The ClimateReady Podcast features interviews and segments on emerging trends in the intersection of climate and water. Experts in policy, engineering, finance, and other sectors provide cutting-edge perspectives and narratives on climate adaptation challenges and opportunities. Seasons 1–3 each contain ten episodes. Season 4 is currently in preparation. A special mini-series focusing on UNFCCC COP26 was released from October through December 2021.

    The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and other podcast platforms. You can also listen directly in the sections below. Check back often for new episodes or join the community using the links provided. Make sure to subscribe and leave us your reviews!

    COP26 Miniseries

    COP26 Reflections: Putting the Climate Conference into Context

    As the dust settles from COP26, we take one last look back at the recent global climate conference that was held in Glasgow, Scotland in early November. Spanning two weeks and including hundreds of official events on top of high-level negotiations, it’s not easy to digest all that took place. What were the major topics covered? What was achieved? And what opportunities were missed? We’re here to help put things into context.

    On this episode of ClimateReady, we interview two colleagues from the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) representing different ends of the COP spectrum. John Matthews, AGWA’s Exec. Director, has been attending these events for over a decade. We also hear from Pan Ei Ei Phyoe, a young water professional who participated in her first one this year. Both share honest and insightful feedback from their days on the ground driving the water-climate agenda.

    This episode is part of a four-part miniseries focusing on COP26 and international climate policy. If you’d like to support ClimateReady in creating more content in 2022, please consider donating.

    #COP26 #Water4Climate #ClimateAdaptation

    The Adaptation Academy: Classrooms for Catalyzing Climate Action

    As climate change continues to dominate the current headlines thanks to COP26, we at ClimateReady wanted to take a look into the essential adaptation work that takes place between the annual conferences. Countries regularly develop commitments and implement programs to build climate resilience. Often, the development and shaping of country-level activities comes down to a small number of individuals such as national adaptation focal points. Who are these people working on national climate commitments? And what efforts are underway to support them?

    On this episode of ClimateReady, we hear from participants in the first ever Adaptation Academy — a capacity building program under the leadership of the UNFCCC to provide technical training and peer to peer connections among those individuals responsible for national adaptation planning, implementation, and reporting. The first courses wrapped up last month, with more planned for 2022. We hear from a range of voices coming from Panama, Jamaica, Cameroon, and the Philippines about their experience in the Adaptation Academy, and how this nascent program is bringing together academia, NGOs, and government institutions to build the technical capacity needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

    This episode is part of a four-part miniseries focusing on COP26 and international climate policy.

    #AdaptationAcademy #UNFCCC #ParisAgreement #training

    From Cairo to Costa Rica: Placing Water at the Heart of National Climate Commitments

    As world leaders gather in Glasgow for COP26, it is clear that countries face serious strategic choices in how they address mitigation and build adaptation and resilience. Often undervalued in this dialogue is the critical role of water for successful climate change mitigation and adaptation actions. But some countries are beginning to demonstrate leadership on this front, with this simple message: For climate action to be effective, the role of water must be recognised.

    On this episode of ClimateReady, we feature interviews with representatives of countries leading the effort to feature water resilience as key to their national climate plans. Egypt and Costa Rica are two of the first countries to pilot a new tool called the Water Tracker for National Climate Planning, indicative of their commitment towards a cross-sectoral, water-centric approach to addressing climate risks. Dr. Eman Soliman, Head of Planning Sector for Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and Cynthia Barzuna Gutiérrez, Costa Rican Vice Minister for Water and Ocean Affairs, joined Ingrid Timboe to discuss their countries’ adaptation initiatives and COP26 priorities.

    This episode is part of a four-part miniseries focusing on COP26 and work being done around national climate planning.

    #WaterTracker #COP26 #TrackWater4Climate #Water4Climate #Egypt #CostaRica

    Countdown to COP: A Primer on This Year’s UN Climate Conference

    Delayed for a full year due to the pandemic, the next major climate conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) begins later this month. Leaders from governments, civil society, and the private sector will converge in Glasgow and virtually to determine the next major steps to address the climate crisis. Can Glasgow deliver on the promises made in Paris in 2015?

    On this episode of ClimateReady, we’re joined by Vel Gnanendran, Climate and Environment Advisor for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office or FCDO. With the UK as host of this year’s conference of the parties, or COP, we take the opportunity to ask Vel about the major priorities and aspirations being worked towards, and why the average person should be paying attention. Vel talks about encouraging work being done to bridge the gap between climate risks and adaptation, and the need for more locally led adaptation and access to climate finance.

    This episode is the first in a four-part miniseries focused on COP26 coming out over the next month. COP26 takes place from 31 October through 12 November.

    #COP26 #UNFCCC #ClimateAdaptation #LocallyLedAdaptation #ClimateFinance #Glasgow #UK

    SEASON 3

    Ep. 10 - Coping with Climate: Climate Grief and Adaptation

    Regardless of whether or not you realize it, the climate crisis may be taking a toll on your mental well-being. Combine that with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturns, and social distancing measures, and it’s easy to see that mental health may be more important now than ever. But for these pervasive problems with no simple solutions, how are we supposed to move past our anxiety or grief?

