11 December, 2013, Strasbourg, France - More than 100 international and European high-level representatives and experts gather today at the Council of Europe to share and learn from examples of how countries can succeed in their transboundary water management and cooperation. The event is organized by the World Water Council together with the Rhine Meuse Water Agency, the European Parliament and the Cercle francais de l’eau, represented by Mrs. Sophie Auconie, Member of the European Parliament. The meeting is moderated by Mr. Serge Lepeltier, former French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development and current President of the Loire-Bretagne Basin Committee. “This conference has high potential to help many regions in the world find their own appropriate cooperative solutions,” said the World Water Council’s President, Benedito Braga, this morning. “The successful examples that are showcased today through the Itaipu dam, the Mekong River Commission, the European Framework Directive, and groundwater cooperation in Africa and in the Middle-East will inspire others to reinforce or create partnerships leading to peace, poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and economic benefits.”
The European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, also addressed the audience in a video message and said that cooperation is the key word – both on a European and on a global level. He encouraged the participants at the seminar to learn from each other’s experiences to bring together common solutions. Other high-level speakers present during the day were the Minister of Agriculture of Tunisia, Mr. Mohamed Ben Salem, the Advisor to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, Mr. Pithaya Pookaman, the President of the European Parliament Water Group, Mr. Richard Seeber, and the State Secretary for Water for the Ministry for Rural Development of Hungary Mr. Peter Kovacs.