World Water Week 2009 Wrap-up

Swedish flags at World Water Week 2009
World Water Week is an annual meeting to discuss the planet’s most urgent water-related issues, held in Stockholm, Sweden. This year’s conference ended August 22. To learn more, visit http://www.conservation.org/water2009. Read a dispatch from Lina Barrera, policy manager at Conservation International, below.

We were part of three sessions, the first described in Ian’s post a few days ago on environmental flows, another on assessing vulnerability to climate change as an input to decision making around land uses, protected area siting, construction of dams, and lastly a presentation of the innovative Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) as useful for decisions with freshwater impacts.

We also lent support to a session on the ratification of the UN Watercourses convention, Lina Barrera presenting at World Water Weekwhich we are supporting. We had a strong turn out for all of the sessions that we were involved in and frequent visitors to our booth.

On the whole all of us from CI found the conference to be ambitious in its scope, the theme for this year was Responding to Global Changes: Accessing Water for the Common Good, which touches on the complex issues involved in allocating water so that long-term economic, social and environmental health are all considered.

The individual sessions were also impressive in their attempts to cover the “big picture” of the topic at hand and the incorporation of well managed discussion with the audience. The conference was also particularly useful in terms of expanding our network of contacts and potential collaborators – we were able to have some solid interactions with the Asian Development Bank, Stockholm Environment Institute’s US office, Duke University’s Nicholas Institute, and several private companies.

We look forward to working further with these groups and to participating in World Water Week next year.

Lina Barrera is the Senior Manager of Development Policy at the Center for Conservation and Government at Conservation International

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