The session Dialogue for Water and Cities: Moving forward with the Instanbul Water Consensus jointly organized by GWOPA and UCLG took place on the 8 April 2014 in the framework of the 7 World Urban Forum in Medellín Colombia. This gathering event was an animportant step forward in the promotion and implementation of the Istanbul Water Consensus (IWC) and focused on the essential role of local and regional governments in this on-going process.
Key note speakers introduced the context and highlighted the stakes for local and regional authorities in water management. An open discussion also gave signatory cities in Europe, Africa and Latin America, the opportunity to present their concrete actions towards implementing the Consensus. In total, over 50 participants took part from all corners of the globe and including representatives from the session co-organizers: ICLEI, the National Committee for the 7th World Water Forum, the WOP-LAC platform, and the World Water Council. The session report highlights the key points and conclusions of this gathering.
Managing water equitably, efficiently and sustainably requires cities to coordinate action at the local level, this was one of the conclusions of the Water World Water Forum in Istanbul in 2009. During this event, a gathering of local elected officials expressed their readiness to take leadership in coordinating dialogue and implementing integrated water management approaches by signing the Istanbul Water Consensus. The Consensus acknowledges the need for concerted efforts in urban water management, and commits its signatories to taking steps to this end.
The dialogue session in Medellin was the first meeting of local and regional authorities in the Consensus process. In view of this, the key objectives of the session were, among others, to:
- identify/highlight the need for integrated responses to urban water
- highlight the need for better dialogue between land and water planners, municipalities and their service providers
- show progress on the Istanbul Water Consensus
Introductory remarks were made by representatives of the main organizers: GWOPA Programme Manager, Dr. Faraj, El-Awar, and UCLG Secretary General, Josep Roig, and both stressed the importance of local authorities in addressing global water issues. As concrete evidence of the active steps taken by cities to implement the IWC, Mr. Musa Mbhele, Head of Planning Durban, South Africa highlighted that his city had, “replaced old infrastructure, looked at alternative sources of water and […] tried to minimize water loss through using a tool to monitor non-revenue water.”
The meeting in Medellín was the launch of the local and regional authorities’ process, and one of the three elements of the Political Process leading up to the 7 World Water Forum in Daegu Gyeongbuk, Korea in April 2015. In addition to Water Forum, the Habitat III conference will be an opportunity to follow-up on actions that have been committed within the framework of this process. Mr. Yun Eon Hwang of the National Committee for the 7th World Water Forum concluded the session by updating participants on the preparatory process and invited participants to attend.
To full report can be consulted here