The 8th World Water Forum official opening ceremony will happen this Monday (19) at 9 am. With the presence of 14 heads of State, including the Brazilian president, Michel Temer, the closed ceremony will take place at Itamaraty Palace, in Brasilia, and will be transmitted to the Master Auditorium of the Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center (CCUG) to all participants.

Starting at 2:30pm, also at the CCUG, a series of activities promote the debate of important issues relating to water. For the first time, the launching of the United Nations World Water Development Report will take place in Brazil, during the Forum. The document, titled “United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR)”, shows how solutions based on nature can contribute to the improvement of water quality and supply, as well as in the prevention of natural disasters. The findings of the report will be presented by the coordinator and director of the Program on Global Water Assessment at UNESCO, Stefan Uhlenbrook.

Also at 2:30pm, about 50 judges and prosecutors from various countries will participate in a conference, under the coordination of the Minister of the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice, Herman Benjamin. The conference is the first of a series and has the goal of defining the Declaration of Judges and Prosecutors for Water.

At the same time, the meeting of Ministers of Environment, Water Resources and related areas will take place, in which national pronouncements will be made. It will be coordinated by the Brazilian Minister of Environment, José Sarney Filho.

The seven High Level panels will discuss “Water and Natural Disasters”, coordinated by the United Nations panel of experts on Water and Disasters; “Water and Migration”, which will discuss public health challenges and the guarantee to basic human rights to water and sanitation linked to the migratory phenomena – which is increasingly frequent in the world. It will be coordinated by the United Nations, via FAO, and will have the presence of ministers from countries that are suffering with the migration crises. “Connecting Water and Climate” will be coordinated by the World Council of Water and will address the inter-relationship between water and climate.

In addition to these topics, other High Level Panels will address water and peace; the position of the corporate sector in relation to sustainable water use; the need to combine science and policy for good water governance and water management in areas of conflicts and political crises.

The opening Plenary sessions of the Thematic and Regional Processes showcase how was the preparation process that resulted in the programming of the Forum – a result of the participation of a thousand organizations from all over the planet.

“Water and soil conservation practices for better food production” will be discussed in session, at 4: 30pm, to introduce innovations on how agricultural best practices can improve food and water production.

At the same time, the session “Smart Cities for better water efficiency” will present case studies from different countries that discuss the importance of designing urban growth with a view to the better use of urban drainage, improving the resilience and efficiency of water use.

 “How to ensure the balance between the demands of water for humans and nature?” session will bring together a group of renowned experts from many countries to discuss techniques and actions that materialize the balance between the demands for water and the needs of aquatic ecosystems.

The discussions, which have more than 300 sessions, will continue until March 22nd. The complete agenda can be accessed here.

*With information from the UN