05.03.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

UNESCO at the Sixth World Water Forum

© Dale Lighfoot/Oklahoma State University Young Iraqi girl filling a can with water piped from a karez opening

UNESCO in collaboration with 28 UN agencies leads the World Water Development Report, which is produced every three years. The Fourth World Water Report will be launched at the Sixth World Water Forum on 12 March by UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova.

The Sixth World Water Forum, which takes place in Marseille, France from 12 to 16 March 2012 is organized every three years by the World Water Council in collaboration with the host country. It is the biggest and most important international event on water. It gathers together political leaders, policy and decision-makers, water specialists, water providers, civil society, water educators, media, and a wide range of stakeholders. Around fifteen thousand participants are expected in Marseille. The Forum aims to strengthen political commitment to the effective management of the world’s water resources, to exchange on international water issues, to formulate concrete proposals and to draw the world’s attention to critical issues and problems with respect to how we are managing the Earth’s most vital resource for human well-being.

UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is a major contributor to the Forum actively participating in developing the political, thematic and regional framework for action on freshwater conservation and use. In developing the thematic area, UNESCO is a leader in the areas of: transboundary surface and groundwater, water quality, integrated water resource management and climate change adaptation and water. In the political arena, UNESCO has led the preparatory process and UNESCO is actively involved in developing regional frameworks for Asia and the Americas. Over twenty side events are being organized or co-organized by UNESCO at the Forum.

The Forum is also a place to showcase new partnerships, initiatives to help preserve water. A partnership between UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, IHP and the Multi One Attitude Foundation will be announced with the aim of preserving  the planet’s ocean and freshwater through an exciting and innovative sailing RACE FOR WATER around the world. The Global Water Experiment, an initiative of the International Year of Chemistry will be showcased as will initiatives on demonstrating the important cultural dimensions related to water management and use.  

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