Water at the heart of IRD’s action at the 6th World Water Forum
15 March 2012
Two thirds of the earth’s surface is covered with water. However, only 0,1 % of water resources is available for human and almost one billion people in the world have no access to safe drinking water, mainly in Southern countries. In response to these shortages, scientific research plays a major role in assessing the water resources and identifiying the best strategies for freshwater management.
Water research stands for one of the main priorities of IRD (Institut de recherche pour le développement ). Water issues mobilize about 140 IRD’s researchers. During the debates of the 6th World Water Forum, taking place in Marseille on March 12-17 2012, IRD intends to raise awareness of the general public, civil society and policy-makers to issues and research results on water through several official events.
"Water scarcity in arid areas" - High level panel
March 15 - 8.30/10.30 am - Palais des congrès, Auditorium
Mettre en lumière des solutions qui permettent de gérer durablement les ressources en eau dans les zones arides et semi-arides de la planète. Sur la base de trois témoignages scientifiques, un plateau de personnalités du monde politique et de la société civile débattra des actions à mener prioritairement.
The overall aim of this special session is to identify solutions for the sustainable management of water resources in arid and semi-arid areas of the world. A panel, consisting of political and scientific personalities, will debate on action priorities following the presentation of 3 scientific case studies.
This session is a follow up to a tri-partite collaboration between Africa, Brazil and France. It is organized by the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), also acting as inter-institutional agency (AIRD), in collaboration with the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall (APGMV) and the Center for Strategic Studies and Management Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil (CGEE).
Water is essential for life. Arid and semi-arid lands represent 40 % of the total surface of the globe and are found on all continents except Antarctica. As the water resource becomes scarce in these regions its sustainable management becomes a high priority. Water scarcity was a central theme in the last three international conferences on climate, sustainability and development in drylands (ICID) held in Fortaleza-Brazil 2010, Mendoza-Argentina 2011 and Niamey-Niger 2011. ICID participants addressed the main challenges and opportunities of the arid areas of the world, and water issues were highlighted because of their enormous significance in life and development.
The causes and consequences of water scarcity in the most threatened regions i.e. Africa, Asia and Latin America will be discussed. Concrete actions for value addition and sustainable use of natural resources at local, regional and international scales will be presented. Diagnostic tools and methodologies for water resource monitoring will be discussed.
In the most arid regions of the planet there is an urgent need to develop institutions dealing specifically with sustainable water management. These should aim at optimizing the water supply and use while addressing social and environmental needs.
The aim of this session is to generate a debate within the high level panel and to bring the floor into the discussion. Participants will include academics, politicians, donors, economists and representatives of both the civil society and the private sector. The expected outcomes of this exchange are short, medium and long term propositions that could influence public policy of these regions, in the perspective of Rio+20.
This session will be facilitated by two journalists (Jean-Claude Lewandowski and Julia Santi) and will focus on three themes related to water scarcity in arid and semi-arid areas. Themes will be introduced by three IRD scientists: Jean-Luc Chotte, Georges Serpantié and Frédérique Seyler.
Resources management and territories development
Arid and semi-arid areas are characterized by strong variability in environmental and human conditions. In such sensitive regions, changes are as fast as unpredictable. Can we act on the functioning of the ecosystem? How can we best combine research, traditional knowledge and society priorities?
Governance and desertification
Civil societies are key. Good management of arid areas relies on education and innovation policy. What are the consequences of political decisions? How decision regarding ecosystem management can be included? How to share the responsibility of sustainable development amongst various stakeholders evolving in diverse territories?
Diagnostic and monitoring tools
Geospatial data are a powerful tool for development. How can they contribute to international strategies for a sustainable management of water resources in arid areas? Which policies are needed? Which collective initiatives should be put into place for a fare share of information?
President of IRD, Prof. Michel Laurent, and his counterparts, Prof. Abdoulaye Dia, Executive secretary of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW) and Prof. Antonio Galvão, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies and Management Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil (CGEE), as well as seven personalities from the scientific and political world:
- Dr. Elena Maria Abraham, Director, Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Áridas (IADIZA), Argentina
- Mme. Khadija Razavi, Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Iran du Center for Sustainable Development, Iran
- H.E. Mr. Prince Fahad Al Attiya, Chairman, Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNSFP), Qatar
- H.E. Mr. Mahamat Okormi, Minister of the Environment and Fisheries Resources, Chad
- Prof. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Germany (UNCCD).
