The XVIth World Water Congress launches its Cancun Declaration
“The challenges we face for shared development and prosperity are about efficient use of resources, investment for the future and innovations especially through multi-purpose infrastructure, as it pertains to all sectors,” stated President Benedito Braga in his opening remarks during the opening ceremony of IWRA’s World Water Congress held 29 May to 2 June 2017 in Cancun, Mexico. “This is the role of science and research in guiding policy-makers and addressing the needs of our communities.”
Indeed, the World Water Congress organized its sixteenth congress around the theme of bridging science and policy, the outcome of which was the Cancun Declaration: A Call for Action to Bridge Science and Water Policy-Making for Sustainable Development.
The World Water Council played a central role in the convening of three high level panels during the congress.
The panel on climate change, with the participation of WWC Executive Director, Tom Soo, was moderated by Cecilia Tortajada, editor of the WWC’s recent publication Increasing Resilience to Climate Variability and Change
. Copies of the book were signed and distributed to very enthusiastic congress participants on the Council’s stand following the event.
President Braga participated in the high level panel on Integrated Water Resource Management, moderated by WWC IWRM Task Force Chair, Torkil Jonch Clausen. The panel included a very interesting keynote by Mark Smith of IUCN to set the scene for the discussion, presenting a suggestion on how to revitalize the concept of IWRM. Torkil Jonch Clausen also moderated a high level panel on the SDGs with the participation of WWC Bureau member Karin Krchnak and Governor José Carrera.
In addition, the Council, together with its Brazilian partners, organized a special session for the 8th World Water Forum entitled “Bridging Stakeholders’ Knowledge and the 8th World Water Forum Thematic Framework” where congress participants were asked to suggest orientations for possible sessions at the 8th World Water Forum. The Congress also provided the opportunity for the Forum organizers to convene its 5th International Steering Committee meeting and to organize a joint stand in the expo space.
The Council also participated in a number of other sessions, including President Braga’s opening remarks in a special session entitled “Making investments on multi-purpose water infrastructure fit to finance”, co-convened with the Latin American Development Bank – CAF. In the framework of the WWC member initiative on SMART Water Management, WWC Treasurer Guy Fradin provided welcoming remarks during K-Water’s special session entitled “Smart Water Management (SWM): Bridge to WGG & SDGs ‐ the technological innovation needed for ‘Water for all’.” Finally, the WWC presented its efforts related to the #ClimateIsWater Initiative (link) during a special session on “COP22's legacy: Implementing the Global Climate Action Agenda in the water sector”, organized by INBO.
The WWC looks forward to the next World Water Congress, which will be held in Daegu-Gyongbuk, Republic of Korea.