Report of the Chairman on joint AIDA/UNESCO side-event at the 2013 WORLD WATER WEEK

AIDA and UNESCO jointly convened a side-event on “Bridging the land/water divide – The role of water law” at the 2013 World Water Week held in Stockholm, 2-6 September 2013. The side-event took place on 3 September, from 17:45 to 18:45. UNESCO 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 fifteen participants were in attendance, including a few AIDA members. A Powerpoint presentation had been prepared in advance jointly by Messrs. Burchi and Hodgson. It zoomed in on the much neglected “grey” space where water resources in general, and groundwater in particular, and land and its use interface and interact. The presentation covered, in particular, (a) regulation of diffuse pollution of water resources, (b) regulation of land uses impacting the natural recharge processes of groundwater, and surface flows, and (c) land uses and flood control and mitigation. The presentation attracted several questions from the floor.

The side-event followed in the trails of a similar event AIDA had scheduled in partnership with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) at the 2012 edition of the World Water Week. Measured by the quality and relevance of the partnership AIDA attracted, and by the scientific quality of the outcome, the side-event was, like its predecessor event, a success. The number of attendees, however, was disappointing. In this writer’s opinion, AIDA should try and get a more attractive and visible slot in the programme if it contemplates participating in future editions of the World Water Week. This will imply a quantum shift to a more
ambitious participation mode, including recourse to external funding for it. This writer undertakes to look into this option, with the help of the Executive Council of the Association. 

Stefano Burchi

Chairman of the Executive Council 

1 October 2013