Brasilia receives today and tomorrow (04/26 and 27) about 800 participants from several countries and representatives of various stakeholder sectors for the 2nd Stakeholders Consultation Meeting on water management. This event is part of the preparatory process of the 8th World Water Forum, to be held on March 18th-23rd, 2018, also in the federal capital.
The goal of this meeting is to give shape to about 100 thematic sessions that will be organized based on nine themes, which have “Sharing Water” as the overarching theme of this Forum edition. The sessions consist of presentations and round tables composed by invited specialists to enable the exchange of experiences and the search for solutions for better water management in all countries.
The World Water Council’s President, Benedito Braga, emphasized the advances made with the preparatory meetings. “The capacity to reach a consensus to promote water safety in the planet resulted from the meetings held until now. The diversity of organizations and institutions here represented stresses a fundamental truth about water: although water management is mostly a local issue, the consequences of a poor management reflect globally.”
Brasilia expects to receive citizens from around the world who would like to participate in the discussions on this resource so essential to all of us, according to Brasilia’s Governor, Rodrigo Rollemberg. "The World Water capital is the first Latin American city to open the dialogue on this theme, in this continent.”
The importance of Brazil for the debate of water-related themes was addressed by the Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Marcelo Cruz. “Brazil has 12% of the planet’s freshwater, and 60% of cross-border river basins pass through Brazilian territory. These numbers place the country in an important and highlighted position in the world scene”, stated Cruz.
According to the President of the Federal District Regulatory Agency for Water, Sanitation and Energy (ADASA), Paulo Salles, it is already possible to see the Forum’s impact on the discussions on this theme in the country. To him, “the commitment with sustainability has definitely been included in the agenda and has been addressed in daily debates on the committed themes related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sharing water has occurred through shared responsibility among basin committees, bodies responsible for water management, governments, productive sectors, and society.”
The National Water Agency’s President, Vicente Andreu, highlighted the Citizen’s Forum as an innovation of this edition. “The Citizen’s Forum will be the most important process, as it will happen for the first time in a world water event. We are convinced that the changes we strive for will be quicker, deeper, and with the engagement of society with this theme.”
In addition to the preparatory meetings, another channel for social participation that influences the themes to be discussed in the Forum is the “Your Voice” tool. This is an online platform that allows any citizen in the world to share their opinion, contribute with their experiences, and exchange their ideas about the water challenges related to climate, people, development, urban, ecosystems and financing of solutions.
The platform was proposed by the National Water Agency and is another innovation for the 8th World Water Forum, which expects to receive 15 thousand people next year. The online consultation will make the Forum more democratic and will include the main proposed points in the debate sessions.
It will be three debate rounds. The first round was concluded on April 23rd and received more than 20 thousands visits in 35 discussion sessions, which resulted in 555 contributions. The collaborations will be presented to the stakeholders during these two days.