Water, megacities and global change, international conference at UNESCO

UNESCO and ARCEAU1 Île-de-France are organizing an international conference on water, megacities and climate change on 1-4 December at UNESCO Headquarters, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21).

Since 2011 more than half of the world’s population lives in cities and the number of megacities, urban settlements with more than 10 million residents, is growing fast.

Achieving water security for such megacities is a major challenge. Beyond demographic issues, climate change will require major adaptation in the face of the profound transformations to come.

Because of their defining features, concentration of population, goods and services, megacities are particularly vulnerable to water-related risks, which are further amplified by climate change: large-scale flooding, pollution of water sources, water shortages etc. Faced with such difficulties, these cities also host a multitude of resources, including technical, scientific and human resources, to meet the challenges ahead.

The international conference “Water, megacities and global change” will be a forum for exchange on these issues between representatives of megacities from around the globe and experts who will present results of international research on this topic. Case studies from 12 megacities2 from all regions will also be presented. 

The conference will end with a public statement calling for the creation of a shared platform through which water management and climate change adaptation projects could be developed in megacities. 


1 Association of the water professionals, researchers, decision makers and elected officials from the Paris Metropolitan Area

2  Bombay, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Istanbul, Lagos, London, Manilla, Mexico, New York, Paris, Pekin, Sao Paulo, Tokyo 


Journalists wishing to cover the conference should request accreditation

UNESCO Media Contact: Pilar González +33-(0)1 45 68 16 86


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