The land-water nexus: improving science-policy interfaces to strengthen resilience

Event Type
Virtual Event

Online, 22.03.2024


UNCCD Science Policy Interface (SPI), Bonn Water Network (BWN)

On the occasion of World Water Day 2024, the Bonn Water Network and its members including the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the German Institute for Development and Sustainability (IDOS), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA/UN-Habitat) invited you to the online debate on “The land-water nexus: improving science-policy interfaces to strengthen resilience.“


Sustainable management of land and water is the key to food security and the health of human beings and ecosystems. It is also central to building resilience to droughts, floods, and other natural disasters.  Climate change and land use changes and the interactions among both are accelerating the degradation of land, making it more susceptible to the impacts of droughts and floods. These dynamics can contribute to resource competition, civil unrest and forced migration. In the celebration of the World Water Day 2024, UNCCD and the Bonn Water Network organized a joint event to explore the role of the science-policy interface in the land-water nexus.


The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the global vision and voice for sustaining land and water resources. Beyond, as an international legal instrument entered into effects in 197 parties, it unites countries, business, and all other stakeholders to work together to combat desertification, land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought; maintain ecosystem health, and improve the living conditions for people. The Convention’s Science Policy Interface (SPI) has been working to translate scientific findings into policy options for enhancing land restoration, sustainable land and water management and drought resilience building to advise the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) of the Convention to guide the parties towards the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) by 2030. 


Founded in 2020, the Bonn Water Network (BWN) bundles the Bonn-based expertise in water-related research, training and practice. Its eleven members composed of research institutes, UN institutions and civil society organizations are active in Bonn and worldwide. BWN is a knowledge-hub, rooted in the city of Bonn’s international sustainability environment and working on a broad range of water topics from different scientific and stakeholders’ perspectives to achieve sustainable and inclusive water solutions.




Opening remarks (Echo to the theme of the Word Water Day 2024-water for peace)

  • Barron Joseph Orr, Chief Scientist, Science Technology and Innovation (STI), UNCCD
  • Stefan Wagner, Head of Department for international Affairs & Global Sustainability, City of Bonn



  • Jara Diego, Co-speaker of the BWN, Legal officer of the IUCN-Environmental Law Center.


Thematic Session: The role of science-policy interfaces in understanding and governing the land-water nexus.

Presentations: The work of UNCCD-SPI and Bonn Water Network


Overview of UNCCD SPI and its Work Programme

  • Nichole Barger, SPI co-Chair


Overview of Bonn Water Network and its activities


Presentations from form the members of the SPI

Sustainable land use systems

  • Annette Cowie, Co-lead of the SPI Objective 1 working group)


Aridity trends, projection and its impacts

  • Sergio Vicente-Serrano, Co-lead of the SPI objective 2 working group)


Presentations from members of BWN

Responsible governance of interlinked water and land tenures: challenges and options in the Awash River Basin, Ethiopia


“Water for peace” – The importance of transboundary water governance and diplomacy

  • Diego Jara, Legal Officer IUCN


What role for operators in sustainable water resource management?

  • Anne Bousquet, Regional Coordinator for Africa and Asia. UN-HABITAT, Global Water Operators'​ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA/UN-Habitat)


Open Discussion

Lessons learned on and perspectives for the science-policy interface: how can we strengthen collaboration?


Wrap-up and Closing

  • Annabelle Houdret, Speaker of the BWN
  • Johns Muleso Kharika, Chief of the UNCCD STI

Hinweis / Please note

Während unserer Veranstaltungen werden z.T. Foto- und/oder Filmaufnahmen gemacht, die für Zwecke der Veranstaltungsberichterstattung und allgemeinen Öffentlichkeitsarbeit in verschiedenen Medien veröffentlicht werden. Sie haben jederzeit das Recht, die Foto- oder Videograf*innen darauf hinzuweisen, dass Sie nicht aufgenommen werden möchten.

During our events photos and/or videos may be taken which may be published in various media for the purposes of documentation and PR activities. You have the right at any time to point out to the photographer or videographer that you do not want to be photographed or filmed.