13-15 June 2007
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education organised a three-day symposium entitled:
‘Water for a Changing World: Enhancing Local Knowledge and Capacity’.
The conclusions and recommendations were formulated for stakeholder organisations including academic and research institutions, water sector operators, governments and non-governmental organisations, civil society and donors to improve and strengthen the capacity of individuals and organisations where it matters most, namely at the local level.
Objectives of the symposium
To constitute an understanding of the challenges for sustainable water management anticipated during the next two decades;
To identify priorities that need to be addressed in enhancing knowledge and capacity in order to respond to these challenges;
To articulate recommendations on the strategy, priority actions, and preferred tools and instruments for enhancing knowledge and capacity; and
To formulate recommendations for institutions involved in knowledge and capacity enhancement outlining their roles. Themes of the symposium
The symposium focused on three themes related to "Enhancing Local Knowledge and Capacity", namely
(a) Knowledge for Development, (b) Knowledge Generation and Research, and (c) Knowledge Sharing.
The context for the discussions were framed by discussions regarding the five leading themes related to water adopted by UNESCO-IHE:
(a) Water Security, (b) Environmental Integrity, (c) Urbanisation, (d) Governance, and (e) Information and Communication Systems.
There were 286 participants from 56 countries representing all parts of the world. Participants included specialists from the water sector as well as those involved in research, capacity building and knowledge management, representatives of water sector agencies, international development agencies, non-governmental organisations, representatives from the international donor community, UNESCO-IHE partners, and staff and alumni from around the world.
Description of the Working Groups
The three-day Symposium had two main parts. The first two and a half days are the “working” portion to discuss the symposium themes and objectives and draft the recommendations. This working part leads to the final afternoon, 15 June 2007, which is dedicated to the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of UNESCO-IHE.
The “working part” of the Symposium is organized as a sequence of parallel thematic Working Groups. Each Working Group session was introduced by key-note speakers who raised issues, provided information and set the scene for the discussions.
The conclusions of the different Working Groups were fed back to the whole audience on the following day. These outputs will soon be available on this site.
For a description of each individual Working Group and the themes, please see the Final Symposium Announcement (PDF).
Prof. Guy Alaerts Prof. Roland Price Dr. Erik de Ruyter van Steveninck Prof. Stefan Uhlenbrook Prof. Kala Vairavamoorthy Prof. Pieter van der Zaag
Guy Alaerts Jetze Heun Jan Luijendijk Nicolas Dickinson Ilona van der Wenden-Boot