The need to join efforts to ensure the best management of water was highlighted during the opening of the 8th World Water Forum. With the theme “Sharing Water”, the eighth edition of the Forum started this Monday (19), in Brasilia.

The president of Brazil, Michel Temer, emphasized the environment provided by the Forum for exchange of experiences and learning. “Water sustainability requires integrated actions within our countries and between our countries. The solutions we seek are collective, with dialogue and cooperation,” he stated. Additionally, Temer pointed out that ensuring access to water is a matter of dignity, and this is the purpose that unites all in Brasilia at this time.

The effort towards the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was pointed out as essential by the governor of the Federal District, Rodrigo Rollemberg. According to him, this requires dialogue and the search for joint solutions.“We need to share water, and for this we share knowledge, cultures, opinions, ideas and experiences. We must cooperate, as governments and society, as proposed by one of the SDGs. We must listen to the voices from all corners of the world,” he said.

For the president of the World Water Council, Benedito Braga, the eighth edition of the Forum should prove that sharing is an incentive to improve governance. “Water needs to be at the center of the governments' agenda, with the commitment of various sectors. We need investments to ensure water security, in addition to innovative thinking and adaptive management that can prevent incoming crises. This can be done through shared water resources management, ” said Braga.

Several heads of State and other world leaders attended the ceremony at the Itamaraty. The Presidents of Hungary (János Áder), Cape Verde (Jorge Carlos Fonseca), Guyana (David Granger), Guinea-Bissau (José Mario Vaz) and São Tomé and Príncipe (Evaristo Carvalo), the Prime Ministers of South Korea (Nak-yeon Lee), Morocco (Saad Dine el Otomani), Senegal (Mouhammed Dione) and Monaco (Serge Telle), in addition to the Crown Prince of Japan (Naruhito) were all present. 

Also at the ceremony were the President of the UN General Assembly (Miroslav Lajcák) and the Director-General of Unesco (Audrey Azoulay), among other international authorities.

The executive director of the National Water Agency (ANA) of Brazil, Ricardo Andrade, recalled the trajectory of the democratic construction of this eighth edition of the Forum and the extensive program of the event until the 23rd of march. “This week, Brasilia is not only the capital of Brazil but is also the world capital of water,” said Andrade, who is also the executive director of the 8th World Water Forum.

Paulo Salles, director-president of the Regulatory Agency for Water, Energy and Basic Sanitation of the Federal District (Adasa), also drew attention to the aspects related to the general subject of the Forum. “The sharing is also of responsibilities on water. This is what we want to leave as one of the most important legacies of the Forum: there is no sharing without dialogue,” he said.

The CCUG auditorium, which has a capacity for about three thousand people, was packed with people and it was showing the live streaming of the closed ceremony, which took place at the Itamaraty Palace, where Brazilian authorities and foreign heads of State made speeches to the participants of the 8th Forum.

The ambassador of the 8th World Water Forum, the journalist Rosana Jatobá, led the presentation in the auditorium of the CCUG and pointed out that the Forum is the ideal environment in which to discuss the topic and make a commitment to water management.

Also attended the opening ceremony in the auditorium of the CCUG, the director of the ANA, Ricardo Andrade; the president of Adasa, Paulo Salles; the honorary president of the World Council of Water, Loic Fauchon, the president of the Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Base Industries (Abdib), Venilton Tadini; the executive director of the United Nations Program for Environment (UNEP), Erik Solheim; the director of Itaipu Binational, Pedro Domaniczky; and the manager of infrastructure and energy of the inter-American Development Bank (IDB), José Agustin Aguerre.

The program of the opening ceremony also had a musical presentation by the Orchestra Brasilia Cello Academia and the Symphony Orchestra of the National Theatre. During the event, the Post office released a special stamp of the 8th World Water Forum, in rounded shape, with the brand of the event.

Check out the program for the week and schedule your visit.

About the Forum

This is the first time that the event is hosted in the Southern Hemisphere. The previous editions were 7 counties :Marrakesh (Morocco, 1997), The Hague (Netherlands, 2000), Kyoto (Japan, 2003), Mexico City (Mexico, 2006), Istanbul (Turkey, 2009), Marseilles (France, 2012), and Gyeongju and Daegu (South Korea, 2015).

The 8th World Water Forum is organized by the World Council of Water, and promoted by the Federal Government, through the National Water Agency (ANA); by the Government of the Federal District, represented by the Regulatory Agency for Water, Energy and Basic Sanitation of the Federal District (Adasa); and by the Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Base Industries (Abdib).