International Summit of the Great Rivers of the World: "Taking Action for Water And Climate"

7th Nov, 2017

The Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea organized the International Summit on "Water and Climate ; Meeting of the Great Rivers of the World", from 23 to 25 October 2017 in Rome, ITALY.

This international summit was organized in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), the Global Alliances for Water and Climate (GAfWC) and Aquamadre.

It gathered the largest river basins in the world (more than 30 basins were present), which concern more than 100 countries, 45 delegations from the 5 continents, and about 100 speakers and high-level representatives of all the most significant organizations, including the European Commission, the major United Nations agencies and the Union for the Mediterranean.

A message from His Holiness Pope Francesco was delivered by his Secretary of State at the opening of the Summit on the morning of 23 October in the presence of the President of the Italian Council of Ministers, Mr. Paolo Gentiloni. The closing ceremony on 25 October was celebrated in the presence of the President of the Republic, H.E. Sergio Mattarella.

This Summit is an important milestone for the Bonn COP 23 (6-17 November 2017) and the Brasilia World Water Forum (18-23 March 2018). Its goal is to further integrate freshwater management issues into the top priorities of the international negotiations on climate change and of the Global Climate Action Agenda.

The summit was an outstanding occasion to match project proposals to financing opportunities and to foster experience sharing between great river basin organizations, local, national and regional administrations in charge of climate change adaptation policies and water resources management, bilateral and multilateral donors and other international institutions interested in adaptation to climate change and in basin management.

The Summit especially focused on the need for quick action to finance projects to improve knowledge and information systems, governance, public participation and take immediate measures for water adaptation to climate change.

The work of the Summit was organized around four major topics, which were presented in high-level panels and widely discussed among participants:

·       Acquisition and sharing of knowledge on the impact of climate change on water resources;

·       Management of water resources and aquatic ecosystems;

·       Public participation and involvement of the economic sectors and local authorities;

·       Financial mechanisms for adaptation to climate change in the water sector.

In conclusion, the Italian Minister for the Environment announced that the Climate and Water Summit will become an institutional event organized every three years and the next one will be held in Rome in 2020. 

To view the full text of the Final Declaration of the Presidency of the Rome Summit, click here.

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