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we are joined by clinical social worker and psychotherapist, Andrew Bryant. Andrew sat down to discuss the work he’s been doing for nearly a decade to help people understand the psychological impacts of climate change and develop strategies to regain their sense of agency. He explains the idea of “radical acceptance” and lays out a four-step approach for empowering ourselves to respond to the complex emotions resulting from the climate crisis, and highlights tools available through his Climate and Mind website. Many of the lessons he shares can also be applied to dealing with anxiety relating to the current pandemic as well.

    Following the interview, we continue the ongoing “Climate of Hope” segment in partnership with the World Youth Parliament for Water. Lynn Porta of the North American Youth Parliament for Water discusses her graduate research in transboundary water management and international treaties, and how the trends she sees around cooperation and adaptability give her room for hope.

    #climatepsych #climategrief #mentalhealth #climateanxiety #FeelTalkActUnite #radicalacceptance

    Ep. 9 - Old Solutions, New Problems: Indigenous Adaptation in Peru

    Modern hydrology and engineering have solved some tremendous problems, allowing societies to expand and thrive in regions once considered too difficult to inhabit. With more people, more complicated economies, and more variability and extremes from climate impacts, engineering our way out of water challenges seems harder, more expensive, and less reliable. Maybe solutions from the past can become new again?

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we examine how traditional, indigenous knowledge and nature-based solutions (NbS) can complement modern approaches. Dr. Boris Ochoa-Tocachi of Imperial College London joins the show to discuss the work he is doing with rural communities in the Andes of Peru, using pre-Columbian technology such as amunas and NbS like bofedales alongside modern water storage and conveyance methods, to help provide water security for local communities as well as Greater Lima and its nearly 10 million inhabitants, all while avoiding the traps of “parachute science.”

    Following the interview, we hear a different perspective from Peru in our “Climate of Hope” segment. María Angélica Villasante Villafuerte and Hernan Tello, both members of Peruvian Youth Against Climate Change, discuss their work to increase youth involvement in local and national decision making around climate change to achieve an intergenerational transfer of good practices and lessons learned.

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    #indigenousknowledge #TEK #naturebasedsolutions #Peru #Andes #Lima #watersecurity #communityscience

    Ep. 8 - Sparking Change: What We Can Learn from Australia’s Catastrophic Bushfires

    With our daily lives inundated with news and anxiety around the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, it’s easy to forget another major story from just a few months ago. The Australian bushfire season of 2019-2020 has garnered global attention. People all around the world were shocked by stories of massive wildlife loss, charred landscapes, destroyed homes and businesses, and displaced communities. But now that the fires have gone out, what have we learned?

    To hear how these fires impacted the country’s ecosystems, people, and politics, we turn to two colleagues from southeastern Australia. Dr. Jamie Pittock is a professor at Australian National University, while Dr. Emma Carmody — a previous guest on ClimateReady — works at the Environmental Defenders Office. Jamie and Emma talk us through the wide-ranging impacts of this season’s bushfires. We hear how climate change, ongoing drought, and specific governance and management policies all worked in conjunction to feed the conditions for such devastating fires. We pay particular attention to the short- and long-term impacts on freshwater ecosystems and wildlife before turning to ways in which the tragedy may lead to positive behavioral and policy changes.

    For listeners interested in helping the ecosystems and people harmed by Australia’s bushfires, we are including a list of some great organizations recommended by Jamie and Emma. You can make donations and find out more about their work using the links below:

    #Australia #bushfire #wildfire #landmanagement #watermanagement #wildlife #drought #publicpolicy

    Ep. 7 - Utilities of the Future, Today: How Public Utilities are Pioneering Climate-Smart Infrastructure

    We count on public utilities to provide services integral to everyday life. When we turn on the tap or flip a light switch, the assumption is that water will run and rooms will light up. But as the climate changes and cities continue to grow at a breakneck pace, what can utilities do to continue to provide these essential services? Is there a way to avoid overexploiting natural resources while keeping ratepayers happy?

    For insight into climate-smart development, we look to the pioneering efforts of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) in the U.S. state of California. On this episode of ClimateReady, we’ll hear from three SFPUC representatives: Mike Brown, Sarah Minick, and Karri Ving. They describe the ways in which SFPUC is utilizing — and financing — nature-based “green” infrastructure to reinforce and supplement their existing systems in order to provide water, wastewater, and power services to millions of customers in a region highly vulnerable to climate change. In the second part of the discussion, we hear how SFPUC is financing these innovative projects - totalling over US$1.4 billion - through the use of the world’s first certified climate bonds dedicated to water infrastructure.

