Agência Brasil/Wilson Dias

You are invited to participate in the world's largest international meeting to discuss water issues and propose solutions for the rational and sustainable use of water resources.

Starting this weekend, the 8th World Water Forum, will gather over 15 heads of State, representatives from 170 countries, more than 100 official delegations and more than 40,000 people in Brasilia, all seeking a compromise: Sharing water. In practice, sharing ideas, responsibilities, knowledge, experiences, benefits and solutions, thus building the foundation for a culture of peace.

There are many differences between this and the previous Forums. The most striking, may be the great participation of society in the discussions that resulted in the preparation of more than 340 sessions, for which over 1,300 lecturers are expected.

The Your Voice platform, which translates into more than 90 languages simultaneously, made the voices of many social actors in different countries be heard. Beyond 300,000 interactions through the platform added to discussions involving more than 1,000 institutions in all sectors of society, gave large contributions to the nine themes on water, covered in the Forum: climate, people, urban environments, development, ecosystems, funding, sharing, capacity-building and governance.

The Citizen Village also ensured that those discussions reached the general public. At this open, free and democratic space, that mixes culture, science, education and recreation, children, young people and adults will find sensory experiences, virtual reality, round tables, games, equipment.

The results? More knowledge about water, raising awareness about the urgency of changing habits, strengthening the involvement with the protection of watersheds, ecosystems and, why not say it, the planet as a whole.

We also hope that the Forum helps put water at the top of priorities in public policy. The guidelines will be presented in the Statements, that the different groups will approve: the Ministerial Statement signed by the Heads of State and more than 70 authorities with ministerial status; the Statement of the Local and Regional authorities, by more than 300 officials; the Parliamentary Statement, by more than 200 parliamentarians; the Statement of Judges and prosecutors, by more than 70 internationally renowned jurists, and the Commitment to Sustainability Statement, validated by thousands of participants attending the Forum.

Come to Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center and the tents set up at the Mané Garrincha National Stadium on March 17 - 23. Include your voice in this important debate! We are all responsible for our water!

Paulo Salles, Copresidente do Comitê Organizador do 8º Fórum Mundial da Água