photos by: Joyce Dias
Brazil hosts the largest edition of the World Water Forum and meet its goals
The 8th World Water Forum, held in the city of Brasília, is the largest edition in the history of the event, and was able to meet its main goal, which is to bring water to the top of political and society’s agenda.
After seven days, the Forum had already received more than 120.2 thousand people from 172 different countries. Of these, 109.6 thousand visited the Citizen Village and the Fair; and 10.6 thousand were participants in more than 300 thematic sessions at the Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center and visited the Expo.
The opening was attended by 12 heads of State and Government, as well as high-level international authorities, and the event had the participation of representatives of important international bodies such as the United Nations and its agencies, European Union, World Bank, IDB, Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), OECD among others.
The World Water Forum had, in this 8th edition, a major innovation: the participation of the Judiciary, a court level instance that has the final word on disputes involving water resources. The Conference of Judges and Prosecutors was attended by 83 judges, prosecutors, and experts from 57 countries and as a result issued a document, the “Charter of Brasilia”.
The Global Institute of the Public Prosecutors Office, which brings together members of public prosecution offices of the various nations of the world around topics related to the protection of natural resources, and they also drew up the “Declaration of the Public Prosecutor Office on the Right to Water”, which was signed by nine countries.
At the Parliamentary Conference, 134 parliamentarians from 20 nations have produced as the final document: the Parliamentarian Declaration, which recognizes the importance of the efforts of parliamentarians to ensure water security, universal access to drinking water, elimination of inequalities and promotion of sustainable development.
The Ministerial Conference was attended by 56 Ministers and 14 Deputy Ministers from 56 countries and approved the Declaration entitled “Urgent call for decisive action on water,” as a result of the discussions between Ministers and heads of delegations from more than 100 countries. The document defines priority actions to meet the challenges related to access to water and sanitation.
Local and regional authorities launched the “Call to Action of Local and Regional Governments on Water and Sanitation of Brasilia.” The conference had the participation of 150 city mayors, governors, and state legislators, which intend to adopt a shared goal for a better and more sustainable future, in which everyone has access to water and sanitation and where water is managed in a way which ensures a healthy and sustainable environment for future generations.
The “Sustainability Declaration” makes a call for the mobilization of all parties to ensure a sustainable future for the planet and the commitment to meet the growing challenges of water-related issues.
The Expo and the Fair of the 8th World Water Forum featured 87 exhibitors representing different social sectors: national pavilions, public and private companies, as well as civil society organizations and associations.
The 8th Forum also occupied other spaces of the city, with sports and cultural activities on the Margins of Lake Paranoá, with movie screenings at Cine Brasília and activities related to the Sustainable Development Goals in the Planetary.
Water was never discussed to such an extent in the country. During the week of the event, there were nearly 16 thousand mentions to the Forum in the print media and a wide range of radio and TV coverage, taking the subject of water into people’s homes.
Educating, raising awareness and entertaining were the main goals of the Citizen Village, an absolute success with the public. The space offered a wide agenda of activities every day, to dozens of schools around the Federal District, in addition to children, young people and families who were delighted with the interactive activities, experiments, virtual reality, workshops and films.
The Citizen Village was also the stage for important discussions about the water crisis, sanitation, and participatory management of water, and opened its arena for the participation of groups of young people, women, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations and rural communities.
The 8th World Water Forum also helped promote the local economy. About 2,500 direct jobs and 5.500 indirect were created.
The high engagement of participants and visitors really made the city of Brasilia the water capital of the world during this week. The 8th World Water Forum would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the success of this event so that issues relating to water could gain the relevance they deserve in the context of the political and public debate in Brazil and in the world.
8th World Water Forum
The 8th World Water Forum was organized in Brazil by the World Water Council (WWC), by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (MMA), represented by Brazil’s National Water Agency (ANA), and by the Government of the Federal District, represented by the Regulatory Agency for Water, Energy and Basic Sanitation of the Federal District (Adasa). The Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Basic Industries (Abdib) is a member of the National Organizing Committee (CON).
The event was sponsored by: Petrobras, Funasa, Caixa, Fundação Banco do Brasil, Eletrobrás, Sabesp, Coca-Cola, AMA (Ambev), BNDES, Binational Itaipu and BRK Ambiental. Banco do Brasil is one of the supporters.
The seven previous editions were held in Marrakesh (Morocco, 1997), The Hague (Netherlands, 2000), Kyoto (Japan, 2003), Mexico City (Mexico, 2006), Istanbul (Turkey, 2009), Marseilles (France, 2012), and Gyeongju and Daegu (South Korea, 2015).