    Following the interview, we wrap up with another installment of “Climate of Hope” in partnership with the World Youth Parliament for Water. Karan Gajare, a civil engineer from India pursuing a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering through an Erasmus Mundus program, shares a success story of a small village taking big steps to adapt to and mitigate climate change in his native India (full story at

    #greeninfrastructure #climatefinance #sanfrancisco #publicutility #water #climatebonds #greenbonds #wastewater #stormwater #watertreatment #SFPUC #California

    Ep. 6 - Picking Your Climate Battles: When Is Managed Retreat the Best Option?

    What happens when climate change renders our homes and communities uninhabitable? Can we maintain our deep place-based connections from afar? As climate change and sea level rise threaten coastal communities, we’re forced to grapple with the fact that not all places will be livable in the not-so-distant future. Following extreme weather events, conversations tend to focus on how to build back. But should we always build back? Who decides? The concept of strategic managed retreat — although controversial — is slowly making its way into the mainstream as a viable, and necessary, adaptation option for many communities threatened by mounting climate impacts.

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we hear from Dr. A.R. Siders as she makes the case for strategic and managed retreat as an opportunity to focus on the long-term well-being of coastal and floodplain communities and the lands they call home ( Retreat is not an adaptation solution for every context. But when done in a purposeful, coordinated manner coupled with community involvement, it offers the potential for minimizing risks while avoiding the pitfalls of ad hoc displacement following disasters - a fate that often disproportionately affects poor and marginalized communities with the fewest resources to rebuild or relocate. We discuss the cultural barriers and social justice implications of the approach, and lots more, in this wide-ranging interview.

    The show concludes with a “Climate of Hope” story as we hear from our youngest guest ever. Austin Matthews, the son of ClimateReady’s producer, describes what it’s like to be a ten-year-old facing the looming threat of climate change and some of the reasons for his optimism facing the challenge.

    #managedretreat #climatesmartdevelopment #plannedrelocation #coastaladaptation #sealevelrise #socialjustice #youth4water #climateofhope

    Ep. 5 - Lessons from Chiloé, Chile: Transforming Natural Resource Governance Amid Environmental Change

    Environmental change is not occurring in isolation, especially for communities and groups who may live close to and depend very directly on local ecosystems for their livelihoods and economic wellbeing. Climate change in most places is occurring in conjunction with cultural shifts, political reorganization, and globalizing economic impacts. While economic, environmental, and social change tended to happen gradually in the past, many regions are now struggling with managing a bewildering array of forces, many of which they have little control over, forcing difficult decisions whose implications may be hard to manage much less foresee. Governance — especially around management of natural resources — must evolve in order to better address the interests of a growing number of stakeholders in increasingly complex socio-environmental systems.

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we bring in environmental anthropologist Dr. Sarah Ebel to discuss an ongoing example of transformative governance in Chile. Drawing on nearly a decade of work with coastal fishing communities, Dr. Ebel describes how legislative changes to Chile’s fisheries management plans and a rare shift towards “polycentric governance” have impacted local fishermen, indigenous groups, the aquaculture industry, and the environment — topics she further covers in the book Chiloé. We also discuss the role of “individual agency” in our quest towards resilience and much more.

    The show concludes with another “Climate of Hope” story as part of an ongoing collaboration with the World Youth Parliament for Water, where Alex Whitebrook highlights encouraging trends from China’s industrial and agricultural sectors.

    #environmentalchange, #Chile, #anthropology, #socioeconomic, #adaptivegovernance, #stakeholders, #ecosystems, #coastalresilience, #youth4water, #climateofhope, #climateaction

    Ep. 4 - Rewriting History: From Bad Math to Reasons for Optimism on the Colorado River

    The story of water management in the Western United States is epitomized by the Colorado River. Water managers in the early twentieth century set up structures and policies that would have implications for tens of millions of users across multiple states and countries — and all based upon faulty math. How have the systems and infrastructure along the Colorado River impacted development? How is climate change coming into play? And are there reasons for hope that the story of conflict and mismanagement can become a story of cooperation?

    In this episode of ClimateReady we are joined by John Fleck, a renowned author, science journalist, and Director of the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program. We cover a range of topics relating to the Colorado River from transboundary management, to balancing competing water demands, to the role of storytelling in developing good water governance. All of this and more can be found in his new book Science Be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River.

    We wrap up with another “Climate of Hope” story as part of an ongoing collaboration with the World Youth Parliament for Water. Juliane Schillinger talks about the growing voice of scientists in political movements as a result of the climate crisis and the benefits of stepping out of the “ivory tower.”

    #ColoradoRiver, #waterrights, #history, #transboundary, #adaptivemanagement, #conservation, #UnitedStates, #Mexico, #governance, #journalism

    Ep. 3 - Live from COP25: Quenching the Thirst of Climate Adaptation

    This special episode of ClimateReady was taped live at the ongoing UNFCCC COP25 in Madrid, Spain. Ingrid and a special co-host, the Executive Director of AGWA, have a conversation with colleagues from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). The four of them talk about the integral role of water in climate change solutions and actions as well as a newly launched background paper on water prepared for the Global Commission on Adaptation ( To watch the Facebook Live video interview, visit

    The episode concludes with our “Climate of Hope” segment in partnership with the World Youth Parliament for Water. Stephanie Woodworth highlights the impact that climate change is having on the environment and communities where she lives, and the work being done with local youth that gives her hope.

