IUCN actively supported the creation of the Dialogue of Water and Climate, and has been a strong partner in implementing its work programme over the last year. With generous support from the Dialogue on Water and Climate, IUCN convened five regional dialogues on water, wetlands and climate in 2002. These regional dialogues held in Central America, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and West Africa were convened jointly with the regional nodes of the Global Water Partnership in Central America, West Africa, and the Mediterranean, as well as the Regional Committee for Water Resources (CRRH) in Central America and the Inter-States Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) in West Africa. We are thankful for our partnership with these institutions.

The dialogues attracted participants from different disciplines and institutions including representatives from ministries of environment and water, departments of meteorology, drought and flood management, as well as national climate change units. Scientific institutes, river basin authorities, hydropower operators, water sanitation companies, civil engineers, hydrologists, forecasting experts, representatives from community-based organizations, and national and international non-governmental organizations also participated. Rarely does such a diverse group come together, and we are grateful to these individuals for contributing their time and expertise, and for making the dialogues a success.

In preparing this report, the authors benefited from background documents prepared by the IUCN Regional Offices in Central America, Asia, Southern Africa and West Africa, and the IUCN Office for Mediterranean Cooperation. A special thanks to Jamie Skinner, Rocio Cordoba, Manrique Rojas, Madiodio Niasse, Francis Mkanda, Tabeth Chiuta, Hans Friederich and Chaminda Rajapakse for their efforts and dedication. The authors are indebted to Olga Pilifosova, Richard Klein, Terry Jeggle, and Larry Haas for providing valuable comments on earlier versions of this report. The financial contributions from the Dutch Government through the IUCN Water and Nature Initiative, the Dialogue on Water and Climate and from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) are gratefully acknowledged.

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