- Prof. Jean-Pierre Ezin, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST), African Union, Kenya
- Prof. Trevor Daniell, Australian National Committee for the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme, Associate professor at the University of Adelaide, Australia
- Dr. Richard Escadafal, President of the French Scientific Committee on Desertification (CSFD), France
Presentation of the panelists and facilitators
Prof. Michel Laurent
President of IRD. Michel Laurent has been Director General of the Institute since June 2006. He was appointed President of IRD for a four-year term by the Council of Ministers on June 9th, 2010. He is Vice-President of International and European Relations of the National Alliance of Environmental Research. Prof. Michel Laurent is Honorary President of the Mediterranean University and former Vice-President of the Conference of University Chairpersons. He served as the President of the Mediterranean University from 1999 to 2004.
Prof. Abdoulaye Dia
Doctor of geosciences, University Professor of exceptional class at the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar. Member of Senegal's Academy of Science and Technology and former Director of earth director’s institute of UCAD. Currently Director of the UCAD doctoral training programmes “Georesources/imaging, environment and planning” and Executive Secretary of the African Great Green Wall Agency based in Ndjamena, Chad.
Prof. Antonio Carlos Filgueira Galvão
economist (University of Brasília, 1980) graduated in Applied Economics at State University of Campinas (2003), with thesis partially developed in Sussex European Institute/University of Sussex (UK - 2002). He also has a master degree in Economic Theory (University of São Paulo, 1982). Currently is director at the CGEE and a science and technology analyst at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). From 2004 to 2007 was the Secretary of regional development policies at the Ministry of national integration. Has experience in the areas of science, technology and innovation, regional development and planning and public policy.
Dr. Elena Maria Abraham
Scientific researcher of the National council of scientific and technical research (CONICET), Director of the Argentine institute for research on arid lands (IADIZA) and professor of environmental planning and management at the Congress University, Argentina. She is working on developing methodological frameworks able to consolidate integrated, participative and multi-scale approaches to desertification assessment and on the generation of local development strategies to combat desertification in the Monte desert, Argentina. To date she has published over 120 contributions to the knowledge of theoretical, methodological and application aspects related to the environment and human settlements in drylands.
Ms. Khadija Catherine Razavi
Executive Director of the Center for sustainable development (CENESTA), Iran. Specialist in community participation, biodiversity conservation, women in sustainable development and appropriate technology, with over twenty years of experience in Iran and other countries. She worked as NGO organizer and leader and as free-lance consultant. Special emphasis on land degradation and the role of seasonal migration as a means of sustainable land use. Main areas of experience include the promotion of sustainable and participatory development, renewable energies, women's participation in sustainable development, environmentally sound pest management programmes, desertification prevention, nomadism and development, training of community animators, public awareness, and project design and implementation.
H.E. Mr. Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiya
appointed as Chairman of the Qatar national food security programme (QNFSP) by his Highness the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani in 2008. Following his schooling in Qatar, Mr Al-Attiya joined the Qatar armed forces as an officer cadet at which time he was accepted to and educated at the royal military academy, Sandhurst, in the UK. Mr Al-Attiya read law at Westminster university, and attended his LPC at BPP law school in London. In 2007 Mr Al-Attiya joined the office of the Heir Apparent at the Emiri Diwan as legal counsel, a position he still holds. He is also on the legislation council of Qatar. Under Mr Al-Attiya's leadership, the QNFSP is developing a master plan which upon implementation, will become a model for sustainable, environmentally friendly agriculture in arid regions, and represent a unique challenge to the popular conceptions of food security being achieved in dry land countries.
H.E. Mr. Mahamat Béchir Okormi
Minister of the Environment and fisheries resources, Chad. He successively held the following positions from 2003 in Chad : Financial at the technical committee for monitoring and control environmental aspects of the Oil Doba’s project ; Minister of general state control : Secretary of state for national defense ; Secretary of state for foreign affairs and cooperation.
Prof. Luc Gnacadja
Executive secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. He served as Minister of environment, housing and urban development of Benin from 1999 to 2005. He gained first-hand knowledge of the UNCCD process over a number of years in his capacity as Head of delegation to the conference of the parties to the convention, where he initiated and built synergies between the Rio Conventions, in conjunction with the National commission on sustainable development. He has also served as Chairman of several international ministerial conferences, meetings and workshops related to the environment, urban and regional development, and sustainable development, including the African minister conference on environment and the commission on sustainable development. In March 2003 Mr. Gnacadja was honored with the “2002 Green Award” in Washington by the World Bank.