    #COP25, #UNFCCC, #Spain, #climatechange, #policy, #IWMI, #Facebook, #climateaction, #water

    Ep. 2 - Urban Adaptation: The City Water Resilience Approach

    As cities continue to grow, increasing demands are being placed on urban water systems. Climate change and other unprecedented stressors will exacerbate the challenges related to cities' climate security in the decades to come. How can cities learn to build resilience, and do so in an equitable manner involving a wide range of stakeholders?

    For this episode of ClimateReady, we hit the road to conduct live interviews during World Water Week in Stockholm in 2019. Keeping in line with the conference’s theme of “Water for Society: Including All,” we spoke with representatives of the ongoing City Water Resilience Approach (CWRA) project. The approach is designed to coordinate policies, investments, and operations by using water as the connective tissue for resilient action, often across a number of cities that form a single urban landscape. We were joined by two members of the CWRA team from the global engineering firm Arup, Mr. Martin Shouler and Ms. Louise Ellis. Then to hear how the resilience approach is being put into practice in one of its pilot cities, we spoke with Mr. Hardeep Anand of the Miami Dade Water & Sewer Department in the US state of Florida, a city which is seeing quite significant climate impacts already.

    We wrap up with another “Climate of Hope” story as part of an ongoing collaboration with the World Youth Parliament for Water. Joyce Mendez of the Climate Reality Project in Brazil and the Center for United Nations Constitutional Research covers the ways in which climate change can serve as an opportunity for significant global governance changes as part of a more inclusive future.

    #CityWaterResilienceApproach, #urbanresilience, #utilities, #catchment, #stakeholders, #Arup, #ResilienceShift, #RockefellerFoundation, #100RC, #OurWater, #Miami, #sealevelrise

    Ep. 1 - AI for Adaptation: Addressing Climate Challenges with Data Science

    Climate change is the preeminent problem of the 21st century. Why not address it with 21st century solutions? While still in development, advances in data science — specifically around big data and AI — offer new and valuable tools for climate adaptation. How is this being deployed and who is leading the charge?

    In the Season 3 premiere of ClimateReady, we are joined by Paul Fleming, Corporate Water Program Manager for Microsoft. We discuss some of the reasons why a company known primarily for computer software is leading groundbreaking developments for water management related to climate change. Paul discusses the potential for big data and AI with respect to utilities and smarter water management. We also hear about the CEO Water Mandate initiative and the expanding role of the private sector in addressing the century’s greatest environmental and sustainable development challenges.

    Following our main interview, we introduce a new segment to the show. Underlying all of our work around climate adaptation is a sense of optimism. We can (and must!) create more resilient systems and societies. To support this idea, we are featuring short personal reflections about a “Climate of Hope.” The episode closes out with a story from Nureen Anisha, an AGWA Research Fellow and graduate student, speaking of efforts in her native Bangladesh that give her hope for the future.

    #Microsoft, #technology, #AI, #bigdata, #datascience, #privatesector, #waterutilities, #smartwatermanagement, #climatechange

    SEASON 2

    Ep. 10 - What the Heck Is Resilience? Moving Words into Practice

    Sustainable development has been the guiding principle for meeting today’s needs without compromising the future of our planet. But what happens when the pace of change outpaces sustainable development practices? And how can we adequately plan for development when the future is increasingly uncertain?

    Often we use the term “resilience” in the context of climate adaptation but, perhaps artfully, we also often avoid defining the word. Resilience is a value, a goal, an ethic, and a principle intended to lead to action. Resilience-based approaches to adaptation and sustainable development are gaining more traction in recent years as ways to help communities, governments, and development organizations adapt, transform, and thrive in the face of change. In this episode of ClimateReady—the final one of Season 2—we finally take a deep dive into this resilience thread that runs through almost all of our stories around climate and water. Dr. Nate Matthews of the Global Resilience Partnership joins the show to discuss the principles behind the concept, the systemic changes involved, and the evolving relationships between donors, practitioners, and the private sector.

    Following our main interview, we close out with a poetic story as our “Postcard from the Future.” Dr. Raha Hakimdavar, a Hydrologist at the US Forest Service, reflects on the cultural and personal significance of water, and an important but often forgotten impact of climate change. A full version of her poem is available at

    #GlobalResiliencePartnership, #resilience, #sustainabledevelopment, #climateadaptation, #public-private-partnership, #innovation, #finance

    Ep. 9 - Swapping Microscopes for Microphones: Bringing Science into Policy

    Each year climate negotiators gather for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties, or COP, to discuss how to address climate change. But how does science inform climate policy? Is climate policy actually based in science? Should technical professionals become involved in climate policy? If so, how?

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we bring in two people neck deep in climate and water policy despite having largely technical backgrounds. AGWA’s Coordinator, Dr. John Matthews, interviews the Director of IUCN’s Global Water Program, Dr. James Dalton, about the need for technical perspectives in the world of policy. Together, a biologist and an engineer discuss the challenges of entering a fast-paced arena that sometimes requires compromise and generalizations and the means by which interested (especially young) professionals can enter the fray.

