Submitted by guest blogger on Mon,04/27/2015

Lara Nassar of IUCN’s Regional Office for West Asia reflects on the power of networking from her experience at the recent 7th World Water Forum.

To many people in my region, networking is theoretical. It will not lead to action on the ground and more importantly, resources should be put into projects that directly benefit the local community in developing countries. For many years, being from Jordan myself, I thought so too.

During the World Water Forum, I helped staff the IUCN booth (which, if I may add, was amazing). I took great pride in sharing our activities with participants, showcasing our achievements, and explaining our work in West Asia and North Africa. I was able to share A toolkit for increasing climate change resilience in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) with many people, mostly from that region. These professionals were genuinely interested and willing to share it with others. This will help increase awareness about the participatory approach to environmental management that we use in the region to increase local community climate change resilience. But, I still ask myself, is this what networking really means?

At IUCN’s Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA), after two years of working with member organisations and partners under the Regional Knowledge Network on Water (RKNOW), this is no longer a project but an initiative, a strategic vision, a NETWORK.

During one of the forum meetings, ROWA partners and members took turns in voicing their long-term vision for this network. It was very interesting to notice that they saw this as a long-term partnership, a collaborative environmental network which will in turn create change on the ground, that will not end when the project itself expires.

From the past few years with IUCN, I have learned how beneficial networking can be....Read more


Submitted by guest blogger on Fri,04/17/2015

Raphaël Glémet, Senior Programme Officer for Water and Wetlands within IUCN’s Asia Regional Office, talks to us about his passion for all things water, and shares his excitement about innovative approaches to transboundary water governance.

Yesterday was our third day in Daegu, and the World Water Forum is now in full swing. I’m happy to be here to immerse myself in the incredible opportunities to learn and to share what every day provides.

While trying to build a summary of my day for the blog I soon realised that a lot of the talks here actually go way beyond water-related topics. The topics are so diverse, so cross-cutting, that on occasion I’ve almost forgotten that I’m at a forum about water and not at one of the big meetings on climate change, food production, energy, international diplomacy, the economy or biodiversity conservation. The attendee list is just as varied as the topics covered, with participants stemming from various backgrounds, including ministries of environment, foreign affairs, energy and agriculture. In addition, there are numerous representatives from international and local NGOs and the private sector.

Don’t get me wrong, the forum is targeted, professional and there is an ocean of water-related knowledge to absorb, but I think the real magic here is how water topics have the capacity to overcome boundaries, to traverse levels and to embrace environmental, political, economic and societal issues as a whole.

Throughout my career I have always been fascinated by rivers especially for this reason, for their capacity to federate, to gather and merge interests, and to connect countries, communities and other stakeholders. This week I’ve had the opportunity to introduce the BRIDGE (Building River Dialogue and Governance) project facilitated by IUCN, and again this goes

...Read more


Submitted by guest blogger on Tue,04/14/2015

IUCN representatives are currently taking part in the 7th World Water Forum in the Republic of Korea. Marcello Rocca, Communications Officer for the Water and Wetlands Programme within IUCN’s Central and West Africa office, reports back on his experience of this important event so far.

What are IUCN’s interventions in the water sector?” This simple question came from a Cambodian forty-year-old man who came to talk to me at the IUCN stand. The World Water Forum is an opportunity to present our activities in water governance and wetlands conservation. During the discussion my interlocutor had the opportunity to learn that I work in IUCN’s Central and West Africa office, and he seemed very interested in the partnership approach we adopt to implement integrated, cross-border water management, and in the results we have achieved. In turn, I was surprised to find that the problems he encounters in his work are similar to those I have experienced, and I asked him many questions in order to try to understand what solutions he adopts to achieve satisfactory long-term results. We parted ways after exchanging business cards and promising to keep in touch.

The 7th World Water Forum officially started on Sunday with the opening ceremony. Experts from numerous countries passed by the stands. Voices from Niger, the Mekong, the Rhine and the Mississippi all mixed; groups of people from various backgrounds shared their experiences and discussed possible future collaboration.

Fishing in the Mekong

Fishing in the Mekong

“It is not the pearls that make the necklace but the wire.”

Everyone is aware of the importance of this forum and the need to act together to ensure participatory and sustainable water management.

We are using our participation

...Read more