Prof. Jean-Pierre EZIN
African Union Commissioner for human resources, science and technology. Doctor in mathematical science (University of Science and Technology of Lille, France), he has occupied several posts in international scientific research centers such as the Abdus Aalam centre for theoretical physics and the Laurent Schwartz mathematics center. He was a senior lecturer in high schools, has been rector of the Benin National University, dean of science, founder and director of the Benin institute of mathematics and physical sciences. He was titular professor at the Benin National University. He also served the university as mathematics lecturer and was advisor in the ministry in charge of planning, economic restructuring and employment.
Prof. Trevor Daniell
member of the Australian UNESCO international hydrology program (IHP) Committee, Chairman UNESCO IHP steering committee for South East Asia. He was Pr. at the university of Adelaide (Australia) from 1989 to 2009, and he is currently actually honorary senior research fellow. He has also worked for the Australian government in Indonesia, the Pacific and Australia. In 2008, Trevor Daniell was selected as the Crawford H Munro Orator and received an achievement award from the International hydrologic environment society. During his career, Trevor Daniell has received other awards (Warren medal, GN Alexander, RJN Franki) to reward the excellent quality of its work in hydrology..
Dr. Richard Escadafal
senior scientist at IRD (France), he holds a Ph.D in soil science and has extensive research experience in remote sensing for arid environment monitoring. In the recent years, he has been strongly involved in coordinating EU funded research projects on this theme, and expanded scientific networking in the Mediterranean region. After having spent two years as Vice-chair of the Committee for Science and Technology of the UNCCD, he is currently chairing the French Scientific Committee on Desertification (CSFD), and he is a co-founder and a member of the Steering Committee of DesertNet International.
Journalist in the French daily newspaper "Les Echos" since 1987, in charge of higher education (college life, graduate employment, skills). Editor of the special issue "Les Echos Sup", in charge of the "training section" in the daily pages. Author of several books including "New ways to form" (editions of organization). His interests are geopolitics, sustainable development, issues of energy and natural resources, emerging markets, and North-South relations, technology transfer, science and technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, and management.
independent journalist and economic consultant, radio host on his show "Seen on the Web" every week for 6 years, Julia Santi is listening to the world around us. Partner in the consulting firm Santi & Partners since 2002, she specializes in conducting innovative projects and works regularly in companies and institutions as a communication consultant, mainly in the research area. Engaged in creation and business women's networks, she wrote and published the following book issued in March 2011 "En vies de femmes” (Editions Gramond ), a complete panorama on women’s employment with entrepreneurs women portraits. What is essential for her: the human in its personal, social and economic complexity.
Launch of the tripartite research programme Africa-Brazil-France "Fight against desertification in Africa - food insecurity and poverty" - Side event
March 15 - 19.15/20.15 pm - Palais des congrès, Patio 1
Desertification affects 40 % of the earth's lands. If no action is undertaken, 10 million hectares of arable land are lost annually. One third of world population could be affected. All continents are concerned, especially Africa where 37% of lands are threatened. AIRD, PAGGW, CGEE and CNPq held in Niamey in October 2011, the international conference "Towards sustainable development of drylands in Africa". The tripartite call concretizes the commitments of the Niamey Declaration, signed at the conclusion of the conference, whose recommendations were submitted to the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20).
- The Pan- African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW), Africa
- The Agence Inter-établissements de Recherche pour le Développement (AIRD), France
- National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brazil
- Center for Strategic Studies and Management in Science, Technology and Innovation (CGEE), Brazil
- To structure a research community bringing together African, Brazilian and French researchers
- To build scientific capacities in Africa
- To strength links between science and society
Targeted geographic area
African arid and semi-arid regions, specially, those convered by the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative.
- Sustainable management of water, soil and biodiversity in arid and semi-arid areas
- Impact on human development
- Innovation related to cultural heritage and natural resource management
- New technologies toward the green economy
- Experiences, methodologies and data for good governance and sustainable development.
Projects to be supported
- Multidisciplinary research projects implemented in a period of 3 years.