    Following their conversation, we hear a “Postcard from the Future” that takes us to Beijing in 2050. Danielle Neighbour of the China Environment Forum at the Wilson Center highlights the benefits of coordinated water recycling for addressing water security in urban and rural settings.

    #climatepolicy, #ClimateIsWater, #adaptation, #transdisciplinary, #collaboration, #science, #engineering

    Ep. 8 - What Would Hammurabi Do? Adaptive Governance and Climate Change

    Civilizations have always depended on water. It’s no surprise, then, that laws pertaining to water and water governance have been around for thousands of years. All of that experience shows how difficult it is to govern water well. Climate change compounds these challenges.

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we look at multiple scales of water law through the example of a single river basin — from local allocation issues to national policies to international conventions. We are joined by Dr. Emma Carmody, an environmental lawyer for the Environmental Defenders Office of New South Wales and an expert in governance for the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. Emma also lends her expertise as a legal advisor for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. We discuss Australia’s influential Water Act, the need to adapt policies in light of climate change, and the role of broader international agreements in driving local and national environmental policy.

    Following the main interview, we have a “Postcard from the Future” sent by Alan Hesse, a cartoonist, freelance conservationist, and creator of the upcoming “Polo the Bear” comic on climate change. Alan draws attention to the important and often undervalued relationship between science and the arts.

    You can find out more about Emma’s work with EDO in the Murray-Darling at or For information on Alan’s upcoming comic book due early 2019, visit

    #Murray-Darling, #Australia, #MillenniumDrought, #WaterAct, #waterlaw, #governance, #allocation, #Ramsar

    Ep. 7 - A High Probability of Uncertainty: How Do We Plan with Unknowns?

    Nobody has data from the future - it hasn’t happened yet. But for centuries we’ve assumed that the past can predict the future. What if it can’t anymore? Will engineers and planners become consumed by inaction and climate uncertainty?

    Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) is a new five-step water resources planning framework that helps address deep uncertainties associated with climatic, demographic and land-use change. CRIDA tackles the hardest part of climate adaptation: those times we need a hard number as engineers and economists, especially in parts of the world where may not have access to much data.

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we are joined by three of the lead authors behind the recently-released publication. Drs. Guillermo Mendoza, Ad Jeuken, and John Matthews each lend their perspectives on how an engineer, a climate scientist, and an ecologist (respectively) came together to create a new vision of resilience in water management planning and decision making.

    The CRIDA publication and additional resources are available at The guidebook is a co-publication of UNESCO IHP and the Integrated Center for International Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), a UNESCO center in the United States.

    #CRIDA, #uncertainty, #watermanagement, #climatechange, #risk, #infrastructure, #resilience, #adaptivemanagement, #UNESCO, #ICIWaRM

    Ep. 6 - Fight or Flight: Coastal Community Adaptation

    In 2017 nearly 10 percent of U.S. citizens were affected by major disasters. Hurricane Harvey that year was estimated to have resulted in more than $120 billion alone to southeastern Texas. After a tradition of coastal management that paved over wetlands, channelized floodplains, and pushed poor communities into low-lying areas, many coastal communities now also experience sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, and increasingly severe weather.

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we bring in author, professor, and photographer Elizabeth Rush to discuss her latest book Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore. We interview Elizabeth to find out more about vulnerable coastal communities around the United States — from New York to Louisiana to California. In Rising, climate change is no longer a problem of the future but an imminent threat. Through poignant stories, we hear how communities handle these realities on their own terms.

    Following our main interview, we asked Elizabeth to read an excerpt from her book that would be especially relevant for our listeners. She examines the complexities around “risk” and arrives at some really insightful conclusions about how perceptions are shifting over time.

    #sealevelrise, #coastalwetlands, #flooding, #floodinsurance, #UnitedStates, #environmentaljustice, #wetlands, #climatestories, #resilience, #Rising

    Ep. 5 - Ensuring Adaptation: Nature-Based Solutions to Reducing Risk

    Infrastructure or ecosystems? Nature or economic development? Historically, those have been the tensions expressed about investing how we innovate, grow economies, reduce the impact of disasters, and alleviate poverty relative to preserving natural systems and ecological integrity.

    Climate adaptation has shifted the terms of this long-standing debate. Traditional gray infrastructure is harder to design and maintain to be resilient. Nature-based solutions (NbS) work better in some situations, such as when we need more flexibility or face higher levels of uncertainty. Is a middle ground appearing?

    In this episode of the ClimateReady Podcast, we bring in Dr. Elena Lopez Gunn to discuss her leadership to study, demonstrate, and ultimately quantify the insurance value of nature through a project she is leading known as NAIAD. This EU-funded project aims to expand the evidence base around NbS for reducing flood and drought risk while creating the business and financial frameworks necessary for operationalizing these approaches.

