Joint AIDA/IFAD side-event at the 2012 World Water Week – Report of the Chairman

AIDA and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) jointly convened a side-event on “Water for food security: what role for water law?” at the 2012 World Water Week held in Stockholm, 26-31 August 2012. The side-event took place on 28 August, from 17:45 to 18:45. IFAD provided generous financial support, which offset to a considerable extent the financial burden on AIDA. AIDA chairman S.Burchi and AIDA member S.Hodgson were responsible for the scientific contents of the event, and for its delivery.

Some twenty persons were in attendance at the side-event, including a number of AIDA members. A Powerpoint presentation had been prepared in advance jointly by Messrs. Burchi and Hodgson based on a draft paper co-authored by the same, and was delivered by the co-authors. The presentation covered (a) legal mechanisms for the allocation and re-allocation of water resources, (b) legal mechanisms for water pollution control, and (c) legislation on irrigation, with a focus on Water Users’ Organizations and on the relevant problematique. In spite of its conciseness, or perhaps because of that, the presentation attracted a number of pertinent questions from the floor, which were answered by the presenters. The paper and the presentation are, at the moment, under revision also to reflect the comments received from the floor.

The side-event was an absolute first for AIDA, as this was the first time AIDA had come forward on its own, albeit in partnership with a mighty partner like IFAD, and stuck its neck out at what is probably the No.1 water event in the world held every year. Judging by the quality and relevance of the partnership AIDA attracted, and by the scientific quality of the outcome, the side-event was a successful experience for AIDA – the relatively disappointing number of attendees notwithstanding. In this writer’s opinion, the experience is worth repeating, particularly as the next edition of the World Water Week will focus on water as a vehicle of cooperation. There is much potential in it for AIDA to gain additional visibility and relevance, and the chairman and the Executive Council will pursue all opportunities to make that happen.


Stefano Burchi

Chairman of the Executive Council


29 August 2012