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Advancing Climate and Water Resilience for Cotton and Textile Industry

A panel of international experts will discuss the importance of sustainable cotton cultivation to the textile industry’s growth. Focusing on cotton growing communities in India, they will analyze climate change impacts and share actionable approaches to advance water and climate resilience in cotton cultivation, emphasizing challenges and opportunities for women.

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India’s cotton cultivation is the most water-intensive in the world, yet more than 100 million people in the country do not have access to safe water. The water consumed to grow India’s cotton exports in 2013 would be enough to supply 85% of the country’s population with 100 liters of water every day for a year. In addition, current practices for cotton cultivation rely heavily on pesticide and fertilizer use and the crop, and predominantly female cotton farmers are extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Elucidating these challenges while sharing inter-disciplinary solutions that are underway, the diverse panel will include:

  • World Resources Institute presenting research on water and climate risks to cotton cultivation.
  • The United States Agency for International Development discussing the importance of international aid and private sector engagement in supporting climate and water resilience for agriculture sector and global supply chain.
  • Gap Inc. discussing the role of cotton sector’s sustainability in textile sector's growth.
  • Institute for Sustainable Communities sharing case studies on empowering cotton-growing communities in India to advance water stewardship and climate resilience.
  • International Center for Research on Women examining the need for shift in household gender dynamics to build community resilience.
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