    After our main interview Al Meghji, an MPA candidate at Cornell University, sends us a “Postcard from the Future” for a glimpse into the world of 2070 and some advice on how we can focus our efforts now to create a more equitable and livable society in the future. Stick around until the end for next year’s winning lotto numbers!

    #naturebasedsolutions, #greeninfrastructure, #disasterriskreduction, #naturalcapital, #insurance, #ecosystems, #NAIAD, #Europe

    Ep. 4 - “C” is for Climate Change: Lessons About Climate Change Education

    For most students, climate change is a topic they’ve heard about — maybe a topic they really care about. While nearly every discipline is affected in some way by climate change, the subject is often relegated to the natural sciences. How can we make sure that the next generation of professionals — and global citizens — can think critically about impacts and adaptation?

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we bring in someone who quite literally wrote the book on that. Dr. Rob Wilby is a professor of hydroclimatic modeling at Loughborough University in the UK, and author of Climate Change in Practice: Topics for Discussion with Group Exercises. Rob tells us about the best ways to engage with students, even the most skeptical ones, in order to get them interested in the subject while providing them with the critical thinking and transdisciplinary skills they’ll need well after graduation. We also cover the role of continued education and the need for training outside of classroom settings.

    Following the main interview we have another “Postcard from the Future.” This time we’ll hear from our very own ClimateReady co-host, Ingrid Timboe, in order to get a better understanding of the gaps in university training around water.

    #education, #university, #climatechange, #criticalthinking, #interdisciplinary

    Ep. 3 - Adapting Funding to Fund Adaptation: Tales from Manila

    How can we know if a climate adaptation project will be effective and useful? Unlike mitigation and meeting emission reduction targets, adaptation measures are often open to interpretation. Yet institutions funding these efforts are expected to use standard evaluation criteria to distinguish between options and maximize impact and return on investment.

    In this episode of the ClimateReady Podcast, we talk with a global expert from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) who also happens to have a background with the UNFCCC -- giving her policy, operational, and investment insights. Xianfu Lu is the ADB’s focal point for climate change adaptation and she schools us about how finance institutions are influencing adaptation projects, as well as how investment is shaped by climate and development policies. We also learn about the perception of climate change in Asia in contrast to other regions.

    Following the main interview, we have a “Postcard from the Future” featuring Kathryn Pharr, a researcher at the University of Oxford, who brings us a message from a popular environmental superhero of the 1990s.

    #AsianDevelopmentBank, #UNFCCC, #sustainabledevelopment, #MDBs, #adaptationfinance

    Ep. 2 - Go with the Flow: Managed Rivers, Unmanaged Climate

    Freshwater ecosystems are in trouble. For centuries -- and until very recently -- rivers and ecosystems were always managed using history as a reference point. As we move into an era of uncertainty surrounding climate and hydrology, how should we think about ecosystem management in the future?

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we meet with Dr. LeRoy Poff, a Professor in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University and Chair of its Ecology Graduate Program. LeRoy is a leading authority on aquatic ecology and lead author behind the seminal environmental flows (“eflows”) theory on river restoration and management. For the last 20 years, eflow science has been used to guide management and policy around ecosystem performance and natural flow regimes in regulated rivers. However, the underlying assumptions of this theory and practice are being tested by climate change. With an updated take on eflows, LeRoy explains how we must move beyond the natural flow regime to meet the challenges of a non-stationary and changing world.

    Following the main interview, we have a “Postcard from the Future” from Stephanie Lyons, a climate, environment, and water consultant with a story from Vietnam.

    #environmentalflows, #naturalflowregime, #rivermanagement, #ecosystems, #non-stationarity

    Ep. 1 - Women, Water, Wisdom: Making Space for Traditional Knowledge in Western Climate Policy and Practice

    The Pacific Ocean is the most sparsely populated region on earth, while the island nations and peoples are also among the most threatened by climate change impacts. The isolation of these islands geographically is even akin to their isolation from western climate science and global climate policy discussions. In a time of rapid environmental, economic, and cultural change, how can we help these peoples and countries cope? Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) or indigenous ecological knowledge provide a valuable understanding of nature and culture to promote hope and positive action.

    In the first episode of Season 2, we meet Tui Shortland, Director of Te Kopu, Pacific Indigenous and Local Knowledge Centre of Distinction. Tui is a climate change leader for many of the island nations in the Pacific, and she’s worked hard to create space for indigenous peoples and women in the international climate policy community. New openings have appeared recently. Fiji recently hosted COP23 in December 2017, and the UNFCCC has created a new means for voices from non-state actors such as NGOs, ethnic and indigenous minorities, gender groups to participate in climate negotiations structured through a Polynesian tradition called “Talanoa dialogues." Tui describes a positive, urgent vision for residents of the Pacific Islands who have done little to contribute to global climate change but now face a highly uncertain future in their homelands.

    Following that conversation, we bring in AGWA’s Coordinator, John Matthews, to kick off a brand new segment called “Postcards from the Future.”