- Bringing together researchers from three continents. Projects involving several African countries, including at least one of Great Green Wall area, are encouraged.
- Dimensions to be promoted: capacity building, scientific exchanges and the promotion of science among local communities.
Timetable for implementation
Publication of the call : June 2012 (Rio +20) - Start of projects : January 2013
- Luc Gnacadja, Executive secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
- Antonio Rocha Magalhães, President of the CST (UNCCD), Director of the ICID Conference, Special advisor of the CGEE, Brazil.
- Abdoulaye Dia, Executive Secretary of the African Great Green Wall Agency, Ndjamena, Chad.
- Manoel Barral Netto, Director of institutional cooperation, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brazil
- Michel Laurent, President of IRD
- Michel Bouvet, Executive Director, AIRD.
- René Bally, Direction of research programs & capacity building, AIRD.
- Robin Duponnois, Senior scientist at IRD, Project Manager AIRD/APGMV.
" Global changes and water resources of the Niger River " - Side event
March 13 - 19.15/20.15 pm - Palais des congrès, PC 17 Samena
In the sahelian countries, very important modifications result of global changes. From climatic or anthropogenic origin, they have a major impact on water resources. The Niger River, real and sometimes only hydric artery for the populations of nine waterside countries, is also submitted to important disturbances. If the precipitation has been globally low for several years, the runoff conditions, in connexion with an important land use change, can have effects opposite and paradoxical as already demonstrated in the area of Niamey.
This debate will aim to contribute identifying the new hydrological conditions on Niger River catchment. It is a major and preliminary step in any will of identification and use of the water resources. The scientists will present their most recent results. There will be a discussion with the stakeholders regarding all possible options for a better management of the resource given the context now prevailing all over the Niger River.
Define the new hydrological conditions on Niger River catchment to go towards a better use of the water resources.
- Eric Servat: Senior scientist at IRD, Chairman of IRD’s scientific council, Chairman of HydroSciences ’s laboratory (Montpellier, France).
- Dr. Abdou Guero, Niger River Basin Authority (ABN), Niger.
- Dr. Abdou Amani, UNESCO regional hydrologist, Kenya.
- Dr. Luc Ferry, Senior scientist at IRD Directeur de recherche à l’IRD, G-Eau laboratory , (France).
- Dr. Pierre Morand, Senior scientist at IRD, Résiliences laboratory (France).
"Integrated management of small reservoirs for multiple uses in the Volta Basin"
March 14 - 14.30/16.30 - Palais de l’Europe, PEu 5 - Europa 5
Two generations or more after their apparition in arid rural landscapes, West African small reservoirs constitute now a patrimonial and collective resource. Small but numerous and largely scattered, they represent important hotspots of productivity and diversity. Their value is directly linked to their multiuse vocation, particularly during the dry season when water stored during the previous rainy season is used for different and complementary domestic and productive activities.
The resilience of these artificial ecosystems, and the expression of the many services they are supporting, is today threatened by diverse and often simultaneous anthropogenic pressures: agricultural intensification (diffuse pollutions), demographic densification (eutrophication), development of unexpected activities (mining). There is a permanent loop between the water needs in terms of both quantity and quality by the different activities, and the quantitative and qualitative impacts exerted by each of them on the water resources. Such trade-offs ultimately define the amount and quality of water available, in a context of increasing demand and competition. Within the IWRM framework which is now largely implemented in most West African countries, local management institutions (Water Users Associations and Local Water Committees) constitute the ultimate negotiation arena for the definition and application of efficient, equitable and sustainable governance rules.
The Challenge program on water and food has recently initiated a series of research projects under the umbrella of the Volta Basin development challenge that aim at “improving rainwater and small reservoir management to contribute to poverty reduction and improved livelihoods resilience while taking account of downstream and upstream water users including ecosystem services”. In this context, participatory approaches are conducted with local stakeholders in charge of small reservoir management, to characterize and to evaluate the current management rules, and to identify and to discuss with them potential alternatives. This task is central for the CPWF-V3 project focused on “Integrated management of small reservoirs for multiple uses” that develops its activities along the Volta basin in Burkina Faso and Ghana.
During the forum session, the solution presented will aim at highlighting the many challenges daily encountered by the local stakeholders, expressed through the point of view of a core actor: the Mayor of a rural commune, Madam Asseta Ilboudo, Mayor of Loumbila (Burkina Faso), directly committed to drive and sustain the governance processes around small reservoirs.
