The 6th World Water Forum took place in Marseille from 12 to 17 March 2012. Both a major professional tradeshow for the world water market and a political and technical forum, the event is an opportunity for broad-ranging speeches and debates on such subjects as water governance, the impact of global changes, and new approaches promoting more rational management.
The Tour du Valat attended the World Water Forum, and presented three initiatives highlighting the role of wetlands in the sustainable management of water resources:
- A presentation-debate on “The Camargue: effective management of a wetland” in partnership with the City of Arles, the Camargue Regional Natural Park (CRNP) and the Société des Eaux d’Arles (water agency): alongside Hervé Schiavetti, Mayor of Arles and President of the PNRC, Didier Olivry (Director of the PNRC°, and Alain Dervieux (CNRS – DESMID). Tour du Valat hydrologist Olivier Boutron presented the researchers’ viewpoint on the various alternatives for adaptive management of the hydrosystem to accommodate diverse constraints.
- A parallel event in which Christian Perennou, project manager at the Tour du Valat, presented the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) as a tool to assist the decision-makers responsible for water policies. On this occasion, numerous copies of the first report on the condition and trends of Mediterranean wetlands were handed out, together with its synopsis (see News Item 3).
- Lastly, a contribution to the Mediterranean process aimed at promoting the crucial role of wetlands as “natural infrastructures”, indispensable to the sustainable management of water resources, and citing the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory as an aid to decision making for a variety of stakeholders.
Furthermore, Wetlands International’s Mediterranean Office, hosted at Tour du Valat, also participated in the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille. It was involved in the preparation process of the forum where it shared its experience regarding the concept of Wetlands as Natural Infrastructure and engaging civil society in water resources management. In Marseille, the office presented its concept which was later adopted as one of the ‘solutions’ under the theme of water governance in the Mediterranean.