The "Adapting to climate change induced water stress in the Nile River Basin" project was launched in March 2010 as a partnership between UNEP and the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), sponsored by SIDA. The project runs from 2009 to 2012, and is focused on the Nile River Basin. The overall project goal is to build the resilience of ecosystems and economies that are most vulnerable to climate change induced water stress in the Nile Basin countries through building key adaptive capacity and piloting adaptation in "hotspots" with technical, policy and financial interventions.
The Nile system is one of Africa’s most important ecosystems, since it hosts 40% of Africa’s population. Due to its size and varying climate and topographies, the Nile Basin constitutes one of the most complex river basins. The challenges emanating from climate change in the Nile Basin include; uncertainty as regards precipitation and river flow; land degradation; reduced river flow; floods; siltation; waterweed infestation; wetland degradation: droughts: deforestation: loss of species and ecosystems and increased incidences of disease. With this project, UNEP has committed to assist Nile basin countries adapt to the impacts of climate change by using climate change adaptation methods, such as building resilience of vulnerable sectors and ecosystems in the region and hence its focus at a river basin level. Specifically, the project aims at minimizing the projected stress of too little and too much water (a.k.a. flooding and water scarcity) for conflict prevention and disaster reduction, through knowledge-based policy intervention, technology transfer and investment in key infrastructure.
The key UNEP partner for the project is the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) which is a partnership initiated and led by the riparian states of the Nile River through the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin states (Nile Council of Ministers, or Nile-Com). DHI supports the implementation of the project by undertaking comprehensive assessments identifying flood and drought prone areas, developing criteria for the identification of "hot-spots", and downscaling global climate models. Global Water Partnership (GWP) leads on the institutional support, policy support, and training components. In addition to overall project management and coordination, UNEP is in charge of undertaking stock-taking of existing adaptation activities and a capacity needs assessment, mapping the institutional landscape and developing a strategy for policy and institutional support, collection of good adaptation practices, and implementing demonstration projects at the local level. Furthermore, UNEP is developing an assessment framework to involve the themes, tools, criteria and indicators for selecting hotspots and linked to scenario development.