    #TraditionalEcologicalKnowledge, #indigenouspeoples, #culturalenvironmentalism, #InternationalWomensDay, #climatepolicy, #PacificIslands, #NewZealand

    SEASON 1

    Ep. 9 Pt. 2 - Rivers to the Rescue! Understanding the Benefits of Ecosystems in Adaptation

    Can ecosystem services and biodiversity improve climate resilience? Water management has historically been viewed through a narrow, results-driven engineering lens that tends to undervalue the contributions of the very natural systems being modified. However, there is growing recognition that so-called green infrastructure and the ecosystem services they produce - such as floodplains for flood control or mangrove forests for carbon sequestration and coastal zone buffers - can provide more effective and less expensive water management than traditional solutions. Perhaps new problems can lead to new solutions.

    If that’s the case, how can we better integrate ecosystems into the planning and design processes for water management? In this special two-part episode of the ClimateReady Podcast, we examine the role of nature-based solutions in climate adaptation in Mexico. An international team has been working to change both the practice and policy of water management at a national scale, fueled by mutual concern over climate change and the risks of losing ecosystems as well as their natural capital.

    Using a new framework known as Eco-Engineering Decision Scaling (EEDS), this method helps to assess tradeoffs and guide practitioners through Mexico’s National Water Reserves Program. We’ll feature interviews with Dr. Ted Grantham of UC Berkeley and Ninel Escobar of World Wildlife Fund Mexico.

    #nature-based solutions, #green infrastructure, #environmental flows, #rivers, #Mexico, #adaptation services, #EEDS, #ecosystems

    Ep. 9 Pt. 1 - Rivers to the Rescue! Understanding the Benefits of Ecosystems in Adaptation

    Can ecosystem services and biodiversity improve climate resilience? Water management has historically been viewed through a narrow, results-driven engineering lens that tends to undervalue the contributions of the very natural systems being modified. However, there is growing recognition that so-called green infrastructure and the ecosystem services they produce - such as floodplains for flood control or mangrove forests for carbon sequestration and coastal zone buffers - can provide more effective and less expensive water management than traditional solutions. Perhaps new problems can lead to new solutions.

    If that’s the case, how can we better integrate ecosystems into the planning and design processes for water management? In this special two-part episode of the ClimateReady Podcast, we examine the role of nature-based solutions in climate adaptation in Mexico. An international team has been working to change both the practice and policy of water management at a national scale, fueled by mutual concern over climate change and the risks of losing ecosystems as well as their natural capital.

    Using a new framework known as Eco-Engineering Decision Scaling (EEDS), this method helps to assess tradeoffs and guide practitioners through Mexico’s National Water Reserves Program. We’ll feature interviews with Dr. Ted Grantham of UC Berkeley and Ninel Escobar of World Wildlife Fund Mexico.

    #nature-based solutions, #green infrastructure, #environmental flows, #rivers, #Mexico, #adaptation services, #EEDS, #ecosystems

    Ep. 8 - Are We Tapped Out? How Urban Water Utilities Are Adapting to New Impacts

    Billions of people worldwide depend on municipal water utilities to deliver clean drinking water and treat their waste. There’s a reason that the word “utility” in English means both an agency or business that provides public services and something that performs consistently, even automatically. What happens when the utility of a utility is under threat? Water utilities are arguably what makes modern cities possible, supplying clean water, treating sewage and industrial waste, securing urban areas as centers of economic growth rather than as cesspools of ill health and disease. Consider Cape Town, South Africa. A city often compared with San Francisco in the US for its optimism, culture, and lifestyle. Cape Town is about a month away from day zero -- the term they use for when their reservoir will absolutely run out of water.

    In this episode of ClimateReady, we talk to civil engineer Divindy Grant to learn about a project led by Mott MacDonald to develop resilience standards for water utilities with the World Bank. Tune in to hear more about the ways in which these water service providers are working to ensure that taps continue to flow and toilets continue to flush even as floods, droughts, and sea level rise become more commonplace.

    #waterutilities, #urbanresilience, #cities, #climateresilience, #climatechange, #watersecurity, #WASH

    Ep. 7 - New Approaches to Managing Risk: Climate Adaptation in Zambia

    In 2015 a drought in Zambia led to failures at the Iolanda Water Treatment Plant, which serves Zambia’s capital and largest city. Changes in water availability and decreased hydroelectric output threatened water treatment capacity. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US foreign aid agency, piloted a new bottom-up climate adaptation approach to help build robustness and flexibility into the rehabilitation and management of the water treatment plant. This approach, known as Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA), combines state of the art techniques to develop robust solutions through stakeholder involvement while simultaneously assessing risk with flexible and governance-sensitive approaches, operations, and implementation. We chat with Marc Tkach of MCC to hear about this innovative project.

