community members and other key stakeholders; and
(4) Create a two-way international exchange that will inform key drought preparedness expertise – where the U.S. will both lead and learn from drought experiences worldwide.
Meeting these commitments will build local, regional, national and international capacity to address drought preparedness and resilience of food systems to climate change.Twenty-nine USWP partners and stakeholders endorsed this commitment with more expected in the coming weeks. A summary of the complete commitment is available here.
Nearly every speaker emphasized the key role water plays in addressing the effects of climate change and supporting food resilience. Ambassador Babbitt said, “Solutions require a ‘big tent’ approach using collaboration across multiple sectors. We at the U.S. Water Partnership offer a single entry point to the best of U.S. expertise and resources to address global water challenges with a focus on developing countries
where needs are greatest.”
She invited all organizations to join with the U.S. Water Partnership in implementing these actions.