The 6th World Water Forum was held during 12 to 17 March at the French city of Marseille. Large number of delegates from 60 countries attended the mega event. The 6-days event was organized at the magnificent ‘Parc Chanot’ venue by the World Water Council in cooperation with French Government.
ICID jointly with the FAO organized some 12 sessions on Key Priority 2.2 Contribute to Food security by optimal use of water during the Forum. The Forum was attended by large number of ICID members besides President Dr. Gao Zhanyi, Presidents Hon. Prof. Bart Schultz, and Dr. Chandra Madramootoo; Vice Presidents Dr. Ragab Ragab, Dr. Samia El-Guindy, Prof. Tai Cheol Kim, Adama Sangare; Secretary General Avinash C. Tyagi; Vice Presidents Hon. and other members across the world. From FAO, Alexander Muller, Dr. Parviz Koohafkan, Director (Land and Water), Dr. Pasqualle Steduto, Deputy Director (NRL) Thierry Facon, Senior Regional Water Management Officer and other senior members participated in the Forum. Prof. Bart Schultz and Dr. Pasqualle Steduto are the coordinators for Theme 2.2. All the sessions were very well attended with lively discussions. It was a pleasure to see a participation of ICID members from all regions i.e. Africa, America, Asia, and Europe.
The thought provoking speeches of high level political leaders – H.E. Chen Lei, China’s Minister of Water Resources, and H.E. Agatham Ag Alassane, Minister of Agriculture of Maliwere the key attributes of the opening session of Theme 2.2. “It is the common responsibility for all countries and the international community to safeguard food security. Let’s hold together and join hands to increase the capacity of disaster prevention and mitigation, adapt to the variety of challenges, develop irrigation and drainage, consolidate the foundation of agriculture, and make newer and greater contributions to the sustainable water utilization and the food security” said the Chinese Minister. H.E. Agatham Ag Alassane said that providing access to water for everyone is important for poverty alleviation. “Presently in Mali only 17% of the potential irrigable area is irrigated. Adequate water is available in the river Niger but it is shared and used inefficiently by nine countries, so modern irrigation systems are needed” said the Minister.
Theme 2.2 was debated by representatives of more than 28 stakeholder organizations including farmers representative, private sector companies, UN organizations, international institutes and NGOs. National Committees of France (AFEID), Japan (JNC-ICID), Iran (IRNCID), and China (CNCID) held their pavilions at the forum. President Gao Zhanyi had a hectic scheduled and participated in more than 10 sessions, press briefings in the capacity of Chairman/ Panelist/ Speaker. Japanese National Committee organized a session on 15 March where the Asian Regional Working Group’s Task Force report on “Climate Change Adaptation for Irrigation and Drainage in Asia” was released and distributed among delegates. 7th World Water Forum will be held in South Korea in 2015 and a MoU between AFEID and KCID was signed by the Chairs of the respective national committees in presence of President Gao Zhanyi and Secretary General Avinash Tyagi at the forum.
JNC-ICID had shared its pavilion space for display of ICID publications. Forum provided an excellent platform for all to meet experts from several countries, listen, and learn from experiences on various thematic areas of the Forum.
Presentation: Water Management Challenges to Produce Sufficient Food for an Urbanising World (President Hon. Prof. Dr. Bart Schultz and Co-coordinator Theme 2.2)
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Theme 2.2: Summarised Overview of Target and Solution Results, Recommendations and Commitments