Report from the Venice Meeting and Symposium, March 28-29, 2019.
Here is a brief report from the First Regional Water Family Meeting and Water Symposium – UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice, Italy.
Both events were held at the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe in Venice from 28-29 March 2019. Attached to the report is the agenda for both events and a ppt presentation by the UNESCO-sponsored Centre for Water for Sustainable Development and Adaptation to Climate Change (WSDAC).
The purposes of the meeting were:
- to present Mr. Dr. Jonathan Becker, who took office in September 2018
- presentation of the work of the IHP Committee, UNESCO Chairs and Centres in the previous period, in order to prepare the basis for a meeting in Paris related to the work of Category 2 Centres.
- possibilities for stronger regional cooperation
The purposes of the Symposium were:
- Identification of approaches and tools to promote sustainable and equitable integrated water management at Member State level, Basin and regional levels in South-eastern Europe and the Mediterranean
- Strengthening understanding of the main messages of the WWDR 2019 report among participants in the region
- Increasing synergy and strengthening the UNESCO regional network in the field of water
The meeting was attended by representatives of most countries in the region, with countries not having a developed UNESCO network of institutions represented by participants from the Ministries responsible for water (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro). At the invitation, a representative of the Sava Commission was present. The list of meeting participants is given below:
UNESCO was represented by:
- Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores, Director, UNESCO Regional Bureau in Venice
- Jonathan Baker, Head of Science unit, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe
- Stefan Uhlenbrook, Coordinator, WWAP
- András Szöllösi-Nagy, former Secretary UNESCO IHP, former rector UNESCO-IHE, Governor of the World Water Council
Serbia was represented by:
- prof. dr Jovan Despotović – President, IHP National Committee, Serbia
- prof. dr Marko Ivetić UNESCO Chairholder, Chair in Water for Ecologically Sustainable Development, Serbia
- dr Brankica Majkić-Dursun, Director, UNESCO category II Centre for Water for Sustainable Development and Adaptation to Climate Change, Serbia
- prof. dr Bojana Horvat, Water management Institute, IHP National Committee, Croatia
Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- Biljana Rajić, Senior Adviser on Water Resources, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- prof. Dr Mitja Brilly, IHP National Committee, Slovenia
- Miroslava Nenadić, Directorate for Water Management within the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro,, Montenegro
- Jacques Ganoulis, UNESCO Chairholder, International Network of Water-Environment Canters for the Balkans on Sustainable Management on Water and Conflict Resolution, Greece
- Konstantinos Voudouris, Vice President, UNESCO Category II Centre on Integrated and Multidisciplinary Water Resources Management, Greece,
- Murat Ali Hatipoğlu, General Directorate of the State Hydraulic works (DSI), IHP National Committee, Ankara, Turkey
- Dragana Milovanović, Deputy Secretary for integrated river basin management and water planning, International Sava River Basin Commission
Each representative gave a presentation of 10 minutes related to the work in the past, and then the discussion continued. The conclusions of the meeting are that it is necessary to strengthen cooperation in the region and that finances are the problem that almost all participants of the meeting face.
The representative of IHP Slovenia informed the participants about the ongoing activities on the digitization of all collections of works and books from the 1960s related to the hydrological program. The WSDAC and the Jaroslav Černi Water Institute enabled Mr. Dr. Mitja Brili access to all our Proceeding held in our library, being one of the largest in the region, preserving historical and scientific documentation (collections, books, reports, etc.). A future database would be publicly available to all stakeholders.
The new director is expected to prepare a Report on the meeting and UNESCO plans for the coming period to strengthen the cooperation of IHP committees, Centres, chairs and organizations involved in water policy in the Balkans.
The following day, a Symposium on Water Equity in South-East Europe and the Mediterranean was held, the agenda of which was provided to you in the attached report. Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores opened the Symposium and introductory speech was made by Enrico Padula, Embassy Counselor, (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), Massimiliano de Martin, Counselor for Urban Planning and the Environment for the City of Venice, Prof. Dr. András Szöllösi-Nagy et al. Johnatan Becker. Dr. Stefan Uhlenbrook presented WWDR’s 2019 report.
The symposium was held through two panel discussions. The moderator of the first panel, Equitable Integrated Water Management, including access to safe and clean water in the SEE and the Mediterranean, was Jacques Ganoulis, UNESCO Chairholder, Greece, and a presentation entitled “Going Beyond Averages: water management, social inequalities, and the fight against poverty ”was held by prof. Dr. Carlo Giupponi, Dean of Venice International University, Italy. Panelists of the first round table were: Biljana Rajić, Senior Adviser on Water Resources, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Marko Ivetić, UNESCO Chairholder, Chair in Water for Ecologically Sustainable Development, Serbia; Murat Ali Hatipoğlu, Directorate General of State Hydraulic Works (DSI), IHP National Committee, Turkey; Konstantinos Voudouris, Vice President, UNESCO Category II Centre for Integrated and Multidisciplinary Water Resources Management, Thessaloniki, Greece and Dragana Milovanović, Deputy Secretary for Integrated River Basin Management and Water Planning, International Sava River Basin Commission.
The moderator of the second panel discussion entitled Improving the resiliency of climate change and water-related disasters in SEE and the Mediterranean was Brankica Majkic-Dursun, Director, UNESCO category II Centre for Water for Sustainable Development and Adaptation to Climate Change, Serbia. Erika Coppola, Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy, gave the introductory presentation entitled “Regional Climate Projection in the Mediterranean basin”. Participants in the second panel discussion were: Elena Bojilova, Secretary, IHP National Committee, Bulgaria; Bojana Horvat, Researcher, Water Management Institute, IHP National Committee, Croatia; Jovan Despotović, President, IHP National Committee, Serbia; Mitja Brilly, IHP National Committee, Slovenia and Miroslava Nenadić, Directorate for Water Management, Montenegro.
Information about the Symposium and conclusions can be found at the following links: