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D7
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Colombia will be the venue for the Seventh Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management in 2011.  The announcement was made simultaneously in the Meeting on Sustainable Development organized by the OAS in Dominican Republic and in Bogota, by the Minister of Environment of Colombia.

 

The city of Medellin (Colombia) will be the venue for the Seventh Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management (D7), the main event for the hemisphere on water management for 2011 which is promoted by the Inter-American Water Resources Network (IWRN). The announcement was made simultaneously on November 19 in Bogota and Santo Domingo, within the context of the II Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities in Sustainable Development of the Americas, promoted by the Organization of American States (OAS).

The Minister of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development of Colombia, Dr. Beatriz Uribe Botero, and the Vice-Minister of Environment, Dr. Carlos Castaño Uribe, shared the news in Bogota and before the delegations of the 34 countries that compose the OEA. In Santo Domingo, the Colombian delegation invited the IWRN Chair, Rhonda Harris and its Secretary, Alberto Palombo, to make a presentation before the representatives of the countries and other international organizations in attendance.

"The people of Colombia take this opportunity to invite all the countries of the Americas to the Seventh Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management (D7), which will be held in the city of Medellin, Colombia, on November 13-19, 2011. The D7 is a gathering open to all water management relevant stakeholders in the hemisphere. Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate", said Castaño.

IWRN Chair Harris said that "the next Dialogue (D7) will be a crucial meeting to strengthen collaborative arrangements among stakeholders on water and environment in the region. More than just a meeting, the Dialogue is part of a process that allows us assess the advancement of water policy making in the region and point out specific needs of those responsible for water management", she added.

The main objective of D7 is to reflect about the advances on integrated water resource management in the region, as well as thinking about the challenges and demands in the future. Thus, the discussion dynamics includes a process that takes on several months, starting on World Water Day in 2011 and arriving at D7 as a milestone in that process to consolidate recommendations.

The following themes are proposed for D7:

1. "Water for the Future" – Water and youth.
2. Water management in a changing environment, including climate change.
3. Stakeholder commitment through responsibility for water management.
4. Adoption of water management public policies in the countries of the region.
5. Financing water management for the benefit of the society as a whole.

In addition to the main themes, the Dialogue will also take on crossover issues such as public participation in water management and the role of the media in water culture building. Like in previous Dialogues, there will be a discussion on collaborative mechanisms for transboundary water resources management, given its importance for a region in which the largest river basins and aquifers are located, such as the Amazon, Plata River, Orinoco, Bravo, Guarani Aquifer, among others.

IWRN Secretary Alberto Palombo highlighted that "for the Dialogue to be fruitful, all stakeholders should get engaged in the D7 process in order to reach a profound yet open interaction: public and private local, national and international institutions, organized civil society, private sector, academia and research centers, media, and, last but not least, the youth that will be charged in the future to implement the public policies – They are all part of a shared management of a vital resource for life that is often the object of conflicts and impacts in terms of its quality, quantity, and timely availability."

Also, Luis Alfonso Escobar, Director General of the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Central Antioquia, which is the entity charged as D7 local host, placed emphasis in the opportunity seized by Colombia to bring a relevant discussion about water management in a timely manner, since the country is embarking in the "Water Mission" as announced by the government. "The Seventh Dialogue is important for Colombia and for all the countries that are facing serious challenges in the management of their water resources. Water is vital and strategic resource for Colombia – We are looking forward to organize a meeting that takes on appropriately inter-generational challenges in the mid- and long term", he added.

D7 will count with the participation of chiefs of state, Nobel, Goldman and Stockholm prize laureates, OAS and United Nations authorities, high-level representatives from multi-lateral financing entities, national and international leaders related to water and environment, and youth leaders.

The D7 is organized jointly by the Inter-American Water Resources Network and the people from Colombia, through the Ministry of Environment, Housing, and Territorial Development (MAVDT) and the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Central Antioquia (CORANTIOQUIA), the Dialogue host institutions. It also counts with the support of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Governor's Office of Antioquia Department, the Mayor's Office of Medellin, as well as several entities of the United Nations System, multi-lateral financing institutions, and other public and private entities related to water management in Colombia and other countries in the Americas.

Aside from Vice-Minister Castaño, other key D7 collaborators were in attendance, such as Mr. Cletus Springer, Director of the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS and Vice-Chair of IWRN, Mr. Maximiliano Campos, also freom OAS, entity responsible for the coordination and formal participation of the countries in IWRN activities, and Ms. Paola Piza Cossio, Director of Corporate Tourism of the Medellin Convention and Visitors Bureau, which offers logistical support to the organization of D7.

Those interested in participating and keep involved in the D7 organization process can obtain additional information at the IWRN web portal at http://www.iwrn.org or write to Este endereço de e-mail está protegido contra spambots. Você deve habilitar o JavaScript para visualizá-lo. .

Colombia will be the venue for the Seventh Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management in 2011