The Istanbul International Water ForuDetail
Dear water friends,
Mark your calendars for the 2nd Istanbul IntDetail
2nd Istanbul International Water Forum (2nd IIWF) will gather water-related experts and officials in Istanbul from 3rd to 5th of May, 2011. As the date of the Forum approaches, preparations are already underway for 2nd IIWF. Pursuing a bottom-up approach for the Forum's thematic process, three "Special Focus Meetings" were held for each of the Forum's focal regions between January 26th and February 3rd at Forum Secretariat. Regional water challenges and possible solutions for Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Middle East & North Africa were discussed in detail by local and international water experts. The opportunity to elaborate the outputs of these meetings in depth will take place in Istanbul, during the Forum in May.
Each meeting was attended by local government officials, international organizations and non-governmental organizations from each region respectively. Representatives from State Hydraulic Works (DSI) and Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present in the meetings as observers.
First of these Special Focus Meetings was held on January 26th and was chaired by the former rector of Bilgi University, Prof. Ilter TURAN. The water challenges and solutions for Central Asia were brought to the table by meeting participants. Two Tajikistan officials attended the meeting, Prof. Yarash E. PULATOV - General Director of Tajik Scientific Research Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Land Reclamation, and Mr. Ali KARAEV - Director of the NGO "Water Consult". One of the highest ranked officials in Kyrgyzstan Water Management Sector Mrs. Ekaterina Pavlovna SAHVAEVA, Head of Information and Analysis Unit in State Committee of Water Economy and Melioration also took part in the meeting. Two NGO representatives from Kyrgyzstan, the Deputy Director of Council of Ecological Movement "BIOM" Mr. Ilia Anatolievich DOMASHOV and the Chairman of Independent Ecological Expertise Mr. Oleg PECHENIUK also participated the meeting. One of the leading names of International Organizations in Central Asia, the Deputy Director of Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia - Scientific Information Center and also the Regional Coordinator of Global Water Partnership in Central Asia and Caucasus Dr. Vadim SOKOLOV, joined the meeting to present the perspective of International Organizations in the region. The focus of the discussion was mostly on agricultural water use. Financial inadequacy and lack political will in water management turned up as the major problems in the region. Topics of lack of infrastructure, technical know-how and education for water use were emphasized as the pressing water challenges of the Central Asian Countries.
On February 2nd, the "Special Focus Meeting for Eastern Europe" gathered to discuss the prominent Water Challenges of the region and possible solutions were sought. The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Sumru NOYAN, First Deputy Secretary of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. The meeting was attended by Regional Representatives Mrs. Esena KUPUSOVIC, the Head of the Department for Hydrology in Federal Hydro-Meteorological Institute of Sarajevo and Mrs. Maria GKINI, the Head of the Directorate of Support and Development of Water Resources at the Special Secretariat for Water of the Hellenic Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climatic Change. Two NGO representatives from the region also took part in the meeting: Mrs. Diana ISKREVA, the Executive Director of the Earth Forever Foundation and is responsible for the strategic as well as everyday management of the Foundation, and Mrs. Lesha WITMER who is the treasurer and a member of the Steering Committee of Women for Water Partnership. Mr. Volodymyr MYROSHNYCHENKO attended the meeting as the international organization representative, who is currently a project expert at the Permanent Secretariat of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution. During the meeting, the deficiency of water network infrastructure and mismanagement of waste-water topics were highlighted by the participants. Possible solutions, such as data sharing and regional cooperation between states were presented.
Due to the uprising in Egypt, unfortunately two of the designated participants for the "Special Focus Meeting for Middle East and North Africa" on February 3rd could not join the meeting. Still, the meeting was held and chaired by the former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Turkey, Prof. Hasan Z. SARIKAYA. Two Regional Representatives, Mr. Waleed Ahmad SUKKAR, the Advisor to the Minister of Water and Irrigation in Jordan and Dr. Murad Jabay BINO, the Executive Director of Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM) took part in the meeting. Also a NGO representative, Mrs. Imane ABD EL AL, Tresurer of the Association of the Friends of Ibrahim Abd El Al (AFIAL)and Governor in the World Water Council and a UN representative, Dr. Faraj El-AWAR, Programme Manager of Global Water Operators' Partnership (GWOPA) of UN-HABITAT attended the meeting. Biggest emphasis in the meeting was on the need of a regional cooperation. The need for technical cooperation on capacity building and rationalization of national water strategies were the most highlighted topics of the discussion.
During the three meetings hosted by the Forum Secretariat, the regional water challenges and solutions around Turkey found a ground to be discussed in detail. The outputs of these meetings will feed the thematic sessions of the Forum. Highlighted topics during these meetings will also be further discussed in Regional Special Focus Meetings during the Forum.