International Congress River Basin Management - 22- 24 March 2007 - Antalya, Turkey
The International Congress on River Basin Management was held from 22 to 24 March, 2007 in Antalya, Turkey. Organized by the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI), in collaboration with the World Water Council, the main purpose of this International Congress was to contribute to the regional preparatory activities for the 5th World Water Forum that will be held in Istanbul, Turkey in March 2009.
This International Congress was considered to be an opportunity to bring together professionals affiliated with international organizations, river basin management experts, academicians, public and private sector representatives from the region where Turkey is located, to exchange experiences and information on methodologies and techniques used in river basin management.
The highest level Governmental personalities in attendance at the opening ceremony of the Congress included the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey; the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister of Environment and Forestry. The Antalya Congress was characterized by high-level official participations, well coordinated logistic organization and a valuable exibition. Strong support of the Congress by the Turkish Government attracted attention from all around the world.
His Excellency Mr. Erdogan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, noted that one billion people in the world today suffer from a lack of access to drinking water, and around twice that amount suffer from a lack of access to clean water, underlining the need for quick action. Dr. Hilmi Güler, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, stated that there is a need to deal with the security of energy supplies and water supplies at the same time. Mr. Osman Pepe, Minister of Environment and Forestry, stressed the need for stronger water basin management strategies that observe, protect and provide sanctions in relation to water supply demand plans.
Mr. Loic Fauchon, President of the World Water Council, stated that the world water community must develop urgently and with great sensitivity greater security for water resources. He also added that the main principle should be “less consumption” but “better management.”
Prof. Dr. Veysel Eroglu, Director General of the State Hydraulic Works, and Governor of the WWC, expressed his hope that the conclusion of this Congress would be regarded as providing international dialogue and understanding, while sharing knowledge and experience on implementation.
Prof. Dr. Oktay Tabasaran, Secretary General of 5th World Water Forum, provided information on the theme of the Fifth World Water Forum, entitled “bridging divides for water”, which is built around acknowledgement of the fact that Istanbul is located at a geographical crossroads between Europe and Asia, the Middle East and Africa, North and South; among various water cultures and ideologies; between rich and poor; between developed and developing regions of the world.
Successfully providing outputs for the 5th World Water Forum, the Congress contributed a great deal to bringing forth some key issues of relevance considering water management at the basin level, as we move on from vision to action for the 5th Forum. In conclusion, the Congress was organized quite well as a prepartory process for 5th Forum, successfully covering the topic of River Basin Management, to be more widely addressed during the 5th Forum.