" The Carib-Hycos project, monitoring hydrology and climate at a regional scale " An example of using Interreg Fund for regional cooperation
March 15 - 11.00/13.00 am - Palais de l’Europe, PEu 5 - Europa 5
The Carib-Hycos project, coordinated by IRD, will be presented during the Target and solutions group SERPT n°11: "Adapt Water management to the specificities of European outermost Regions"
IRD has been already involved in some Hycos projects (Mediterranean Sea, West & Central Africa, Austral Africa), and is currently involved, through the OBHI Unit in the implementation of the Volta-Hycos and Niger-Hycos components. Since 2002, IRD, in close co-operation with WMO and with the support of the local Authorities of Martinique, works for the Carib-Hycos project arrangement. IRD will share his expertise in terms of technology transfer and capacity building mainly for new technologies in hydrometry and information systems with the National Hydrological Services.
From a geographical point of view, this project lies within the framework of the Europe/Mediterranean/Africa axe (as part of the ROM/COM for the Carib area) favoured today by the national and European authorities, the regional center hosted by IRD in Martinique will centralize data coming from the hydrological observatories network of the National Hydrological Services. These data will be homogenized, introduced into a regional database. Information will be made available to the different stakeholders through a Hydrological Information System.
The islands of the Caribbean are characterized by large heterogeneity and variety of political, socio-economical, cultural, linguistic and geographical field. The same statement can be made for the National hydrological services. While regional co-operation is well established in the field of meteorology, it is, with a few exceptions, currently nonexistent in the realm/field of hydrology. Co-operation in the sharing of information and perhaps the pooling of expertise for special projects would benefit the relatively small data observation and interpretation Services typical of the Caribbean islands... Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Antilles (Guadeloupe and Martinique), Haiti, Jamaica, Ste Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago expressed their interest to participate in the Caribbean Island Component of Carib-Hycos. This project will be a real Regional observatory on water resources (quantity & quality) which will take into account the pollution risks to the Caribbean Sea.
During the debates of the 6th World Water Forum, IRD raises awareness in the general public to issues and research results on water, through two exhibitions and a book.
Exhibition "Water territories, irrigation and water sharing in the Mediterranean" - Bibliothèque départementale des Bouches-du-Rhône - February 17 / July 13
This exhibition is designed as a trail encouraging visitors to “go with the flow”, and move from upstream to downstream, starting in high upland irrigation systems then navigating down to the deltas on the coast, on the way looking at oases and irrigated lands on the fluvial plains. The trail will also feature display points presenting technical exhibits (from the Musée des Arts et Métiers ) and audiovisual archives (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel ), showing how human communities in the Mediterranean used their ingenuity to capture and use water for agriculture. Then, throughout the exhibition tour visitors will be made aware of the all-important questions irrigation raises today in the Mediterranean Basin. Interactive displays will be installed to attract the younger age groups. A complementary programme of events (talks, discussions, films) will give opportunities to explore more deeply the various questions concerning irrigation in the Mediterranean.
More information : www.culture-13.fr/actualites/les-territoires-de-l-eau.html
Photo exhibition "Water for all, research mobilizes" - Saint-Charles’s station - from February 24
IRD presents an exhibition of large size photos on the square of Saint-Charles’s railway station - Marseille, from February 24th: “Water for all, research mobilizes”. These meaningful pictures, taken by IRD’s researchers in the developing countries, increase public awareness of the essential challenges of water resources to guarantee the well-being of all and assure a fairer and more sustainable development. Thanks to the image’s universal language, this exhibition illustrates the main priority of the 6th World Water Forum: guarantee the water access for all; improve health; prevent water risks and crises; contribute to food safety.
"Water at the heart of science" - IRD’s Publishing - available from March 15
In the present context of climate change, over-exploitation of resources and anthropogenic impacts on the environment, the question of water is one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century. Access to drinking water for the greatest number is one of the Millenium Development Goals. The allocation and availability of water, its uses-for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes and for energy production-and its quality are also central to scientific research, as it shown in this book. The reader will find texts that everyone can understand, with numerous illustrations. The main research programmes on water conducted by IRD and its partners from the South are discribed in boxes. The book is aimed at all those who wish to learn about the current issues related to water with focus on sustainable management.