    @MCCgov, #CRIDA, #Zambia, #drought, #climaterobustness, #decisionscaling, #adaptationpathways

    Ep. 6 - Designing & Planning for Resilience in Water Infrastructure

    Water infrastructure is expensive and long-lived. How do we design and plan for resilience if we can’t see what the future holds in terms of climate or other relevant drivers? The World Bank’s Decision Tree Framework is a new tool – one of a suite of “bottom-up approaches” – that embraces uncertainty. It allows users to assess and address long-term climatic and non-climatic risks. In this episode Dr. Patrick Ray explains how the process works, where it’s being implemented, and how institutions can incorporate the DTF into their water management projects.

    @PatrickARay, @WBPubs, @WorldBank, #decisiontreeframework, #uncertainty

    Ep. 5 - Climate Finance & Green Bonds

    In this episode of the ClimateReady Podcast we learn more about the critical role of climate finance, including the growing role of green bonds within the $90+ trillion bond market. Our guest is Anna Creed from Climate Bonds Initiative, an investor-focused not-for-profit focused on mobilizing the bond market for climate change solutions. Ms. Creed discusses the need for standardizing certified green bonds and the development of criteria for Water Sector bonds. You'll be amazed at what's going on in the world of climate finance!

    @ClimateBonds, #Greenbonds, #finance, #investment

    Ep. 4 - Climate Change & Community-based Adaptation in the Himalayas

    In this episode of the ClimateReady Podcast we focus on some tangible on-the-ground efforts in climate adaptation. We interview Ms. Neera Shrestha Pradhan, a Water and Adaptation Specialist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). She tells us about a flood early warning system run by small villages that has saved countless lives already and really empowered communities. It's a cross-border collaborative effort that helps vulnerable communities become more robust to floods and climate change.

    @icimod, #Nepal, #Himalayas, #resilience, #flood, #monitoring

    Ep. 3 - Decision Making Under Uncertainty

    This episode of the ClimateReady Podcast focuses on the uncertainty so often found in the decision making processes related to water management. Climate change, demographic shifts, political and socioeconomic changes all introduce levels of uncertainty that must be dealt with. Dr. Marjolijn Haasnoot of Deltares discusses how this is being addressed through bottom-up methodologies, including a process known as "Adaptation Pathways."

    @deltares, @Lijnonline, @deepuncertainty, #adaptationpathways

    Ep. 2 - COP23 Water & Climate Policy Primer

    In this episode of the ClimateReady Podcast we take our listeners into the world of climate-water policy in the lead up to COP23 in Bonn (Nov. 6-17). Maggie White, Manager of International Policies at Stockholm International Water Institute as well as AGWA’s Co-Chair, joins in the discussion along with AGWA's Coordinator, Dr. John Matthews. We learn about the importance of international policy as a means for scaling up innovative and critical adaptation strategies, ways in which the scientific and policy communities can better coexist, and what will take place at COP23 this November.

    @siwi_water, @COP23, #BlueLineBonn, #ClimateAction

    Ep. 1 - Climate Adaptation Crash Course

    In the inaugural episode of the ClimateReady Podcast, we interview Doug Parsons, host of the America Adapts Podcast. We discuss the challenges and opportunities in communicating adaptation issues to diverse audiences. The conversation turns to some key concepts in adaptation/mitigation fields, laying the groundwork for future episodes.

    @usaadapts, #climatechange, #resilience, #podcast

    The Hosts

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    Alex Mauroner

    Alex Mauroner is as a co-host, producer, and editor of the ClimateReady Podcast. He is also the COO at AGWA. He joined the organization in late 2014, having previously served as a Research Associate then Network Director before assuming his current role. Alex sees climate change as the most pressing challenge of our time and enjoys working to find out ways we as a society can adapt while minimizing our impact on the planet. In his spare time you'll find him cooking, hiking, or enjoying a craft beer. He currently lives in Arkansas, USA with his wife and their dog and cat.

    Alex holds a BA in Biology from Westminster College and a Professional Science Master’s in Environmental Science from Oregon State University, where he concentrated on natural resources, business, and communication.

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    Ingrid Timboe

    Ingrid Timboe is a co-host and producer of ClimateReady, having joined the show in early 2018. She is the Policy Director at AGWA, having previously served as a Policy Associate upon joining the organization in 2017. Among her many responsibilities, Ingrid leads AGWA's Policy Group and its engagement with the UNFCCC through processes such as the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action and the Adaptation Committee. She currently lives in Oregon, USA with her husband.

    Ingrid holds a Master's Degree in Water Resources Management, focused on transboundary waters, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Affairs. Prior to graduate school, Ingrid spent six years at the World Wildlife Fund working with the Global Policy and Conservation Science teams.

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    ClimateReady is grateful for the support of the World Bank's Water Global Practice. Seasons 1 and 2 would not have been possible without their support. For more on the Water Global Practice, visit

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    Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

    Continued support for ClimateReady comes from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). To learn more about GIZ, visit

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    About the Knowledge Platform

    The Knowledge Platform is designed to promote and showcase an emerging set of approaches to water resources management that address climate change and other uncertainties — increasing the use of "bottom-up approaches" through building capacity towards implementation, informing relevant parties, engaging in discussion, and creating new networks. This is an ongoing project of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) funded by the World Bank Group.

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