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Dr. John H. Matthews

Lead and Co-founder at Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA)

About Me

John H. Matthews is the Coordinator and co-founder of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, co-chaired by the World Bank and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). His work blends technical and policy knowledge for climate adaptation and water management for practical implementation. John has worked on five continents and more than two dozen countries and published in many policy, scientific and technical journals and books, including Science, Nature and Climate Change. He is a frequent speaker, panelist, and moderator. His work primarily targets decision-making frameworks for adapting water infrastructure and ecosystems to climate impacts. He co-founded the #ClimateIsWater advocacy group, now led by the World Water Council, and has been asked by the UNFCCC to lead several water initiatives, including the first global water-climate dialogue at a COP and to meet with national focal points from more than 100 countries for training in climate risk assessment. Recent projects have included leading teams of more than 100 experts to develop green and climate bond resilience criteria for water investments (which have funded more than 2 billion USD to date), co-authoring a state-of-the-art guidance for mainstreaming climate adaptation into water management applied on four continents to date from UNESCO, developing climate-sensitive approaches to environmental allocations such as environmental flows at national and project levels, working with global policy instruments and institutions to embed water-climate knowledge into climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives, coordinating efforts to use finance mechanisms to implement nature-based solutions to climate adaptation, assembling curricula to build capacity around sustainable resource management, and exploring new economic tools to support integrated long-term planning.

John has advised a wide range of institutions, including bilateral, multilateral, NGO, national level agencies, UN agencies, foundations, and corporations on topics ranging from non-stationary resource management, finance, economics, and management practice. He is a columnist with OoskaNews, a Senior Water Fellow at Colorado State University and a Courtesy Faculty member of the Water Resources Graduate Program at Oregon State University. Previously, John started and directed global freshwater climate adaptation programs for WWF and Conservation International. He has PhD in ecology from the University of Texas, where he studied long-distance migration by dragonflies.

Courses and Programs taught by Dr. John H. Matthews