The Istanbul International Water ForuDetail
Dear water friends,
Mark your calendars for the 2nd Istanbul IntDetail
İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Dr. Kadir TOPBAŞ
Today, we are living in an increasingly urbanizing world. Rapid urbanization and population increase intensify their pressure on natural resources day by day.
For the first time in history, more than half of the world population have accumulated in cities.
Urbanisation have extended the city borders, and water resources planning has become an issue of profound importance. There is still no service of water and waste water in adequate quality in many parts of the world.
Lack of management and technical capacity in water-related issues result in above mentioned problems.
It is a must for sustainable cities to protect the environment and increase the quality of life while fostering economic development.
On top of that, climate change has been seriously affecting the water, eco-system, food and health and the cities and local governments all around the world.
We need to provide the sustainable management of relations between the protection of health and the living conditions and urban development, energy and environment.
That is why governments should adopt long term and holistic approaches, and integrate their urban administration policies with water resources and environmental protection policies.
We need to be able to appreciate the contributions the cities make to the environmental values of the world, and thereby be more fair and determined against natural disasters.
We can not ignore the fact that a pollution in Danube river which navigates through European cities and flows into the Black Sea will find its way to reach us through the fish we eat, the water we drink or the soil we grow tomato on.
In this context, we need to have a global cooperation about urban hygiene, waste industry, waste water treatment, energy use, renewable energy.
We have to collect various experiences and skills in a common pool. There is no doubt that our common future depends on this.
I also want to emphasize another significant issue; We cannot ever find a substitute for water which is the breath of life.
While petrol -a strategic source of energy- may be replaced by natural gas, nuclear energy, solar energy, hydrogen energy, we can not find an alternative for water.
We need to raise awareness socially and politically about water use, water conservation and sharing, and this awareness has be to a global one.
I personally believe that we need financial and technological cooperation at national and international level to recycle our water.
I think that the outcomes of the 2nd Istanbul International Water Forum which is built above the experiences and successes of other international meetings and 5th World Water Forum will be very satisfactory and successful.
I believe that current and future generations will open up new horizons about the settlement of the water issue and about sustainable development.
They will ensure that the public opinion will have a dynamic discussion and interaction with their innovative approach.
I invite you all to discover our masterpiece water civilisation, its historical cisterns, aqueducts and fountains with a cultural heritage of 8500 years.
I extend you, our valued guests, my best wishes.